Lines, unpredictable weather, toilets… there are some things we can’t change about festivals. There are many things we can change, though, including little investments that elevate your status from “roughing it” to “killing it like an absolute boss.”
While nothing can save us from the toilets, some of these inventions can actually reduce our line time and save us in wet weather. All them would have totally blown the acid-frazzled minds of our hippy Woodstock grandfathers. Hell, some of these blow the mind of some of us who have been going to festivals for 10 years.
From charging your phone with fire to having ice for the entire event, these 12 items will up your festival game to untold levels. Thank us later.
Stanley Mountain Vacuum Coffee System ($50)
For many of us, a regular day can’t start without a proper cup of coffee, let alone a fuzzy al fresco festival day with a head all clogged up from the night before. Food stalls at festivals can’t always guarantee a decent brew, and there’s usually a massive line.
It’s time to take the power back into your own hands with this French press coffee maker thermos. It makes and stores 1 liter of the good stuff, and it’s designed with a vacuum seal for folk roughing it in even more extreme outdoor situations than a three-day party. These thermoses can keep your coffee hot for an impressive 24 hours. Yeah, like it’s even going to last 24 minutes.
Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme 5 ($75)
Once upon a time, cool boxes kept food and drink chilled for a day, if you were lucky. Hardly a worthwhile gadget to haul all the way to an event that typically lasts three or four days. One of these super-insulated puppies, however, can keep ice frozen for five days.
It can also hold up to 160 cans, and can be wheeled rather than carried. Chill.
Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini Lantern ($60)
A torch is an essential accessory for any festival. But, how about a solar-powered torch that lasts 500 hours when fully charged, and boasts a USB port to charge your phone?
It also has a fully adjustable dimmer function, but, to be honest, they had us at phone charging.
Viking Nature Solar Shower ($20)
It’s 2016, and no one needs to be smelly at festivals anymore. Not just because most festivals have shower facilities (that epic line, though) but because these solar-powered bad boys cost less than 50 bucks and store enough water for several showers and even a dish wash.
Just fill the five-gallon bladder, let it heat in the sun for a few hours, hang it up from a tree or a dedicated shower tent and say goodbye to festie grub. The Viking Nature even has a front pocket for your soap and shampoo and a switchable shower head. When you’re roughing it festival-style, this is pure luxury.
Instapark Mercury 10M ($65)
Goodbye to huge charge point lines, and hello to more carefree festival fun! Solar cells are becoming stronger and more efficient every year, and can even squeeze power out of overcast skies.
The Instapark Mercury 10M is particular handy as its three cell banks can juice up two devices at the same time. Just strap it to the top of your bag/hat/tent, and get a free charge courtesy of the sun.
On a good day of strong sunshine your phones should be fully juiced in an afternoon. UK attendees need not apply.
Wood Burning Camp Stove
We know what you’re thinking: a fire to cook food is a touch too caveman to be considered cool tech, right? Well, how about if it charges your phone, too?
Yes, sir: electricity from wood. Every 20 minutes of fire equals around an hour of talk time, and you get to cook your dinner. There’s even an in-built battery to ignite the fire, and, with its vent and lid design, the fire is smokeless. Welcome to the future.
Barocook Cookware System (From $18)
From charging your phone with fire to cooking your food without it, more next-level camping magic comes in the form of flameless cook boxes. They look like regular sealable Tupperware containers, but have a separate outer layer that contains water which is boiled by heat packs made of quick lime.
The boiling water heats your food (which is in the main part of the container) within 20 minutes, meaning you can safely cook your food without even getting out of your sleeping bag. Non-toxic, no fumes, no flames – no freakin’ way!
Battery Powered Wi-Fi Router
TP-Link TL-MR3040 ($30)
Yes, we know festivals are about living in the moment and taking yourself as far off the grid as possible. But there are always moments when you could really do with a decent connection: a work commitment, videos that are too funny to wait to share until next week, keeping in touch with someone at home or just streaming a cheeky episode of Mr Robot before everyone else wakes up.
Wi-Fi and reception at festivals can be patchy at best, so why not create your own hotspot with a dongle or your smartphone using a portable travel router such as the TP-Link TL-MR3040?
iPhone-sized, secure, 4G compatible (if you can get 4G in the middle of a field) and a rechargeable battery with up to five hours operating time. If you’re using any more than that at a festival, you should probably curb your internet habit a little.
Walkie Talkie Watches
AGPTek ($45 for two/$99 for four)
iWatches are so overrated. Walkie talkies are this year’s festival must-have wrist accessory, and a far more effective way of keeping in touch with friends on the ground than being at the mercy of phone reception.
Less cumbersome than their bulky handheld predecessors and designed for outdoor sports such as mountaineering, with a range of up to 3km, they’re perfect on the ground at a festival and can save you hours of friend-finding time.
There are plenty of options available, but we’ve picked AGPTek, as they sell sets of four so the whole squad can remain connected. Just be sure to save batteries and switch them off when you’re all together.
Xiaomi Mi-Band Pulse ($20)
You don’t have to get up early and run around the sleepy campsite to burn serious calorie at a festival. All the dancing and trekking between stages and your tent, not to mention carrying your rucksack (especially if you’re using public transport), means a healthy level of cardio vascular activity throughout the weekend – and now you can track all of this.
Fitness trackers can be pretty expensive, so, rather than potentially damaging or losing an expensive one buy one that’s festival-ready, cop Xiaomi’s Mi-Band. They’re only $20, they’re robust and they record heart rate, calories, distance and all the important stats you need to justify the amount of booze you’re sinking all weekend.
Jammypack (From $49)
Waist bags, bum bags, fanny packs – call them what you like, they’re officially back, and there’s no better time for one than a festival. Keep all your belongings in one safe place that’s practical and on trend.
Get a Jammypack: they’ve got water-resistant speakers in them. With 10W of stereo power shooting straight from your hip, this is the perfect solution for those quiet moments at the campsite when all the arenas have closed for the night. They also come in a sick range of designs and styles, from tie-dye to camo.
Waterproof Phone Bag
Aquapac (from $17.99)
Aquapacs are lifesavers: they’re fully waterproof and ensure that your phone remains usable while it’s inside. They were invented for water sports, so even the most torrential festival downpour isn’t going to affect your lifeline to the world.
They don’t just protect your phone from the rain, but dust and dirt, too. From the dusty Nevada Playa of Burning Man to the golden Croatian sands of Outlook to the soggy fields of Glastonbury, this little guy is your friend.
For more in the way of festival gear, check out Stussy’s new summer trip & festival collection.
- Words: Dave Jenkins
- Main image: The Odyssey Online