Your packing list for Reading Festival is probably on your mind as the magic date looms closer.
What you pack for Reading Festival will totally effect your experience, so you obviously want it to be for the better, especially if it’s your first time. Your kit list for Reading Festival is everything.
The up to date weather forecast for Reading looks pretty toasty. Although, this is England, expect anything from 20-26 degrees and possible rain, so be prepared. You may be tempted to take as little as possible but if your outfit gets caked in mud on the first day its nice to have something fresh to wear the next day, and something clean to come home in too.
There are stalls to buy your Reading Festival camping equipment while you’re there – but you’ll pay a premium for this, of course. Best to pack everything you need for Reading before you go – and here’s your list.
Reading Festival essentials
Your Reading festival ticket – no getting in without your ticket, trust me. Put this up at number one on your list of festival essentials. Also, ID.
Money and bank card – if you feel ok bringing all the money you need for Reading in one go, do that. It’ll save you time and money at the ATM. I prefer to just take £100 and then my bank card too – that way I can watch my budget.
Tent that’s big enough – as I’ve got older I’ve realised how good it is to have a bigger tent. I’ve totally done my time in the smaller ones, like the above. Now I have a four man with a pod in the middle. It just helps to keep things organised. And means I have somewhere to go to the toilet, to avoid going to the actual festival toilets.
My tent is bigger than this Coleman one, but it has the same black out technology. Honestly, it’s SO good. I wouldn’t go back to a normal tent. Really helps you to sleep better, and keeps you cool if you want a nap in the day too.
Last time I looked it was reduced to less than half the price.
Good sleeping bag – this cosy Mummy sleeping bag is excellent value at just £9.99. It also has 4/5 stars from 75 people on Amazon. If rain is forecast on your way into Latitude Festival then make sure to cover it in plastic. A wet sleeping bag is not fun, trust me. This will be absolutely fine in this amazing summer we’re having in England.
Boxes of wine – boxes and bags of wine are the cheapest and lightest way to get your wine into the campsite. Saves hundreds! And yes, it’s definitely an essential for your Reading kit list.
If you’re camping at Reading Festival you can take alcohol in, but you’re not allowed to take it into the main arena.
Read more on The Best Alcohol for Festivals
Reading Festival packing list
Summer clothes – as an August bank holiday festival the weather could be doing anything at Reading, so you need to be prepared. Right now it’s looking pretty sunny so get those summer clothes packed. Shorts, tshirts, strappy tops – pack something new for every day as you can get pretty dirty.
Rainproof clothes – Reading was the FIRST festival I ever went to, when I was 16, and it rained. A lot. Make sure you have a festival poncho in case of desperate weather conditions. Also, a few different pairs of trousers, or at least leggings.
And winter clothes – you need to have nice, cosy jumpers for the evening and night. Reading goes on all night and you don’t want to be the boring one who goes home early and cold, do you? Tights and leggings are a great day to night warm up that you can easily carry around in your bag – so add those to your Reading festival checklist!
Comfy wellies – it’s a festival, you need some wellies! Get a cool design like these Joules Molly Welly Mid-Calf Boots to really stand out – there are a few designs to choose from.
If wellies aren’t really your thing, or it’s too hot. Try hiking boots. There are loads of great priced hiking boots on Amazon to choose from and I find them a bit easier to walk around in, and to carry.
Toothbrush and toothpaste – brushing your teeth is the easiest way to stay fresh at a festival.
Enamel mug – enamel mugs are great for festivals. You can use them to help clean your teeth, to drink out of, and to eat cereal and soup of too. Take a look at the many, many enamel mug designs they have on Amazon.
Sun cream – even if it’s not that sunny, if you’re outside all day in the August bank holiday fresh air, it can get very hot and red. Pack a little tube of sun cream and take it round with you.
Toilet roll – Reading is one of the worst festivals for making sure there’s toilet roll in the portaloos. To stay on the safe side, carry your own around with you. If you don’t want to carry a big roll around then these little packets of tissues are great.
Baby wipes – you definitely need some baby wipes. Great for the toilet, for cleaning your tent, yourself, your face, and just to have around. Try and find the biodegradable ones, if you can.
Hand sanitiser – festivals = grime. This sanitiser is a spray too so you can give the toilets a quick going over before you park your bum. And it’s not as gloopy as some of the others. Please take hand sanitiser. I kind of blame my lack of sanitiser for my getting ill at Glastonbury 2017. So many germs everywhere.
