Sustainable Packing Lists & Hacks for Festivals

Sustainable Packing Lists & Hacks for Festivals

Hi, I'm Janta, a culture & arts student from Riga, Latvia. I'm currently spending the summer in Berlin interning at WAYKS. I consider myself a climate advocate and believe that there are many easy steps we all can take to be more environmentally conscious. We only have one shot at this planet, and while it's important to have fun, let's do it in a mindful way.

A smiling woman in front of a checkered wall

I had my first festival experience when I was 17 years old. My mother had gifted me tickets to a popular Latvian festival called LABA DABA (Good Nature), which has a real hippie feel to it. After a fun weekend, I couldn't trust my eyes, when I woke up. What had been a lovely field of grass just two days before was now covered in empty bottles, cigarette buds, half-eaten food, and strangely, a lot of lonely shoes. You'd think that people who attend a festival called "Good Nature" would clean up after themselves, right? 

For this year's festival trip, I challenged myself to pack light and choose more sustainable, reusable options. In this post you'll find minimalist, eco-minded camping products, which I came across while doing my research. Some may be better suited to a "glamping budget", but they could also be a great gift idea. Also, remember that every item we replace with a greener alternative is a step in the right direction, so don't worry about being a perfectionist.

1. The Toiletries

A cold shower can be an excellent hangover cure, so I strongly advise you to plan your festival cleaning routines carefully. If the festival offers outdoor showers, bring a pair of rubber sandals, and a light, quick-drying microfibre towel.

KLAR Seifen - Solid Soap & Shampoo Bars 

KLAR Seifen products next to the black WAYKS cube on a beige background

I recently discovered solid, plastic-free toiletries and love how compact and travel-friendly they are. KLAR Seifen, Germany's oldest soap manufacturer, has since become my favourite soap brand. They have been producing natural, solid soaps, shampoo bars, and shaving soap for over 180 years. All of the products are vegan, free of micro plastic, and are wrapped in paper. In most products, palm oil is replaced with high-quality olive oil, and the majority are COSMOS certified natural cosmetics.

Get 15% discount on all KLAR Seifen products

The lovely team behind KLAR Seifen offered WAYKS followers a very special deal on all KLAR Seifen products. Simply use the code WAYKS+KLAR at checkout for 15% discount on all products. Yay!

KLAR Seifen products and other toiletries next to the black WAYKS cube on a beige background

I store hand soap + shampoo bar in aluminum tins, which come with an integrated drainage grid. The body butter with Argan oil and fig not only moisturises the skin, but also makes it an ideal travel companion thanks to its compact, leak-proof design. The alcohol / aluminium free deodorant cream protects with natural sodium bicarbonate and the wooden nail brush will clean even the dirtiest festival hands.

    2. Camping gear

    Before heading to the festival, apply an eco-friendly, UV & water-repellent spray to your tent and rain gear to improve weatherproofness, fabric durability, and color fastness. Spotted a tear or hole in the tent? Use this transparent tape to easily fix your gear and avoid bad surprises. 

      Camping gear next to the WAYKS packing cube on a beige background
      Tent in a tent city covered in an emergency blanket to reflect heatOn hot summer days, cover your tent with a Space / Emergency blanket. Put the silver side up to reflect the sunlight and keep the sticky heat out of your tent.
      We are also fans of the Quechua 2 second setup tent with their patented self supporting structure and special FRESH & BLACK outer fabric, which is 99% dark even in full daylight. You see these tents literally EVERYWHERE at festivals, and we definitely understand why.

        3. First Aid Kit

        If you want to still feel fresh on the last day of the festival, you might need these items to help you sleep better.

        • Ear Plugs
        • Sleeping Mask
        • Mosquito Repellent
        • Bandaids against blisters
        • Mosquito Bite Treatment (uses heat to kill the itch by connecting to iPhone!)
        • Hot Patch (for sore necks or cold feet)
        • Water Mist Bottle (For hot summer days: Empty a glass spray bottle, e.g. small deodorant, and fill it with water. Spray your body with the fine mist to help it cool down)

        4. Festivals & Nature's Eco System

        Smaller, more intimate festivals set in natural reserves are growing in popularity. Mother Nature may enjoy throwing a good party, but she does not deserve to pay the price for someone else's negligence.

        At the Lakeside

        A woman in front of a lake with the Sleek Black Sling Mini around her waist

        It's tempting to swim in the lake after a good dance, but remember that washing yourself in it with soap and shampoo is a no-no. Applying sunscreen before swimming in a natural reserve is also harmful to the water's ecosystem.

