The Essential Festival Packing List for Families

A festival packing list is so important when preparing for a family festival this festival season. It could prove the difference between a fun-filled festival camping experience, and a weekend washout.

Before you create your festival packing list, it’s worth considering things like the budget you have to spend, the size of your family and any other family allowances in order to ensure that the weekend goes off without any hitches.

Once you know the specifics, you can compile a festival checklist of your own. But there are some very essential products that are simply must-haves in every festival packing list.

Whether you’re going rustic with the entire family – old and young – at Chipping Norton’s Cornbury Music Festival, or sampling the trendier delights of the Latitude Festival, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will ensure a comfortable weekend for all.

Transporting Your Stuff

Festivals are typically very accommodating to their guests, but this doesn’t mean they’ll ferry you directly into a readily-erected bivouac. Organisers provide campsites – unfortunately, these are often apart from parking areas.

A sturdy pull along trolley is a key include in your festival packing list. It needs to provide adequate space for your festival tent and accessories, possess big wheels capable of transporting most of your belongings across sometimes uneven terrain, and store away as easily as everything else you’ve brought along.

Festival Tent

Over the weekend, you’ll need a large family tent that is big enough to accommodate your entire family and all belongings. This means that the tent will need to contain two compartments: a sleeping area and a living area. Most large tents offer this as well as ample standing room, UV protection and water resistance against the elements. Leave nothing to chance when choosing a suitable festival tent to add to your festival packing list.


Sleeping bag, air bed or inflatable mat? This is a vital festival camping question to ask yourself when compiling your festival packing list. In some cases, you can find all three on a festival packing list of essentials because each is very affordable and has its specific benefits; whether it be body support, additional insulation or just practicality.

It really depends on what the occasion calls for: if you, or a family member, battle with stiffness or soreness, then an air bed provides greater cushioning against the hardness of the ground. Inflatable mats perform a very similar function to a lesser degree. Though, when considering options that require inflation, remember that you will also need to purchase an air pump to inflate it, and that is an additional piece of kit in an already packed bundle.

Sleeping bags are no-fuss sleeping solutions: they can keep you warm and pack away effortlessly. They’re ideal for young children. If you’re going down this route, remain conscious of size. They must be big enough to be zipped all the way up with the user inside, and small enough not to leave too much excess space. Enter the sleeping bag and kick around - if you have enough space to flail your legs comfortably then you’re onto a winner.


Bring your own cook sets; make your own food and save yourself potential aggravation searching around for suitable, affordable sustenance. Add a lightweight, easy to store cook set that includes pots, pans and serving bowls that can be cleaned easily after use, to your festival packing list.

Of course, you also need some way to cook the food you bring, so buy a decent portable gas cooker and some gas. Whether it has one or more hobs, the cooker you buy should support a pot with a large helping of food capable of feeding the entire family – it’s a great timesaver.


Nowadays, there are less and less excuses not to cook on camping excursions – especially with the storability of the highly-transportable dining tables, chairs and tableware on the market.

Foldable tables are readily available making outdoor dining feel like second nature (excuse the pun). A folding table should definitely be added to your festival packing list. Be sure to pick up a table made of good, durable material like steel with a large surface for several tableware items.