Showing posts with label comfort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comfort. Show all posts

Essential camping accessories for a festival

Today's top tips are around festival essentials and are from Rhian who blogs over at Rhian Westbury.

The first time I camped at a festival was Reading Festival in 2008 and since then I’ve done over 30 of them which is crazy considering I was never a fan of camping as a kid. There’s something about being relaxed and chilled with your friends knowing you’re going to be listening to a whole load of music that makes camping feel that bit more acceptable. Over the years’ I have made do with items which probably weren’t right for me, but also discovered some gems for camping at a festival so here’s some essentials you need.

A double skinned tent
This might seem like an obvious one, course you’ll need a tent when camping, but a double skinned one is what is important. UK festivals are notoriously unpredictable with their weather so you need as much protection as possible from the elements. These kinds of tents don’t have to be expensive but it’s worth while if you’re not sleeping in a pool of water.

An inflatable mattress
I managed to last until this year with just a carry mat and every year my shoulders and back would ache like anything but this year I decided to buy an inflatable mattress and it was the best thing I think I’ve ever bought. It was only about a tenner from argos but it meant that sleeping was so much more comfortable and I didn’t have the hard floor underneath me digging into my sides.

Portable phone charger
While the best option is to take a super old school phone which would hold charge for days on an end, most of us don’t want to do this and still want to be able to Instagram photos of what we’re up to so a portable phone charger is essential. Whether it’s because you’ve drained battery taking photos or phoning your friend during their favourite song you need power in case you’re split up from your party and need to see where they are.

A camping chair
For many people festivals are as much about the social side as they are the music so most people will want to go and grab some drinks and have a chill after the music has finished, There’s nothing worse than sitting on the floor when you’ve been on your feet all day and a simple camping chair can provide loads of comfort.

A headlamp
Festivals can get pretty dark at night and even if you think you know your way back to your tent from the nearest toilets things look totally different at night. A headlamp means you have your hands free (you’ll be thankful of this when you’re trying to hold it while on the loo) and it means you can see those pesky guy ropes on others tents so you don’t trip over.

If you’re planning to head to a festival next summer remember to pack for all weather conditions because you never know, and remember flip flops are never comfortable or fun to wear regardless of how hot it is. Have fun and enjoy yourselves.

You can follow Rhian over on twitter too

Festival Trolley - The best and the worst thing ever

I own a festival trolley. I don't even have the excuse that I have a toddler (or toddlers) that may need to rest their legs. I didn't buy it until DD was well past the toddler stage but it's a great investment...and I love my festival trolley.

But I also hate festival trolleys. They are large and cumbersome and while once maybe 10% of families at family festivals had one, I think that it's now closer to 80% and not everyone seems aware of any trolley etiquette.

I tend to see myself in 'trolley-mummy-mode' as one of the lucky ones, I have a built in sofa if I stop, somewhere to store all the stuff I need day to day, and at the start and end of a festival I can get my camping stuff to and from the car without too much effort, and without queueing for (or paying for) a hire trolley.

So let's look at the positives and negatives of owning a festival trolley. And also let's think about the responsibility trolley use (either your own or a hired one) brings with it at a festival.


I have saved money. I attend about 4 festivals a year on average. A festival trolley to hire, even just for the set up and packing up time is about £10 for 30 minutes. It invariably takes me 2 hours to get everything to or from my pitch, partly as I'm disabled and partly as I don't have to rush, but still, at £99 to own a trolley (which was what I paid) that's a big saving year after year. Plus I can use the trolley during the festival itself.

I save time (and effort). I don't have to queue for a hire trolley and sometimes the wait is long. Also as I'm not paying by the hour there is no stress to 'hurry up' I can take my own sweet time on the actual trundle to my campsite if I want to.

Transport. A trolley holds a lot, it saves numerous trips to the car and during the day it saves popping back to the tent. It's easy to bring umbrellas, coats, waterproofs, suncream, snacks, chairs...anything, without worrying how you will lug it about all day.

A trolley with a cushion in makes a fine temporary sofa (assuming it's not full of everything else you own) so it's handy to let down one side down when you need a rest, it also works well as a picnic table.

You can decorate them and look super fun, kids love them, many festivals have themes and dress up days (Camp Bestival even has a Pimp My Trolley event) so it's great fun to join in.


You have to store it somewhere. At home if you have a garage or a large garden shed that's fine, but it's big and heavy, you are not going to pop it into a loft or have it in the corner of a lounge. At a camp site or festival if you decide not to drag it around with you all day then you need somewhere safe to stow it - so a large space in the tent is a good idea, although I sometimes use tent pegs to just fix it near the tent.

Not only must you store it but you must transport it. You need to be able to fit the trolley into your car along with all of your camping gear. The trolley does break down a bit but even so the smallest bit is pretty large.

It's heavy and if you take it apart for transport you need to put it together again which takes time.

Hills - Camp Bestival and Glastonbury suffer from hills , trolleys can be hard work on the way up and scary when fully laden on the way down!

The trolleys are not cheap to buy, while they easily save money in the long term, the initial outlay is large.