        Konfetti & Glitter

        Konfetti and festivals may seem like a match made in heaven, but I'm sorry to say that it essentially means dispersing tiny bits of microplastic into nature. If you can't get rid of your glitter addiction, opt for compostable alternatives.

        Smoking & Cigarette Butts 

        Smoking is not only bad for our health, but it's also harmful for the environment, especially when cigarette butts end up on the ground. Needless to say, they are also a significant fire hazard. If you smoke, keep an ashtray with you.

        • Portable ashtray

        Wet Wipes

        They are so convenient and refreshing but are typically made of plastic, clog toilets, and create a lot of trash. Replace disposable wipes with a flannel and water. You can even make your own reusable wipes by soaking squares of fabric ( e.g. old t-shirt) in boiling water with aloe vera, witch hazel, Castille soap, and essential oil, according to this article. Simply seal them in a lunchbox or zip lock bag. If you can't live without your disposable wipe try these:

        Even biodegradable Wet Wipes don't belong in the toilet. Always dispose of it in the trash to avoid clogging pipes.

        Use the toilets, not nature

        Protect Ecosystem Sign at Garbicz Festival

        Visiting the loo may be the least enjoyable aspect of a festival, and waiting in line for it may rank second. However, doing your business in the bushes or water is not good for Mother Nature.

        If you can't use a urinal to relieve yourself, you might want to try this:

        • EasyPee (Why does it always have to come in pink, tho?!)
        Have to deal with your period during a festival weekend? Replace tampons and liners with a Menstrual Cup for longer peace of mind and less waste. No water or sink in sight? For the weekend, cleaning your cup with biodegradable wipes is sufficient. For extra protection, choose leakproof panties and store them in a sealable bag.

        5. The Festival Bags

        The Travel Backpack

        A woman with the black WAYKS Travel Backpack Copyright: Lukas Pousset

        Now that you've gathered all of your equipment, you'll need to find the perfect bag to house it all. The WAYKS Travel Backpack has a detachable bottom compartment that helps organise your toiletries. "The Cube" also functions as a cooler bag, keeping your drinks chilled, while camping. The Backpack opens like a suitcase, which makes packing easy-peasy and gives you quick access to all your stuff.

        Tip: use the Cube Inlay for added insulation.

          The Sling & Hip Bag

          A gif of a woman in a field holding the variations of The Sling Combo in sleek black

          The Sling Combo is a transformable, sustainably made Crossbody Bag that converts into a Tote Bag, Backpack + detachable, smaller Hip Bag. 

          The Sling protects your sunglasses in a padded pocket. It can be extended to store a water bottle and some warmer clothes for the evening dance. The Sling Mini is ideal for storing your essentials like phone, lip balm, and sun screen. Now available in a coated, waterproof material, you can easily wipe off any festival dirt, and the bags look brand new again.

            Packing Cubes 

            WAYKS compression packing cubes in a tent

            Packing Cubes are made for festivals. They not only help you to save space in the bag but also keep the tent looking clean and organised. I usually pack one outfit per packing cube, so even with a slow head, I can remember what to wear.

            WAYKS Compression Packing Cubes



            6. Clothes & Footwear

            Because festivals have a bad habit of falling on either the hottest days of the year or a rainy, cold weekend, checking the weather forecast is a crucial part of the planning. Choose light fabrics made of natural materials such as cotton or linen in earthy colours to keep you cool in hot weather. Layering helps you stay warm on chillier days and allows you to mix and match items while packing less.

            Festival clothing next to the WAYKS compression packing cubes and The Sling Combo on a beige background
            • Basic Tops & T-Shirts
            • Loose Blouse or Hoodie
            • Socks & Underwear
            • Shorts / Skirt
            • Loose Pants
            • Rain Coat / Poncho
            • Sun Hat
            • Mud and waterproof Boots / Sneakers
            • Spare pair of COMFORTABLE shoes (Day 2 will be way less fun if all you can think about are the blisters on your heels)

            7. Snacks & Drinks 

            A cup of coffee a day keeps the doctor away. Or something like that... If you can't live without your specialty brew, try a Specialty Instant Coffee on your next festival.

            8. Share Your Hacks

            WAYKS cofounder Leonie at a festival next to her tent

            Are we missing something? Do you have festival tips or hacks you would like to share with us? We'd love to read from you in the comments section below.

            Happy dancing!

            Janta & Leonie

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