Well it’s festival season again and that means the annual ordeal of trudging through muddy quagmires populated with the unapologetically unwashed, dodging cholera, food poisoning and the occasional crazy hippy who’s convinced all the world’s problems can be solved with nettle soup. But that’s why we love it, isn’t it?! So in amongst all this filth, disease and destructive behaviour, how do you go about keeping some vague semblance of cleanliness?
Frankly a festival is an exercise in self-reliance. A little preparation goes a long way. Always assume everyone else will be twice as unreliable, twice as self-destructive and twice as much trouble as normal. If you prepare for this fact, you’ll be able fully relax and enjoy yourself in a care-free manner. There are some key admin points for the day as well. Port-a-loo visits of the slightly more lengthy variety are best done early in the morning. By and large they’re normally cleaned very early in the morning when there’s little demand so visiting just after this is the optimum time. If you’re lucky they may even have toilet roll and hand sanitiser, but never ever rely on it, always take your own. If you’re in need of the festival shower services the same applies - do it early to avoid the queues and unsanitary conditions which build up during the day.
There are, however, some great ways to care for your hair while at a festival, without suffering the trials and tribulations of the festival shower experience. Dry shampoo and dry conditioner are great alternatives and fairly straight forward to use- simply spray, massage/blend in with your fingers and then brush out the excess afterwards. Another great tip is to put your hair in braids before you go. This significantly reduces the amount of grease that builds up on the hair. There’s also the wonderful hair detangling spray, which borders on witchcraft for regulating the sleeping bag edition of crazy bed-hair.
Taking plenty of toilet roll is always a good idea- 2 rolls minimum. One for general use, and an emergency one for when the other one is lost, stolen, or destroyed (usually by someone else who didn’t bring their own). Wet wipes are another festival must. If you’re masochistic enough to have created your own children, you’ll already know the almost limitless usefulness of these magic wipes. Whether it’s a quick freshen, or a lengthy clean, they really are an invaluable addition to your festival survival kit.
Perhaps the best advice though, for keeping your festival as clean as possible, is to take a tent with a porch. This allows you to keep the inner tent as a ‘clean zone’, muddy shoes and clothes can be removed and left in the porch, leaving your sleeping area a sanctuary from the muddy hell outside.
So, to sum up, here’s your list of essentials:
- A torch
- Toilet roll (minimum 2)
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitiser
- Tent with a porch
- Dry shampoo & conditioner
- Detangling spray
- Plastic bags (for muddy shoes and clothes, and for collecting you rubbish)