IMO you need to be a polite trolley user. Here are my etiquette rules for the trolley user.
  • Trolleys do not have right of way, even if baby Tarquin is asleep in them on a Boden mini-duvet.
  • Trolleys hurt if you crash into people. Walk slowly and carefully and check your turns.
  • Trolleys will block the view of a toddler. Do not position them near the front of the crowd.
  • Trolleys are large and tricky in a crowd, stay near the back if you think you might need to leave early, or be prepared to wait until the crowd has dispersed before you can trundle your way out.
  • Not only in a crowd at a festival stage but in a crowded festival campsite, think about your route from your tent, if others camp all around you, you may find yourself trapped in a see of guy ropes with no exit! Camp near a pathway or fire break.
  • Trolleys get muddy, do not run over people's blankets as they sit picnicking.
  • Adults should remain in charge of trolleys even if children are playing with them, ensure they are not getting in people's way or causing injuries.

So - trolleys. Love them or hate them? Do you have one? Has this tempted you to get one?

I bought mine at a local garden centre but you can also buy them (various styles) from Amazon.

Garden Trolley - Green (several sizes available - mine is super huge!)
Garden Truck - Black
Folding Canvas Trolley (I often see these broken by the wayside at festivals!) - Red
Wooden Wagon - very cute to look at!

I'd love to know your 'trolley opinion' on my Facebook Page 

Workforce socks, for walking and working - review

I don’t do much walking anymore, but when I do I like to wear proper walking boots and thick socks. Getting out into the countryside needs to be a comfy experience, no one wants blisters! And without proper foot wear you can risk, wet feet, sweaty feet (yuk), cold feet and just general discomfort. Especially important if you are walking each day over a period of time too as your feet have no time to heal. Most walkers spend a fair bit on boots and waterproof clothing but can be less discerning when it comes to socks. I have been reviewing some Workforce socks and not only do they look the part, they are nice and thick and comfy too. Sized correctly they don’t bunch up in my walking socks and give great cushioning support when I’m walking.

If you are looking for a comfy, soft and cushioning walking sock with a classic look, that is also hardwearing, you could do a lot worse than Workforce socks

Workforce also have socks designed specifically for wetter working conditions. The Classic Thermal Sock features full terry cushion footbed for the maximum comfort and shock absorption with 90% acrylic to ensure the cold is kept out all day. 

Workforce Long Boot Socks offer increased support to  the heel, toe and arch areas, ensuring greater durability.
Workforce socks are also the perfect choice for industry professionals, for a wide array of different DIY projects or simply for ensuring maximum comfort and support when worn for a number of different activities.  With 17 different designs currently included in the range, practicality is always a priority and Workforce guarantees to provide a hard working sock that doesn’t compromise on style or comfort. 
For more information please contact
Disclosure. I was sent several pairs of socks for the purposes of this review but the opinions and wording are my own.

HeatHolder Socks, a warm feet review

When I go camping one of the things I like is laying in my bed at night, snug and warm, listening to rabbits and foxes and who knows what snuffingly about around the tent. Some evenings it’s harder to feel warm and snuggly than others though. If you’ve spent a day in rain on a windswept hillside, or in a chilly lake water skiing (I have never done that so I’m guessing) or wandering about a festival, scantily clad in fancy dress on a drizzly British summer day (I have done this one) it can be hard to get warmed up again. As I have poor circulation due to Charcot-Marie-Tooth my feet are often freezing even on a warm day, on a cold day you could use them to chill champagne.

So I was pleased to be asked to review some HeatHolder products, including some simply super socks! They are so warm and snuggly and fluffy inside. I tried them on on my cold feet and really felt the difference almost immediately. They are really soft and thick, the inside brushed layer is like candyfloss (less sticky obviously) and they felt just dreamy. I was also sent a blanket which will be perfect for evenings sitting in the tent, or in a camp chair near the fire, and over my sleeping bag on colder nights.

If you suffer from chilly feet keeping you awake I would recommend trying some HeatHolders. They also make cute welly socks, that not only make your wellies look snazzy but stop the tops rubbing your legs when you are in your festival shorts, and of course keep your feet super warm even when in cold festival mud.

Whichever festivals you choose to go to this year you will see amazing sights, meet lots of people and witness great entertainment – but don’t forget to make sure you’re prepared for the British weather!

Heat Holders have a number of thermal products in their range, including socks, wellington socks, blankets, thermal underwear, jumpers, neck warmers, hats, gloves, tights and leggings, and are available to buy online at and at various high street retailers.

Disclosure. I was sent socks and a blanket for the purposes of this review but the opinions and wording are my own.

Camping in the last last week of october has taught me....

1. It is not darkest just before the dawn, but it is coldest.
2. Baked beans are amazing for breakfast and warm your very soul.
3. The best way to get warm is to get dressed & do the washing up.
4. A sleeping bag, a duvet, pjs, a hat & bed socks can make a subzero night toasty warm.
5. Taking extra gas is a good idea.
6. Instant porridge is the invention of a genius.
7. Showering is over-rated.
8. 2 girls aged 10&11 can amuse themselves for hours at a time in the countryside.
9. I can still read a book in 3 days when I have time!
10. Caravan's are for wimps :-)
11. The English countryside is gorgeous in the sun, not always warm, but always beautiful.
12. Birdwatching is fun (tawny owl, buzzard, kestrel, spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, crows)

Have you camped in a tent this late in the year?
Did you enjoy it?
Would you consider doing it?

Night night, sleep tight - Camping sleep mats review

For a long time I have searched for the perfect comfy night's sleep when camping. As I'm in my 50s the simple thin foam mat favo...