Outdoors: How to Pack for a Festival

SO as you know I’m off to Pembrokeshire next weekend to attend The Big Retreat Wales – it’s a whole weekend dedicated to the mind, body and soul experience. I’ll be camping the weekend so I’ve started a ‘to pack list.’  This is the first time I’ve been camping on my own and I usually rely a lot on Rik to make sure we’ve got everything! This time I want to ensure I’ve got everything and hopefully assist you if you’re going to a festival this summer and are wondering what to take.

The Big Retreat Wales

Remember there are so many different types of festivals out there, that you’ll have to bring different things for different needs BUT hopefully this will give you an idea.

Getting there…. 

I’ll be taking a 5 1/2 hour train journey from Llangollen to Lawrenny. I want to travel easily so I’ve decided that I won’t be taking a popup tent because they’re not easily attached to rucksacks and with it being the bank holiday weekend, I can imagine the trains will be packed so I’d rather a nicely tucked away rucksack with my tent attached at the bottom!



I’ve decided to take a two man tent with me because I’ll be in it for 4 nights (I’m traveling down and camping the night before it begins) and a one man or bivvy can be quite claustrophobic for long periods of time.  We got a new snow proof tent mainly for the winter but since you never know what the weather is like in Wales, I’d rather be warm and dry than wet and cold. I’ve put it up a few times so I know what to do. There’s nothing worse if the weather isn’t that great, not knowing how to put a tent up!   I’m also taking a season 3 /4 sleeping bag because again being warm rocks.  To save room, I’m doubling my yoga mat up as my camping mat. There will be lots of yoga type classes at The Big Retreat Wales so it makes sense to bring one and repurpose it.


Food is always a concern when you’re camping. Luckily there will be food vendors there and even a veggie deli!  However, if you’re on a budget then it’s best to bring a few staples with you that cook easily and quickly on a campfire or a camping cooker.  The plan is to bring my two jet boils and use one for drinks and the other for ‘one pot’ meals.

  • Couscous (so good they named it twice)  lightweight to carry and takes 5 minutes to sit in veggie stock and cook.  It can be eaten in a breakfast, dinner or tea;
  • Pasta or noodles again are lightweight and don’t take long to cook. Measure out your daily portions and transfer it to a freezer bag as it saves carrying any unnecessary packaging;
  • Broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, onions and chocolate don’t spoil easily and nuts and berries certainly don’t need a fridge;
  • I always bring tortillas because they’re a better alternative to bread and light (on the stomach & the pack);
  • Olive oil and seasoning are important for flavorsome cooking. I will take small quantities in travel sized bottles that the likes of shampoo usually goes into;
  • Dishcloth/ washing up liquid/ travel size toiletries/ water bottle;
  • 1 pan (can be doubled up as a frying pan), plate, spork, chopping knife, green tea bags.


Since the Big Retreat Wales is full of exercise based classes, comfortable, loose clothing is a must but also I’ll be doing a bit of kayaking, foraging and of course sleeping under the stars so there needs to be variety as well as remembering to keep my pack weight down.  I don’t want to be lugging a small elephant around…

The Big Retreat Wales

The plan:

  • 2 x yoga trousers;
  • 3 sweat proof tops;
  • 1 hoody  / small jumper for the chilly evenings;
  • 1 x pair of  canvas shoes for rambling around the campsite;
  • 1 x walking boots which I’ll wear on the way down;
  • 1 x waterproof but lightweight hiking trousers which I’ll wear on the way down;
  • A base layer ( I always sleep in one when camping);
  • A few pairs of leggings with some lightweight and comfortable tops for the evening when the bands are on;
  • 2 x DryU microfiber towels which I adore for their minimum weight and how well they dry you;
  • Must remember the socks!


  • I’ll be bringing my trusty DryU 15 L Dry bag to put my cooking equipment and food in.  It also doubles up for putting a change of clothing in should I get wet during a kayaking session!
  • I’m taking a power pack with me to charge up my phone.
  • I’ll be bringing a waterproof handheld camera for wet days and a small video camera.

I’m planning to fit most of this in my 60L rucksack with the exception of food, cooking equipment, and technology.

Would love to know your tips on festival packing and what you think of my list – can it be improved in any way?



2 thoughts on “Outdoors: How to Pack for a Festival

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