Download Festival 2018 — What We’re Taking to the UK’s Biggest Rock + Metal Festival

Last time we graced the hallowed fields of Download Festival in 2016 — it rained. In fact, it rained so much that the newspapers were full of snaps of festival-goers with their wellies stuck in the mud, their tents floating away and Download was, quite rightly, dubbed “Drownload”.

We said RIP to our tent. I guess it wasn’t as waterproof as we’d hoped with droplets of rainwater running down the sides and pooling underneath our bed, bags and belongings. Everything was covered in muck. Everything was soaked.

->> READ MORE: The A to Z of Download Festival 2016 <<-

This year, we’ve had to restock our camping supplies and start from scratch as we lost pretty much everything we had when it came to festival essentials and so here’s the low-down on what we’re taking with us to Download Festival next month…

This post contains affiliate links through Amazon UK so if you purchase any items through these links I’ll receive a small fee (thank you!) I’ve also been gifted some of the products included in this post which you’ll notice I’ve marked with an *

What to pack for Download Festival 2018

Starting with the basics, our festival trolley wasn’t a match for the mud so we’ve managed to get our hands on another one that should be a LOT easier to deal with. You can buy a similar trolley here.

We’re also taking our 2 camping chairs but if you haven’t got any yet, you can usually pick them up from the shops in the village on offer for 2 for £15. If you want to buy some now, I’d suggest this as it’s similar to what we have with a handy drinks holder in one of the arms!

You’re going to need your tickets (obviously!), any car parking pass you may need and in your purse or wallet make sure to pack your money, identification and bank cards. Despite the additional security precautions, I’m still taking a bag into the arena and I’m in LOVE with this Banned Apparel Esotericat Bag* that Blue Banana sent over for the festival. It fits in my purse, camera, iPhone and Regatta Pack It Jacket* so it’s just the right size.

Download Festival 2018 Pack Bag Coat Purse

Instead of getting a locker this year, we’re going to try and charge everything on this awesome power pack* from GP Designs. It can charge a smartphone up to around 8x and a tablet twice with the ability to charge 2 devices simultaneously as well. It also benefits from a 4-tier protection system to prevent over-heating and over-charging issues. Mike and I are hoping that this will keep our phones topped up all weekend and it’s going to be so much easier knowing that we can plug both phones in overnight to charge at the same time.

–> READ MORE: Packing For A Festival (Includes FREE Print-Off Checklist) <–

Getting a good night’s sleep at Download Festival 2018

When it came to the looking at tents this time around, we wanted to make sure we were prepared should the rain decide to make an appearance again. Regatta very kindly sent us their Karuna Vis-A-Vis 6-Man Tent* a few weeks ago and I’ll be able to give you some feedback on our thoughts after the festival.

Karuna Vis-A Vis 6-Man Tent Nautic Laser Regatta

We chose this particular tent for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s spacious with the option of either 2/3 bedrooms and it’s high enough for you to stand up in. We’ll be using 2 of the bedrooms between our party with the living space/3rd bedroom being used to store anything that’s damp or covered in mud to keep the bedrooms clean, dry and cosy.

Secondly, it’s very waterproof with a whopping 10,000mm hydrostatic head for the sewn-in groundsheet and 5000mm for the flysheet. To put that into context, a tent needs just a 1000mm hydrostatic head to be considered “waterproof” and our previous tent was 2000mm so, in theory, this should be 5x more waterproof than what we had over our heads last time. The canopy over the side doors also prevents rain from dripping inside the tent as well.

Finally, it’s got lots of additional plus points such as brightly-coloured guy lines for visibility, internal pockets and hanging points, darkened bedrooms for privacy and a better night’s sleep and a zipped entry cable point which, whilst not necessary for Download, will serve us well when we take the tent away with us on our family break to Devon in September.

Don’t forget to take a rubber mallet to help you get your tent pegs in and you might want to buy some small combination padlocks to keep your things safe and secure. Essentially, they’re just a deterrence and some say that they’re showing that you have something worth stealing inside but the way I see it, thieves are more likely to get away with snatching belongings from a tent that isn’t locked than trying to hack their way through one that is, right?

Download Festival 2018 Packing Powerbank Water Carrier Padlocks Ear Plugs

We’re also taking ear plugs with us so we can try and get some shut-eye (sleep moves way up on your list of priorities when you become parents!) together with some pillows and a double sleeping bag*. Our sleeping bag is from Regatta and cleverly turns into two singles, if needed. It’s cotton-lined which should really make it feel like a home-away-from-home keeping things cool and breathable if the weather is warm, or cosy and comfortable if the weather turns.

