The Essential Festival Guide: Our Top Eco Products That Every Traveller Needs

I'm about to leave the office to travel to watch my first gig of 2011. Packing my stuff reminded me of how many cool eco-products are now important whether you're off to a festival, a weekend camping or just visiting friends. Windup torches, solar chargers and bio-degradeable tent pegs are now among the first things I pack when setting off on a trip away. Here are my top ten must-haves for the eco-conscious traveller.

  1. Portable Energy No plug can mean no mobile phone. Don't get caught short of battery juice this summer. While you're travelling, or when you get there, let the sun keep your battery topped up. I would always recommend the Freeloader Pro – reliable, powerful and can charge nearly all types of camera batteries and phones, but we have a wide range of solar chargers available – there will undoubtedly be one to suit your needs.
  2. Hay Max Hayfever ReliefHayfever Relief Make sure you keep your allergies at bay by not forgetting to stock up on some effective allergy relief. Our customers here at Natural Collection love HayMax, a natural and organic way of blocking pollen before the symptoms of hay fever arise.
  3. Portable Light Don’t get caught trying to find the loo in the dark this year – make sure you keep a torch with you! We stock loads of eco-friendly torches here at Natural Collection, but the wind up PowerPlus Owl stands out as the best for camping, perfect for carrying to the nearest loo or friends tent, and great for perching on your camping table whilst having a drink or two.
  4. Food & Drink Nobody wants to run out of food and miss out on the action by having to travel somewhere to buy in supplies – so buy them beforehand and stock up with food that will last. Snacks like Bombay mix and crisps are recommended supplies to keep on the go, and why not consider non-dairy alternatives to milk? These keep longer than fresh dairy milk and also come in a variety of flavours. Aren’t festivals the times to try something new? Ready meals and tins like our tasty organic range from Free & Easy are ideal to take when camping, easy to store and easy to cook. Festivals are perfect for sharing, so stock up on plenty in case a friendly neighbour takes a liking to your Fairtrade Chocolate or Ubuntu Fairtrade Cola, and don’t forget it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of some of the great eco-friendly produce around and convert your friends and those you meet.
  5. Tent Pegs Durable and surprisingly strong, the Biodegradable Tent Pegs from GreenStake begin to biodegrade after months in the ground. So if you accidentally leave a tent peg or two by accident in the mad rush to pack up, no worries – there will be no trace of it when you return the following year!
  6. Camp Fire No camping experience is complete without some kind of campfire, or at the very least a barbecue. There’s no better way to start a fire in style than with the Swedish Firesteel Firelighter from Light My Fire, small enough to fit in your pocket, but so powerful that it’s used by armies all around the world and can even start a fire when wet.
  7. Portable Shower There’s a queue for the showers. It’s muddy. It’s smelly. You really want a shower, but don’t want to miss out on waiting for one. If only you had a portable shower all of your own? Sure, you’ve got some cold water you could wash under – but it’s colder than you were expecting and you can’t bear the thought of being colder. Well, the eighth in our list of Festival Essentials is the Solar Shower! Lightweight and durable, the solar shower can be warmed in the sun and then used as a portable, refreshing shower whenever you need it.
  8. Music On The Go For when the live music ceases or is too far away to hear it any longer, then it’s time to bring out the Wind Up Radio, music, news and more by the power of your hand. Brilliant!
  9. Bin Bags The volume of rubbish festivals and large events accumulate is frightening. Leave no trace behind - take some Degradable Refuse Sacks with you.
  10. A good time. Wherever you are going and whatever you are doing make sure you have a good time. "Take only pictures. Kill only time. Leave only footprints".
PS Thanks to Robyn for the help on researching this piece!