we really went to camp bestival – i know!

oh me oh my, i said yes, and then i didn’t think about it for a while. i then thought i’d better start getting prepared for this, so i asked some questions, i made a list, i bought the things on the list, it came, i put it upstairs.

then last week, became the week. the week when were to go to camp bestival, the week where the HPMcQ family camping. i know i know, you can stop laughing right now, i was little bit scared.

now don’t you be fooled that we are going to be in ones of those tents that we would have to put up ourselves, no no NO, don’t be daft, i’m not that much of a glutton for punishment. we were lucky enough to get ourselves booked in with blue bell tents, we arrived and there it was in all it’s glory, and inside that tent there were beds, beds with mattresses, duvets & pillows. oh yeah baby oh yeah.

but i was still camping, which stills scared the bejeezus out of me.

so to calm my nerves i spoke to a couple of buddies of mine to grab some top tips. this is what they had to say.

hello it’s gemma

her opening words were comforting, after she stopped laughing at me hyperventilating in an email. “worry not”

for the tent

– by hiring a tent a lot of our problems are already sorted but it would be good to keep such things like a torch, and bin bags in mind. bin bags are not only good for collection your rubbish but if it rains you can chuck you wellies in them.

– i don’t bring camping chairs, but other people do. we bring a picnic blanket, one of those ones with the plastic on the bottom. we use it outside the tent and to watch bands from or just to chill upon.

– those big plastic boxes for storage, you know the type with the handles, they are really useful. we keep stove/tea making stuff/kettle in and food/drink in one or two. they keep things organised. remember you have no kitchen, so you have to sort of create a corner for that stuff. I have a plastic tupperware type thing I keep my knives/forks etc in, just so they are together.

eating, drinking & snacking

– the festival has EVERYTHING food wise, but could end up expensive if that’s all you have plus with smalls it can be frustrating when you spend £5.00 on an organic burger and then they decide they don’t like it. bring a stove, a small camping pan, packet of pasta, pesto decanted into a plastic pot (no glass allowed), a tins of baked beans. we then can do cheap easy meals at the tent. i also bring a kettle because I hate queuing for a tea/coffee in the morning and i love sitting outside in the quiet of the morning waiting for a kettle to boil. i love that first cup of tea in the morning in the fresh air.  i bring tea in a plastic bag and sugar decanted into a plastic pot.

– you will of course also need mugs (enamel or heat-resistant), plates, cutlery, everything you might need for a BBQ or picnic. a sharp knife.

– you can buy milk on site, I freeze milk and take it out just before we leave. pop it in a cool box with a couple of those freezer packs. rather ugly solid construction types are the best. 

– water bottles are good. you are out in the sun all day, it’s good to have a bottle of water with you, or store water for morning tea. there are plenty of water points, but you don’t always want to walk to one. even teeth cleaning by the tent, you don’t always want to walk to the shower area. 

– there are street food and stalls selling everything but sometimes kids just want an apple or a biscuit or a packet of crisps or just a carton of fruit juice. I do also bring half a loaf of bread and marmite. I bring natural bars, dried fruit, nuts etc because I get hungry a lot.

– we bring some booze, decanted into other containers and we buy some. there’s a great wine box recommendation on my blog from the knackered mother’s wine club check it out here.


– hiring a blue bell tent has given you access to showers. the camp bestival loos are usually very clean and well stocked. bring loo roll, it’s just handy and just in case.

– baby wipes are and essential. hand sanitizer – is a must. not every loo has a sink and kids are outside rolling around on the floor, then suddenly they are hungry.

– flip-flops or slip on type shoes – when you need a pee first thing or even during the night, the last thing you want is to be messing about in the dark tying up shoe laces. also, they are easer for showering. bring small towels it saves on packing space.
the showers will be fairly basic, so bring basics in something waterproof that you can hang up.


– waspees, and a few essential, plasters, pain killers & sun protection


– sun hat/woolly hat. flip-flops/wellies. shorts/waterproof trousers.
you need enough that if it rains you can still have fun so waterproofs, warm clothes but mostly pack for being in the sun all day.

– layers are good for warmth.  it does get cold in the evening, no matter how hot the day. bring warm PJs to sleep in. socks are always a must. warm jacket for when the sun goes down and you are sitting in a field drinking pimms and watching your child dance under the stars or cuddling up together to see the sunday night fireworks. i almost always end up wearing my wooly hat. no matter how hot it is, come the evening my hat makes an appearance.

– i wear flip-flops or converse. you are on grass all weekend, and i always have wellies just in case.

you can read gemma’s camp bestival 2014 top tips here


penny has a great couple of posts already on her blog her definitive camp bestival packing list which you can find here and also a post about her top tips which you can read here

however these are the top ones that she kindly shared with me in my pre camp bestival panic!

TIP: on friday everyone is fresh-faced and wants to do everything, so there are more queues and people, so try to save some things for other days!

TIP: take lots of breaks, you might not feel you are doing much but the levels of stimulation are huge! plus there are some amazing cafes and tea tents to explore

TIP – you don’t have to do fancy dress and don’t worry, you won’t feel left out if you don’t, but even a hat or an accessory will help you get in the festival spirit

TIP: next year I am taking fleece blankets, lightweight and great for snuggling under late at night

Trolley = we hired a trolley again but I think our two, at nearly 5 and 7, have outgrown it by this age.

so there we have it. this was the basis of my to do list. was i prepared? hell yeah!

I will be showcasing what we got up to on our first family camping adventure on some other posts, but in short i camped, we camped in an actual tent in an actual field and we loved it! we WILL be going next year. i’m so proud of us. 🙂

next years dates are 30th july through to the 2nd august, so why don’t you bag your early bird tickets right now, right here. if you want to take advantage of the weekly payment plan, this will be available when the early bird offer concludes.

check out the camp bestival websitefacebook & twitter.

disclaimer: we received family camp bestival 2014 tickets in return for previews and reviews of this year’s festival. we did however pay for our blue bell tent, because actual camping was not an option! either way, it goes without saying we will be honest and our views and opinions will be our own.


  1. August 9, 2014 / 15:17

    I think you’ve been well and truly won over. I take it you’ll be joining us in the regular field in 2015 for a parrrtaaaayyyy ?! 😉

  2. August 9, 2014 / 16:13

    I so wish I could go one year.I need to win the lottery and learn to drive.Or date a sugar daddy

  3. August 10, 2014 / 16:42

    Great post. It was our first time at Camp Bestival too, we totally loved it

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