Festival Sleeping Bag Double Regatta Cotton-Lined

We’ve got a camping lantern* from VARTA which is water-resistant and has an integrated hook for hanging in our living area. Taking just 3 x AA batteries, the lantern can produce warm, white light or amber light (which is great for keeping insects at bay) and has a useful dimming function.

We’re also taking a torch* from GP Designs for any late-night trips to the portaloos! It’s got a handy on/off switch at the bottom which is really easy to use and takes 4 x AAA batteries. It is super bright for those dark nights and looks as though it’s really robust and durable as well.

Lastly, we’ll be sleeping on a flocked air bed* from Regatta which is made from puncture-resistant PVC and if the worst should happen, it also includes a repair kit as standard. We’ve also bought a foot pump to get it blown up and ready at the beginning of the weekend.

Download Festival 2018 Packing Lantern Wipes Tissues Torch

Health and hygiene at Download Festival 2018

I’m hoping for some glorious weather for the weekend and I know that just ten minutes in the sun can turn me into a lobster! I’ve also got sensitive skin having suffered from a really bad bout of eczema recently so I’ll be slathering on the SPF30 sun protection* from Green People. As usual, it’s cruelty-free and vegan and this sun cream is also organic and kind to skin. After paying well over-the-odds for some aftersun* at Download a few years ago, I’ll be taking some with us just incase it’s needed! Oh, and sunglasses too!

Download Festival 2018 Packing List Suncream Dry Shampoo Toothbrushes Sunglasses

I also paid £7 one year for some antihistamines. SEVEN POUNDS! For one of those 99p 1-a-day boxes. So, I’m taking my own together with some 19p paracetamol — it can’t hurt to be prepared!

We’re taking eco-friendly toothbrushes* and toothpaste* from WooBamboo and we’ve bought a new water carrier to collect water from the taps.

I also take toiletries such as a hairbrush, bobbles and dry shampoo, pocket tissues and biodegradable wipes together with some cheap makeup, mini bottles of anti-bac gel and deodorant.

Other essentials for Download Festival 2018

(a) Refuse sacks. These can double up as somewhere to sit on the ground if things start to get muddy, waterproof socks to keep your feet dry (yes, really!) and bags for rubbish, washing etc.

(b) Duct tape. Need to patch up a hole in your tent? How about securing things to your festival trolley that keep falling off? There’s so many ingenious ways to make use of some duct tape!

(c) Bluetooth speaker. To keep spirits high whilst you’re spending time in the campsites.

(d) Drinks and plastic or stainless steel tumblers. Remember that you can’t take glass in so you’ll need to transfer any spirits into plastic bottles beforehand.

(e) FoodWe usually just take snacks to grab on-the-go as we spend most of our time in the village or arena so we’ll eat from the vendors there instead.

(f) Clothes, underwear, socks and wellies/boots.

(g) You might want to take some personal items such as condoms and sanitary products.

Are you coming to Download Festival this year? Which band are you looking forward to seeing the most? Let me know!

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11 Comments

  1. May 31, 2018 / 10:39 PM

    It sounds like you’re going to have an amazing time and if I ever go to a festival I’ll be coming back to check out your list of things to take!

  2. June 1, 2018 / 1:47 AM

    I’m loving my festival dreams vicariously through you! I can’t wait to see pics etc!

    This list is fab for our camping trips this year too, no festivals as yet, but couple only and family trips are on the cards and there’s some stuff I didn’t think of xx

  3. June 1, 2018 / 7:16 AM

    What a brilliant list. I love being able to check things off! Have a fab time 🙂

  4. June 1, 2018 / 7:26 AM

    I will definitely be popping back to check out this amazing list. I think you sound completely well prepared… Have an amazing time, and I hope the rain stays away (I have done a very muddy Glastonbury once, never again!)… 😀

  5. June 1, 2018 / 11:10 AM

    Oh wow how cool, I am sure that you will have an amazing time!! The tent looks fab x

  6. June 2, 2018 / 10:59 AM

    Oh wow, have a fabulous time at the festival! Great picks, these – I do love camping, myself. 🙂

  7. June 3, 2018 / 2:07 PM

    A must have is that waterproof tent, which looks like it will do the job nicely. It’s great it’s big enough to stand up in, saves hurting your neck!

  8. June 3, 2018 / 7:22 PM

    A buddy of mine goes every year and loves it, it always look fantastic if its dry ha have a blast lovely

  9. June 5, 2018 / 2:18 PM

    I met my boyfriend at Download festival. I got to talking to him because he had his pockets duct taped up to prevent pick pockets in the crowd. There’s a good use for the sticky stuff, haha!

    Katie xoxo

  10. June 10, 2018 / 9:42 PM

    Great and thorough list – have a great time #linkylikey