Driving license – most festivals are Challenge 21, so it’s best to carry your driving licence if you look young. Don’t your baby face get in the way of you and your drinks!
As long as you have the above on your Reading Festival kit list, you’re pretty much sorted for a good time.
But of course, there’s always more…
Not so essential festival packing for Reading
Blow up bed – this single blow up mattress is less than a tenner from Amazon. I can guarantee it’ll be worth every penny, especially if it rains and the ground is cold and wet. I’d recommend taking a blanket to put on top, and then a bedsheet over that too. More comfort equals more sleep, remember that.
Lots of socks and knickers – take more underwear than you actually need for the days you’re there. Whether it’s too hot or too cold, you’ll feel amazing for being able to put fresh ones on whenever you go back to the tent.
Groundsheet – this 6 x 4ft groundsheet from Amazon is just £2.49. Groundsheets are actually a great thing to pack in your day pack for Reading as you can sit on them around the festival and they’re super light to carry.
Trolley – I had a trolley for the first time at Glastonbury this year. It was amazing. Trollies really help in getting stuff in and out of the festival. Just buy some bungees and strap it all on. If there’s a queue to get into Reading you’ll be well happy with this as it makes things so much easier.
Spare carrier bags – great for keeping all the rubbish in order, and to separate filthy clothes from not so filthy during the fest. Also, good for sitting on if the ground is a bit wet and you didn’t want to buy the groundsheet.
Torch – believe me, you need to check out those toilet seats before you get your skin anywhere near them. Try and get a head torch for Reading Festival, perfect for in the tent when you’re rooting around, or just rooting.
It’s less than £3 too!
If you’ve got the space in your backpack
Hat – great for helping to cope with any potential sunstroke.
Flip flops – great for late night / early morning runs to the bathroom, but I wouldn’t really recommend walking round the festival in them – you need ankle support!
Compact mirror – you need one of these to help you apply your glitter, and to check your face in the morning. Here’s a pretty one for £2.59 or you could buy the most basic little mirror for just £2.40.
Reusable plastic cups – can help for alcohol consumption at the tent, and plastic reduction around the site. These pop up beer cups are a great idea and easy to carry around. There’s a big push for festivals to be more eco-friendly, so let’s try and help them as much as we can.
Things you might need at Reading
Make up – just another way to feel semi-normal at a festival, make up can really freshen you up. It’s the same at every festival, so check out my Glastonbury beauty tips for more tips on what beauty items to take.
Face cleaning stuff – get that Micellar water packed to get the dust and grime off, and don’t forget the cotton wool pads either. This stuff is blummin brilliant, and a great price too.
A variety of sunglasses – oh you can’t beat a pair of fun festival sunnies to cover up your sins at Reading Festival, can you? Pack a few to change your look up.
Solar powered shower – you could group together with your mates and buy this shower for less than a tenner.
Glitter – make sure to stick to the biodegradable types of glitter – gotta help the fishies.
Moisturiser – keep your knees and elbows shiny, right?
Lip balm – my lips always go so dry at festivals. Pack a good lip balm to keep your lips moist and to protect against sunburn.
Vitamins – I like those dissolvable ones that make water taste like orange juice.
Paracetamol – obviously. Be ready for those mornings after.
Pillow – in the old days I used a rolled up hoody, but now I take a proper pillow to ensure the best chance at getting a good sleep as possible. You could go somewhere in between and try an inflatable camping pillow, but I don’t think they’re the most comfortable. Just grab one off your bed with an old pillow case.
Shitty phone – when I went to Glastonbury in 2011 I bought a little £10 phone as I was so worried about losing my phone. I didn’t, which was great. But I did lose it at Glasto 2019, and I’m still not over it. AND NEVER WILL BE.
Ear plugs (20 Pairs for £3.26!) and an eye mask – can help you to sleep better, and we all know how important that is, right?
Check out 11 Top Tips for Sleeping at Festivals
Camping chairs – camping chairs like this are definitely more of a luxury item, but I do love having the option of a chair at festivals. So good at the tent, and in the afternoon at Reading too.
A specially bagged clean set of clothes to go home in – they will feel amazing. So fresh and so clean.
As long as you have the Reading essentials and a great attitude to mud, people and exhaustion, you are literally going to have the best weekend of your life!
Packing list for Reading Festival, in short
Bags of wine / booze
Comfy wellies / hiking boots
Toothbrush and paste
Lilo or blow up bed
Spare carrier bags
Reusable plastic cups
Face cleaning stuff
Solar powered shower
Have I forgotten anything?