Packing list for a family festival

family camping at a festival

Camp Bestival is just a couple of weeks away! We’re actually heading off two weeks tomorrow, as we’re staying in Bournemouth the night before to break our journey up. Last year I had the, ahem, wise idea of leaving at 2am…. thinking {hoping?!} that the girls would go back to sleep and we’d have an easy journey. Ooops. Everyone was way to excited to sleep so by mid-afternoon when we’d set up camp everyone went into meltdown mode ;) It’s around a 6 hour drive for us, so we’re driving down on the Wednesday, spending the night in a Travelodge and then hitting the festival on the Thursday morning, bright and refreshed!

I made up my packing list at the weekend, and now that G is back from two festivals in a row {one for fun and one where he worked} I can start gathering everything together in one place. Here’s what we’ll be taking this year:


Canping Gear

  • Tents – we’re taking a 6 man, a 4 man and a 2 man pop up. Baya and I share a bedroom in the 6 man, Lola has the other, G and Kiki sleep in the 4 man and the pop up tent is our storage tent. Means we have plenty of space and the living area in the 6 man is clear if it’s wet and we need to sit inside!
  • Mallet and extra tent pegs – always wise to have extras!
  • Rug for the living area – amakes it a little more cosy!
  • Front door mat – took it last year and was surprised how useful it was
  • Airbeds – 2 doubles and 1 single
  • Sleeping Bags/Duvets – Baya and I shared a double duvet last year, everyone else had their own sleeping bag
  • Pillows – 1 each, though this year, this pregnant Mama may be taking an extra ;)
  • Fleece Blankets – the girls took a blanket each, and I took one to put on top of my airbed
  • Bunting & Solar Fairy lights – gotta have a pretty looking pitch {also helped to find it in the dark!}
  • Windbreak
  • Camping Chairs
  • Lanterns – we have these Orb Tent Lights for the bedrooms, and a couple of big lanterns too.
  • Camping Stove
  • Kettle
  • Frying Pan/Saucepan
  • Enamel Plates/Bowls/Cups
  • Cutlery
  • Small bowl for washing up
  • Tea towels
  • Towels – you may want to use the showers, and great if it’s wet!!
  • Headtorches – the girls loved these when we went back out at night!
  • Water Containers
  • Picnic Blanket

One of the best things we did last year was to take a couple of empty 2 litre plastic milk jugs. Filled with water, and with a head torch wrapped around [light shining inwards} they make great ambient lighting – we were impressed how much light they gave off. We used them if we were sitting around our tents in the evening


  • Bin Bags
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitising Gel & Pocket Tissues – we all carried a bottle of gel and some tissues with us so were set for visiting the toilets!
  • Matches
  • Newspaper – great for outside the tent if it is wet
  • Washing up liquid
  • Ear Defenders for littlies
  • Rucksacks for the daytime
  • Phone Charger – I have just have a battery powered one and it does the job fine
  • Camera
  • Colouring Books/Pens
  • Pack of Cards
  • Couple of storybooks
  • Kattoos – we got sent a pack of these temporary phone number tattoos for the girls


  • Shower Gel
  • Shampoo/Conditioner – we don’t worry too much about showering while we’re there BUT last year it was really hot setting up so we did need a shower to freshen up after, and if you got really wet/muddy/cold it might be nice
  • Ear Plugs
  • Eye Mask
  • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
  • Make-up
  • Deodorant
  • First aid kit – including suncream/aloe vera


  • Wellies
  • Sandals
  • Fleeces
  • Raincoats
  • PJ’s
  • Onsies – most certainly NOT for daywear, but I loved my fleecy one come bedtime – it kept me warm all night long!
  • Plenty of underwear
  • Outfit for each day – kids take t-shirts/leggings plus a spare or two
  • Tutu’s/Fairy Wings – festival essentials!

And that’s it! Aside from food of course, but I have a separate post coming about feeding a family at a festival. Have I missed anything?! What are your essentials for a festival?


  1. July 16, 2014 / 09:59

    What a great list. I am loving the idea of the fairy lights – when we went camping we struggled with the little torches we took so can’t say enough how important lighting was. Have you got something to keep milk cool in?

  2. July 16, 2014 / 12:02

    I love you added tutus and fairy wings in. They are indeed essentials! I hope you have a lovely day sweetie. I remember, when we were younger, we used to go to cornwall for our holiday and my parents would wake us at around 1/2am so we would sleep in the car but we never did and had the same experience as you but they still did it each year and never learnt ha! x

  3. July 16, 2014 / 13:33

    Some really useful tips here. We’ve never tried camping or festivals, but I’m thinking that we really ought to.

  4. July 16, 2014 / 14:36

    You seem very well prepared. My son is going to his first camp at the weekend and is very excited. I’m going to bookmark the katoos, what a great idea.

  5. July 16, 2014 / 15:38

    Amazing list and I will use it next year when we are official camp bestival bloggers too :) x

  6. July 16, 2014 / 16:29

    Such a great list, you really have thought of everything!
    We went to Camp Bestival 2012 and we had a blast seeing Minxy’s fav Rizzle Kick in particular.

    Have a great time x

  7. July 16, 2014 / 16:33

    I love a good list and have been known to have lists about lists. Great ideas, have a fabulous time xx

  8. July 16, 2014 / 17:07

    Love the idea of the tutus and fairy lights. And the tattoos sound useful in any big event. Will check those out. Hope you have fun.

  9. July 16, 2014 / 17:57

    This is a great list, when we go to our first festival I will definitely be back to read through it. I always forget things! x

  10. July 16, 2014 / 17:58

    there’s times when lists are super useful and i think any kind of camping thing is one of them!

  11. July 16, 2014 / 20:48

    Fab list. I’m going to have to pin this for later! Love that pic and I don’t envy you camping while pregnant!

  12. July 16, 2014 / 20:55

    I’m envious of you off to Bestival. It sounds like should a great festival for kids too. Your tips are great (especially that one about the makeshift night lights). Will be bookmarking this for future reference!

  13. July 16, 2014 / 21:11

    What a great list – really helpful for other families! Not something I would ever do – camp with my lot though lol!

  14. July 16, 2014 / 22:37

    I think you’ve covered it there. It sounds very exciting. I don’t think I’m cut out for festivals anymore, but will come back to this when we start camping again

  15. July 17, 2014 / 00:19

    Oh my goodness I don’t own 1 tent let alone that many.
    You are a real pro. I only wish I was, it would make it way cheaper than dorms if I do go to the European Yoga Festival this year.
    This post will help so many people.
    Liska x

  16. July 17, 2014 / 13:12

    Great list and I love your ambient lighting solution!! :)

  17. July 18, 2014 / 11:36

    Great list. I’ve never been camping and would love to take the kids now but I’d be scared and wouldn’t have a clue what to take so I def need to bookmark this :) Have fun at the festival x

  18. July 18, 2014 / 14:28

    Wow Polly, this is a great list. I was trying to find something to add to it but coming up empty :-()

  19. July 18, 2014 / 15:00

    Brilliant list – in fact this would work for a long stay camping holiday too! Would never have thought of taking a ‘storage’ tent!

  20. July 19, 2014 / 21:05

    cor! thats a not of stuff! Great to be prepared though, this is what worries me about going to a festival and not being able to drive, although I suppose there are only 3 of us! x

  21. July 20, 2014 / 00:32

    Have a wonderful time! Great list of what to take, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start myself. x

  22. July 21, 2014 / 07:19

    Adding this to my favourites list – I have no idea what to take, although we already have the fairy lights……you are taking a lot of tents too…..we only have one and have more people than you #eek

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