back to article Ten... festival survival gadgets

With Beyonce's bouncy appearance at Glastonbury just days away, the festival season is well and truly underway and unless you sell wellies, you're probably praying for sunny skies. It can't hurt to be prepared for the worst, though. So as you don those prosthetic horse-heads and gallop off for another weekend of hedonism, we …

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Mosquito Wotsit

The idea of paying £200 to watch U2 and Coldplay is a strange one to me. But I'll get me a Mozzie Scarer Offer. It's probably tosh but worth a punt at £6.

Way better value than a Glastophant ticket

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Mosquito thingy

Bought one of these and used it in Bangalore a couple of years back and it DID work. I know because we forgot to turn it on one night.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder what's changed?

I bought a Sonic mosquito repeller in about 2004. It came from a reputable company too.

It was completely useless, and when I got back to UK (from India) I heard that they had been taken off the market, and there was even talk of Trade Description Act prosecutions.

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Silver badge

Re: Mosquito Wotsit

Save your money.

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Meh

I used an identical mosquito thingy.

It worked in sri lanka.

"We've all had stuff nicked at festivals": no.

And bringing cameras & ipads? I vaguely remember a lot of parties with a lot of weirdness happening --- and none of it would have happened if there were cameras around. I think this generation will grow up with a boring past; and definitely a boring idea of fun ("sitting stoned in a muddy field for £250").

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Syd

Oddly...

... I also used one in Bangalore recently. The high-pitched hum was audible to me, but it did seem to be effective so I lived with the temporary tinnitus... which if you are at a festival, you probably have anyway!!

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Devil

The best mozzie replant

The best mosquito replant is actually a moisturiser called "Skin So Soft" made by avon.

So good the military buys it.

But, shhh, its a secret.

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Pint

Festivals and gadgets! noooooooooooooo!

i would never take anything of any real value to a festival! looting is very common. Tent, beer, food, toiletries and some clean cloths. i would never take an iphone or ipad to a festival.... if you are playing on an ipad at a festival you are one boring person! :D

The only gadgets i would use off that list is the waterproof bags, the intruder alarm 2 keep peskie kids out of my beer tent! and that totally awesome tracking thing! i would attach the bug in the bottem of my crate of beer and if it gets rob'd track em down and get my beer back. WIN!

Beer because that all you really need at a festival!

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Alarms and whatnot

I'd rather go to a festival where your stuff doesn't get nicked. And, yes, they do exist.

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Sage advice...

Don't take any more than you need and don't take anything you wouldn't mind losing.

Also, throw all your stuff around the tent so it looks like someone's already been through it all and so there aren't any handy bags full of your stuff for a pikey to quickly take and rummage through later.

Thankfully never had anything nicked at a festy - perhaps the above advice worked or I was just lucky...

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Adding to your list

I would suggest basic med kit, plasters and painkillers.

And what most forget, towels.

The other is wee bags (which I personally think should have been in the article), nothing worse pissed in the middle of the night, having to get dressed and stumbling over everyone else's guide ropes to fall over and wet yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

Too much

Tent, sleeping bag, beer, money, small torch. Sorted.

Clean clothes? At a festival? How posh are you?

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Clean clothes of course.

Otherwise I've dragged the solar-powered portashower for nothing! That, and the fitness machine that powers the LAN.

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Holmes

Bong!

I hereby patent the thermoelectric water-pipe and phone charger.

No need for MP3s, you'll be hearing music in your brain afterwards!

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Sleeping bag

That sleeping bag looked very much like something else when I saw the photo...

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Headmaster

Hollyoaks scripwriters working for El Reg

Motorola TLKR T8

....I once brought a set to Glasto a few years back...

No, you TOOK a set.

I can't help it - it's an illness

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Anonymous Coward

Erm..

Yes it is an illness, because you are talking nonesense. Most grammar nazis do.

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Headmaster

"nonesense"

I think you find that is "non-essence", as in: besides the point / w*nking in the margin.

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FAIL

Wouldn't an IR sensor see straight through the flimsy fabric of a tent?

The alarm would be set of by every hippy who stumbled past.

If you need a heated sleeping bag then you must have accidentally gone to bed at night. In which case, why not stay at home with your giant slipper and a nice cup of cocoa and listen to the highlights on Radio 2?

And anybody who takes their own speakers to a festival needs to be dragged out by their short hairs and strung up from the security fence as a warning to others.

