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So, you’ve booked your tickets to a festival with the kids.
Perhaps you are lucky enough to have been able to afford a ready-pitched tent with all the gear or maybe, more likely, you are slightly overwhelmed by the reality of what you need to pack for a long weekend in the countryside as a family.
Camping takes a little time to get right. Each time we go, it gives us the opportunity to recognise what we failed to take last time (pillows) and add it to the list.
Camping at a festival with kids is a different experience altogether.
On the whole, there will be no hopping off in the car to buy provisions and, once on site, you generally stay until you leave.
Here are some tips to get you ready for the best possible weekend away with kids.
2. Blow up beds (battery operated pump essential)
3. A blanket to put on the bed to stop you slipping off
4. Pillows (we packed just one last year and took it in turns, don’t make the same mistake)
5. A duvet or sleeping bag
6. Loo roll and tons of wet wipes
7. A late night toilet bucket (you will be grateful for this, I promise)
8. Head torches
9. A lantern to hang up in the tent at night
10. Mallet to put the tent up
11. Plenty of extra tent pegs
12. Fold up table
13. Comfy chairs (these ones from Amazon look so relaxing and easy to carry too)
14. Picnic blanket (with waterproof backing)
15. Stove (this one from Tegstove doubles up as a phone / iPad charger – surely the best invention for a festival in years)
16. Easy fun food – Itsu noodles (posh pot noodles that taste yummy), bread sticks, endless snacks for the kids (they ate our four days’ worth of snacks in 24 hours at Camp Bestival last year)
17. Gin in a tin and Pimm’s. In fact, anything in a tin or a wine box (glass is banned from most sites).
18. Calpol (you do not want to get caught out in the middle of the night without it)
19. Water canister (this will save you a fortune and is better for the environment than bottles)
24. A huge waterproof bag (this Musto one has wheels and fits my youngest in, it’s perfect)
25. Sunhats (Little Hot Dog Watson sell gorgeous sunhats)
26. Onesies for the kids (best thing ever at nighttime when out seeing bands).
27. Ear defenders (for when it all gets a little too much / too loud)
28. Toys and books for chill time in the tent (this Lego suitcase is perfect, or bring mini toys like cars)
29. Favourite teddy (label it, just in case, god forbid, you get split up from it)
30. Body wash (Professor Scrubbington’s Emporium Of Clean will do the job)
31. Sleep spray (you kids should party until the drop, but take some Long Barn lavender spray for their pillows to ensure a deep sleep)
32. Sick bags (pray that this doesn’t happen, but it may – kids still get ill at festivals)
33. Good sunnies (these ones from Roos Beach have good lenses to help with hangover glare)
34. Drinking bottle (decant your water or booze into an easy drinking bottle)
35. Layers (merino wool is your best friend at night, check out Smalls for the best kids’ merino)
36. Fairy lights (to decorate your tent with. I love these pom pom lights we bought for Camp Bestival)
37. Blanket (picnic rugs are fab but heavy. Try this versatile muslin one from Etta Loves – ideal for kids, to wear as a scarf and for sitting on)
38. Waterproofs (buy lightweight ones that are fully waterproof – shower proof will not cut it).
39. Fun dress up clothes, glitter and a sense of humour (festivals are places where anything goes, keep your PJs on all day, get up and wear a catsuit, slather your face in glitter and have a blast)
It may sound counterintuitive, but Merino wool is one of the best fabrics to wear when travelling in summer. Just ask the Bedouins of the Middle East who have been wearing wool in the middle of the desert for centuries.
Not only does it breathe, absorbing moisture to then dissipate it, keeping the body cooler, but it provides important UV protection from the sun. It also offers a sophisticated touch to your travel wardrobe, is easily transportable and not prone to wrinkling.
So when it comes to curating the perfect selection of summer travel clothes, here are some key Merino wool pieces that will get you where you need to go.
The extremely fine nature of Merino wool makes it a comfortable fabric to wear during summer.
A lightweight, subtle v-neck sweater can be worn in lieu of a traditional shirt, either with shorts or pants, for a more modern yet stylish finish. The wool will breath, won’t show perspiration marks, and will ultimately keep you cooler than a shirt would.
Choose either a navy blue or Breton stripe for a relaxed look straight out of the French Riviera.
In the past, people might have associated wool with heavy scratchiness but this is not the case with Merino wool. A pair of lightweight trousers made of Merino wool will help prevent excess sweating and are a far more comfortable option than thicker, heavier denim
Choose versatile shades of either navy or grey. Teamed with a white t-shirt they can also be easily incorporated into a more dressed down daytime look.
TEES AND POLOS
T-shirts are the summer garment du jour and polos are a staple for warm weather events that require something a little smarter, but not as formal as proper shirting.
Casual, comfortable and as light as cotton tees, or polos, in Merino wool are a smart investment for anyone who sweats or overheats easily. Unlike unnatural fibres, and even cotton, wool won’t retain odours and or show perspiration.
Most socks are polyester blends which, unfortunately, encourage odours. This is only exacerbated during warmer months.
Investing in woollen socks will not only prevent summer foot odour from occurring, but will encourage healthier feet.
More sporting brands are now turning to Merino wool for its myriad virtues, and no small amount of this is its resilience.
Merino wool has a high elasticity, meaning that it is not prone to losing shape, and it won’t retain odours like certain man-made ‘breathable’ fibres. Its UV protection makes it perfect for exercising outdoors.
Benjamen Judd is a Sydney-based writer who has been published in some of Australia’s biggest publications, including the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review, and regularly speaks on radio about contemporary men’s style. Read more