Picnic essentials and non-essentials – a GHD has no place at EP, but don’t forget the baby wipes

And remember to keep your sense of wellbeing well irrigated

Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 12:36

Does Wanderly Wagon have a socket that’d power my hair- straightener?” Technically the answer to this question is yes, but when asked by an image-conscious friend who’s heading for Electric Picnic, I played it cagey. Keeping the stash of salty breakfast meat cool and edible until Monday is a priority; sausage trumps straightener. Stronger than the desire to avoid half-rotted rashers, is a twisted sense of festival etiquette that tells me a GHD should have no place at EP. This prejudice against persons wishing to primp and preen in our partying pairceanna is misplaced and irrational, nevertheless, I want no hand, act or part in the powdering and prinking. There’s a hairbrush in my essential festival kitbag, but it’s a flask for smuggling contraband hooch. Yo que soy contrabandista – d’ól mé!

The two most important words for anyone preparing for a stint in tent, van, bush or yurt are these: baby wipes. Don’t leave home without them. The baby wipe bath is the handiest festival freshener known to man. For extra poke, stick them in the cool box with the rashers and brace yourself for some extra zing. Particularly handy if you’ve over done it on the cider and the spicy delights from Kinara Kitchen (keep sketch for these maestros of Madras at EP). A step up from the baby wipe is the antibacterial pet wipe. Designed specifically for wiping down grubby dogs and cats, these are very large wipes designed for animals instead of babies, perfect for the Irish festivaling public. Aldi occasionally stock these bad boys, I’ve gone through four packs. The only side effect I have to report is a positive one: I’ve remained flea free.

ctrl-alt-delete The male equivalent of ctrl-alt-delete is achieved by rinsing your undercarriage. There comes a point in every festival campaign when you need to reset, to feel human again. Baby wipes just won’t cut it, you need to feel cool running water rinsing your gongle-pouch (and other less important areas), irrigating your sense of wellbeing. A shower bag costs less than a tenner in any good camping shop, a collapsable water container is cheaper again, and if you include a length of rope in your kitbag, you can hoist your sprinkler on a tree, large fence or campsite watchtower and engage reset. You’re welcome.

She-pees are the Marmite of the toilet world. These FUD’s (Female Urination Devices) or STP (Stand To Pee) solutions seem solid in theory, but the practical application can be a pain in the hole, so to speak. I’ve met a few stalwart sessioners who swear by them, but most testimonials that have been relayed to me, while incredibly funny, haven’t been wholly complimentary. They do increase relief options, strike a blow for sexual equality and will undoubtedly give rise to some engaging and amusing war stories, but proceed with caution.

Any conversations with seasoned festival campaigners on getting through a tour of duty will always focus on the portaloo. One warrior told me she downs a hefty dose of Imodium on Friday, putting her bowels in lockdown until Monday. She doesn’t do any dancing on Sunday. A few hardcore hedonists don’t eat, but this can often lead to over intoxication and dancing to the sound of a generator at the side of a woodland path at 4am. Pick a toilet block off the beaten path, try to figure out when it gets cleaned (usually mid-morning) and take your chances. Best advice I can offer: hover.

If you get to Electric Picnic and find yourself in the Mindfield, be careful you don’t tread on someone’s mind. They’ll be strewn all over the place. Not as much of a concern at the Rave in the Woods where everybody will be out of theirs. If anybody wants to plug in a brain-straightener on Monday after Electric Picnic, I can definitely sort that out.

Safe travels, don’t die. ayearoffestivalsinireland.com

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