With the possible exception of the waterproof bags (99p for a roll of twenty posh bin bags from your local supermarket), all of this stuff is about as festival-friendly as a mohair cardigan and stilleto heels.

No wonder Glastonbury has gone all U2 if this is an indication of the state of today's festival goer.

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IR sensor

The infra-red sensor on that Doberman is a run-of-the-mill motion detector which works by sensing rapid changes in IR heat not light and won't 'see' through the tent fabric. All those films/tv shows where someone uses an IR heat camera to look through walls/windows are complete bunk, you can only tell if the wall is warm not what's behind it and windows reflect heat like a mirror reflects light.

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Meh

@Haku

Ah. Fair enough. The first (Gadget Show) review of it that popped up in google talks about "beams" so I assumed it was active rather than passive. I'm still a bit 'meh' about it given that the standard scally tent-robbing method always used to be slashing a hole in the back end of the tent where people typically store their bags. If a PIR is facing the entrance then it wouldn't spot that at all.

Tents: they're not safes.

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Anonymous Coward

Limitted Use

No matter how it works a tent alarm would be of limitted use. Who's going to do anything about an alarm going off in a field full of tents? Most people will be over at the stages and the camp site will probably be in semi darkness.

Who does anything about a car alarm going off in a car park?

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Of course it's heat not light sensitive.

Or do you want it to go off every time someone walks past your (semi-transparent!) tent!?!

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In the dead of night

A lot of thieving goes on late late at night - as long as it wakes you and the tents around you up (They'd probably be grateful as they would either have just been or be next on the list) then it sounds like a good idea to me.

As for taking phones, we bought cheap Nokia's especially. Tenner each, battery lasts forever, don't care if they got lost. Easy.

Agree that anyone who takes speakers needs a kick in the arse.

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RF

I noticed the number of these gadgets relying on RF of some kind. How many channels do they support?

I'm just wondering who's tent you might end up finding, if enough people brought them.

Definitely worth the walkies, though. My sets take AA, so easy to "recharge" without mains power. Even if others are on your channels, you don't normally use them for long conversations. over. out.

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Anonymous Coward

Missing the point

Take a bloody camper van. And not one of those dodgy VW's; a proper one, with a dunny and shower.

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Anonymous Coward

Camper

Camper than what exactly?

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MJI
Silver badge

I think I'd take my caravan

Got my own loo and shower, and it has a locking door.

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@MJI

Or you could just stay at home and moan about the youth of today.

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Happy

El Tit

The best security at Glasto is to go as a group of about 15. Arrive late Wednesday. Find a nice patch towards the top corner of a field (but not so close you get the pissers) and set up your tents in a circle all linked together with cris-cross guy ropes and only one entrance. Set up a pole in the middle with a flashing L.E.D. Get a particularly motherly aunt to come along, who'll mostly stay with the tents, reading, knitting, chatting to similar women (or guys even).

Don't even think about moving off until late Monday afternoon.

Worked for us in 2000 and we had a fantastic stress-free time with no worries, no losses, and no getting lost.

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Stop

SheWee?

Just saying.

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FAIL

Once at a rave

Had some nob try to drag away my tent. With me and a fencing hatchet still inside. FAIL.

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Devil

bah

Good pair of boots. A small £10 morrisons dome tent (it has done a few glastonburys and donnightons in its time). small snugpak sleeping bags, inflatable sleeping mat, clothes inc "go home to civilisation" clothes. Fags in bags, beer, thats about it. Fuck the phone, you're supposed to be enjoying yourself. And an ipad? Seriously?

Dont take anything you dont mind losing.

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Facepalm

iPad? Gadgets? Good grief.

All these anti-theft methods seem a bit OTT to me - the best way of making sure your stuff doesn't get nicked is to leave it at home. Last fest I went to, I took my old camera phone (K550i, still got a 10+ day battery life so no charging required), sleeping bag, stove, torch, beer and instant noodles (easy to carry since they hardly weigh anything). Sure I'd be unhappy if someone nicked my £14 case of lager, but not as pissed as I'd be if they took my smartphone, iPad or £50 tent locating device.

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Alien

When I went

I had 4 1/2 acid tabs, no tent, no sleeping bag and it hissed down.

go without a tent

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Anonymous Coward

alternative to the doberman alarm ?

I once saw a bunch of hefty long hairs catch a perp robbing property from tents, strip the guy naked and gaffer tape him to a tree outside a popular heavy metal festivals police command post, pausing only to tie a placard round the idiots neck detailing his crimes...... Back on topic, a fire alarm function would be ideal too, having just returned from Le Mans where an accidentally overturned barbecue in the site next to ours caused the loss of a race goers car (a rather nice Audi until the fire), tent and contents, not to mention a caravan accidentally torched on the Sunday night..

