Ah, the Festival Virgin. We’ve all been one. Nervous and unsure, traipsing through a field nearly crippled by a backpack bigger than ourselves, glancing around at our fellowmen drunk at 9am lying comatose in mounds of mud and burger sauce. An exciting time, but one fraught with apprehension. Have you brought enough provisions? Can you really survive for 4-5 nights in this lawless tent wasteland? Well fear not, RHV is here to save the day and give you ample warning. Here are the ten most pointless camping items for a festival:
1. A Torch – You will convince yourself that this is absolutely essential. The campsite will be forseen as a pitch-black pit with only the glare of your tiny flashlight to reassure you of your own safely / sanity. Upon the first night, you will invariably realise that these days, a festival campsite is more like a holiday park (albeit a pretty depraved one) with huge floodlights illuminating all but the very darkest recesses. If you do happen to bring a torch, it will be lost on the first night, never to be seen again among the crisp bags and empty beer cans that constitute your home for the next few days.
2. Deodorant – No, no and thrice no. You think anyone cares how you smell? Everyone at a self-respecting music festival smells like ass, and as should you. When you’re on your stinky little back at 4 in the morning, drunkenly rolling down a hill for no discernable reason, ‘I need to bust out the Sure!’ won’t cross your addled mind.
3. A cheap inflatable bed – A brilliant idea at the time. Who wants to splash out on an expensive airbed when you can nab one of these bad boys for a fiver and be super comfortable all weekend right? Wrong. Somehow, this will be popped immediately. Or fail to inflate altogether. Man up and sleep on a mat.
4. Camping stoves – By all means, bring food to a festival. Snacks will be your staple diet on top of the odd suspect burger in the arena. Don’t be a fool and bring a hefty stove with you though, chances are you and your campmates will be way too inebriated to work it, and would end up torching yourselves and those around you. If you must bring a heavy array of tinned goods, eat ‘em cold or build a sneaky fire. You’ll feel less of a pussy and more like Bear Grylls (please don’t drink your own urine though, it’s generally frowned upon, even at a festival.)
5. A multitude of different outfits – One of the oddest things about this time of year is the number of ‘Festival Collections’ that are now in the shops, encouraging you to splash out on new clothes and accessories for the soul purpose of trashing them in a field. Strange, no? It’s likely that for the duration of your time, you’ll wear approximately 2 t-shirts and the same grizzly pair of jeans. These will reek and be covered in filth in seconds. Just take passable old things, you’re there to have a good time, not be snapped by Vogue.
6. Flip flops – Just no.
7. Shower gel – It may be tempting to bring this in the off chance that you may, at some point, have the chance to enjoy a shower. Indeed, you may. But festival showers are not your average shower, no no. Following a wait of hours, they will chill you to bone and make you want to die. Really, not worth it.
8. Ipods - Why? You’re at a music festival. There will be sufficient music without you bringing an pricy little gadget with you that will invariably be -
A) Crushed by rampaging Slipknot fans in a mosh pit
B) Stolen by the multitude of shifty characters that flock to these events for a weekend’s stealin’.
C) Lost on some drunken escapde in the middle of the night.
9. A CD player – On the flip side, however there’s always at least one guy who believes deep down that everyone around him will have the exact same taste in music as him, and will blast this day and night from a hefty CD player riiiiiight next to where you’re camping. Apart from the few that may enjoy this, to everyone else it is a needless assault on the ears, an obnoxious musical wall-pissing like that from a territorial and vicious cat. Don’t be that guy. A CD player is heavy and an enraged fellow camper may smash your head in with it if you insist on blasting Green Day at 7am.
10. Musical Instruments – “What fun!” you may think, “to carry a cumbersome acoustic guitar to a festival, imagine the endless japes I’ll have impressing young and old alike with my note-perfect rendition of ‘Stairway To Heaven.’ Oh yes, the crowd will love this.” No. Don’t do it. Your beloved guitar will sit forlorn, looking hopefully at you as you drink yourself senseless. When you do endeavour to play it you’ll be so wasted that young and old alike will avoid your tent at all costs and laugh mercilessly at you behind your back.
You have been warned…