Festival Weather - hoping for the best but planning for the worst

Anyone that goes to a festival in the UK knows to take wellies. Wellingtons have become a staple item in the wardrobe of the festival fan because whether it rains or not there will be damp bits. Often these damp bits will be near the showers, or the water points, or the toilets...we shall not dwell here.

Wellies have come a long way from the days where green was fancy and black was normal. Now there are glitter wellies, fancy patterned wellies, wellies that look like shoes or regular books, wellies that have jewels and probably even bells.

But wellies are not the only prep you need for a UK festival. The very first festival I ever attended was Eastern Haze in Suffolk. IT rained. It rained for days. The field become a swamp. The lorries to empty the toilets became stuck in the mud, the toilets over flowed, the car park was a lake. Oh and my tent pole broke.

As you can imagine, surviving this was the best fun ever and I was then hooked on festivals for ever! As was my then seven year old daughter.

And it made me realise that you need to be prepared. Be prepared for everything, and also have an attitude that 'it's only a few days, this too shall pass' and of course think of it as an adventure and a great place to make memories.

So on to the planning, and the packing and the top tips around weather.

Do not pitch on the very top of a hill with all that lovely wind all around. Do not pitch under a tree where branches could fall on you. Do not pitch in a gully or valley at the bottom of a steep slope. You are looking for a reasonable amount of shelter from the wind while not putting yourself in the way of the water drainage should it rain.

So you are pitched. But what have you packed to wear? Well all your fabulous festival clothing of course but also let's prepare for the worst the UK might throw at us. Those of you that survived last year's Camp Bestival will have experienced pretty bad weather. And those of you that joined me at Boomtowm will know about rain. This year's Download has already fared similarly.

Despite my hoping to use less plastic I do think packing those disposable plastic ponchos is a good idea. They are clear so everyone will still be able to admire your festival outfits, they are tiny when packed so you can bung a few into your bag and it won't matter if you don't need them, and they are cheap. At the festival sellers will charge anything from £2 to £5 each but you can usually buy them in Poundland (£1 for 2) or get them online much cheaper. (Amazon affiliate link to a pack of 20 for under £5)

If you have seen a forecast and know it really is going to rain, and a lot, then take a real raincoat. But if you take the sort of coat that really needs to dry out (as opposed to a plastic mac) then you will be setting yourself up for a damp tent interior, so unless you have plenty of hanging space you'll be best off with something like this one.

Obviously you have wellies. But don't forget socks. Not just one pair a day - take a couple, there is nothing so good as dry feet for keeping you warm and helping keep you healthy and happy. Take some nice bed socks too.

Take a jumper or two in case it gets really chilly, it will be cooler at night anyway and if it's windy and rains then you'll appreciate the warmth. A onesie is good too - but beware of getting wet soggy onesie legs if it rains a lot.

Having dry clothes to wear each day will make you feel better. Jeans are the worst when wet, so you might want to avoid those, funnily enough wearing shorts in the rain if the rest of you is warm is not too bad, or of course some glittery gold leggings.

When you go out and about during the day, leave your clothes in a black plastic bag. Keep your sleeping bag in a bin bag too. This way if the tent leaks (ours did at Boomtown) you won't come back to damp clothes.

If there is not much wind an umbrella might be useful, but rather like festival trolleys you need to take care. The clear tulip shaped ones (like this one) are a good choice.
Take a woolly hat, or a fun fur hat, or any hat really, but a soft one will be good to sleep in should the night be cold.

So there are the top tips:
Take : wellies, plastic ponchos, bin bags, an umbrella, a hat, lots of socks, a onesie, a jumper, a coat and a waterproof picnic blanket (so you can sit on the muddy grass during the day - at least until it becomes a deep swamp)
Pitch : away from trees, in a not too open location, avoid the very bottom of steep hills.

Don't worry about staying mud-free, you can shower when you get home. And have the best fun ever. What have I forgotten? Please let me know!

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