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Alarms? ALARMS?!

Being as I have been mugged at Glastonbury by a bunch of scousers, whilst hundreds looked gormlessly on, I don't think a piddly electronic alarm will do any good, as no-one will give a shit.

What to take: money, drugs, spare pair of pants. That's it. Anything else is a waste of time.

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Sod these gadgets

You are there for music, not to keep your iPad charged and somewhere safe.

We need proper festival gadgets, like the ideal trolly to carry your crap to and from the car.

A lightweight tent that goes up and down easy (preferably with a bit of space to sit in during the morning when you wake up and wait for the rain to stop).

Cheap, small, lightweight radios that last a long time on batteries (music before the show starts/after you get back to the tent for an all night party)

Decent wellies and waterproofs that will last a weekend without somewhere to dry them out.

The only electrics you need at a proper festival are your phone to find your mates when you get lost and a charger as smartphones don't hold their charge all weekend (T in the Park have lockers with car style sockets to charge up from)

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Yes

Why the blue blistering blazes would you want to listen to MP3s at a music festival?

The walkie talkie might be good if the batteries lasted 5 days, otherwise its clutter.

To find yer tent molish a unique flag and stick it on a long pole. Paint the tent with coloured waterproofer. One red tent in a field of beige ones is easy to find.

If you leave yer bits at home, they won't get nicked.

Wellies, some sleeping gear, condoms, and perhaps coffee (though people mostly buy that now) . There are 362 days a year to play with yer ipud.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't bring anything you don't want stolen!

I never bring anything I don't want to risk getting stolen. Events, public campgrounds, the beach, there's always someone with sticky fingers looking for a quick score.

That said, the external battery pack is very handy for long weekends away from other power sources. I've got a New Trent version; 5000mAh will charge an iPhone about 2.5x (but only 30% or so of an iPad). Takes a long time to charge itself, but charges devices fast enough.

The other great thing is the waterproof camera. I've got a Panasonic TS2. Nearly same specs as the Olympus (but the TS2 has been out for two years). Awesome camera. I thought it was great at the beach and on the water (with a floatie attached), but surprisingly I get much more use of it in winter. No worries about keeping it in an outer pocket of the jacket, getting wet and cold, fumbling and dropping it into the snow, getting it soaked on a wet ice climb... fantastic camera. I'm sure the Olympus is just as good, too bad Canon doesn't make one that doesn't look like a kid's toy.

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Happy

Walky-talkies won't work

With only 20 or so bands, the PMR frequencies get full at any big festival.

There is a trick to it though. Get a foreign PMR/CB (US or Aussie for Brits) that uses different frequencies. This is of course illegal. As are many things you might do at festivals.

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+1

+1 on this tip.

It's a very convenient way of claiming "your" part of the spectrum without getting into two-way radio tech and allocations.

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Now wait a minute ...

... or didn't you mean "20 bands" on a stage but rather 20 frequency bands?

Just asking because that would be bollocks then. (:

PMR446 offers 8 channels == 8 independent frequencies == 8 different conversations at the same time within the same area.

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Scosche goBat II, Tecknet is a third of the price

Just back from Glasto, used the TeckNet Dual-Port iEP380 5000mAh

http://www.tecknetonline.co.uk/products/TeckNet-Dual%252dPort-iEP380-5000mAh-Universal-USB-Battery-Pack-For-iPad%2C-iPhone%2C-iPod%2C-Nokia%2C-HTC-and-Others.html

This kept my Orange San Francisco topped up for 5 days.

At £21 and very similar design, I'd say it was a better choice

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Scosche goBat II

Whilst it's a great idea, it's a touch pricey at 60 quid. Happily, for about 42 quid amazon will punt you a similar device called a Trent iCruiser with a whopping 11,00 mAh capacity, or you can get a 6,600 mAh Arcadia ACD66 device for 35 quid, but if you promise t write and honest (not necessarily good) review within three weeks of receiving it, you can get one for about £25 (via the seller called Naphos). Got an Arcadia just in time for Beatherder and frankly it's looking like a good investment.

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Decent kit

The only decent idea here is a windup/solar generator. The rest are useless tat. Biggest problem at glastonbury? Heat and lack of shade. Give me a gadget that can fix that, and I'll be happier than a hippie at the leftfield stage.

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