What to bring

From Electromagnetic Field 2024
We'd like to provide more of a general camping guide, as some of our attendees are unfamiliar with camping. If you're an experienced camp attendee, we'd welcome your edits on this page. We'll update our main what to bring page with this info.

General tips

  1. Pack for all weathers. It may be June but it can still get pretty cold, especially at night or if it's wet. Similarly just because it's overcast doesn't mean you can't get sun burn and heat stroke. Either way make sure you have the things you'll need to be comfortable whatever the weather
  2. Plan to walk. The site isn't huge but it's still a 10 min walk from one end to the other and there's lots to see all over it so make sure you have shoes you're comfortable walking in for a while (we recommend boots). If you don't walk a lot, some blister plasters are also a good idea.
  3. Stay hydrated and fed Walking around all day outside will take it out of you, plan to eat and drink water, probably more than you normally do.
  4. Aim to sleep well (bring earplugs and comfy things) Three thousand odd people make a fair bit of noise, whether it's kids in the morning or bigger kids at night. Whilst we have quiet and noisy ends of the site, sound travels and so do ducks, so to help get a good night's sleep, some earplugs you can sleep in are a great idea.
  5. Know your limits and be kind to yourself. EMF is a lot, there're thousands of cool people, pretty lights, awesome sounds, new things to learn, food and drink to try. It's great, but it can be a lot, it's ok to take time for yourself so scope out quiet places you can sit to recharge (a walk up to the obelisk is a great way to unwind). Just as much make sure you stay hydrated and if you need to: nap!

Buying a tent

Tents are rated by the number of people they can sleep, but this assumes a very cosy sleeping arrangement without much space for bags or anything else. It's always worth going at least one size up from the number of people you expect to sleep in the tent.

Avoid the very cheapest tents available, as these are designed to be semi-disposable, but you can get a perfectly good tent for less than £60. You can bring your expensive backpacking tent if you want to, but it isn't great to leave lightweight tents out in the sun, and there's a small but non-zero chance of accidental damage if someone trips over it.

Blackout tents (such as Decathlon Fresh&Black or Coleman BlackOut) are surprisingly effective and will reflect the sun, giving you at least an extra hour in bed on a sunny morning before the tent turns into an oven.

Tents can be single-walled or double-walled. Single-walled tents struggle to let moisture out when wet, and thus are generally not suitable for British weather: they will keep the rain out but your body loses water all the time and it will condense on the inside of your tent and soak all your stuff. Get a double-walled tent.

Suggested packing list:

  • Your tent
  • Enough tent pegs


You will need a pillow, a sleeping mat and a sleeping bag in order to sleep comfortably.

Air mats are better, but foam roll mats are sufficient and very cheap. Sleeping bag ratings are often quite optimistic and it's impossible for a sleeping bag to be too warm. A comfort rating of -5°C to 0°C is ideal.

You can make an acceptable pillow by bringing a pillowcase and stuffing it with your spare clothes.

Suggested packing list:

  • Foam mat
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillowcase or travel pillow
  • Travel towel


You shouldn't skimp on socks or underwear (or showers!) but you can easily reuse shirts. It's easier to deal with diverse weather conditions if you bring lots of layers rather than individual garments that pack a lot of warmth.

The ideal footwear for getting around the campsite is hiking boots. Wellies work but you'll be walking a lot and they're not very comfortable. It will probably rain at some point, the site will get wet and muddy and if you only have shoes your feet will get wet and muddy too. Whatever you bring, aim to have walked a few miles in them before EMF.

It's also a good idea to bring flipflops for the showers.

Suggested packing list:

  • Hiking boots
  • Flipflops
  • Sufficient socks and underwear for the nights you're staying
  • 1-2 ordinary shirts
  • 1 ordinary trousers
  • 1 warm shirt
  • 1 warm fleece/down top (note that down jackets will eventually stop working given sufficient rain)
  • 1 thermal underwear
  • A good waterproof
  • Waterproof (over)trousers, if you have them
  • Gloves

Remaining clean

Showers are provided and you should use them every day. You will need to bring your own soap, shampoo, and towel. It wouldn't be a terrible idea to bring some string and pegs so you can hang your towel up to dry. It's worth taking a plastic bag to keep your things dry while you shower, and some flipflops to wear to the shower.

Antimicrobial sports shirts work well. Don't forget deodorant.

The showers get very busy in the morning, but there's no law saying you have to shower then. In particular, showering in the evening helps keep your sleeping bag nice.

You don't need to bring loo roll. You don't need to bring hand soap either, but you should probably bring some hand sanitizer of your own.

Suggested packing list:

  • Shampoo, shower gel, any other shower product
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Flipflops
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer

Other stuff

  • Your ticket
  • Some money—cash or card is fine. Most vendors take card payments
  • Torch (a headtorch is ideal)
  • Sun cream and/or sun hat
  • Water bottle
  • Long (>40m) 13A extension cable (ideally with Ceeform (2+E) connector) if you want power to your tent (for phone charging, electric blanket etc)
  • Anything electronic you want
  • Chargers for your electronic stuff
  • Things to craft/hack/play with
  • A day bag, a small rucksack to carry water/laptops/cameras around the site in

Note that EMF has a small shop and Ledbury has a large supermarket and a couple of hardware stores. You are unlikely to get into serious trouble.


Many people do bring valuables to the site (e.g. laptops, robots, 3d printers, lathes) but please be aware that there is no attendee-available secure storage so you should consider carefully what you bring and how you'll look after it. That being said the event is very friendly and leaving items in tents is generally fine.