Crave Summer: Gadgets for Glastonbury

With just ten days to go until the biggest music festival of the summer, we run down the essential gadgets to get you through the four days of madness...

Festival season has arrived! A joint effort between the Isle of Wight Festival and Download Festival at Donnington marked this weekend as the official start to the music-lover's summer. Many scalp-scorched revellers are no doubt sitting bleary-eyed at their desks this morning, guitars still ringing in their ears. But just around the corner, ten days away, is the daddy of them all, and 177,500 of you are gearing up for it: Glastonbury.

Crave is very excited, it has to be said. Our checklist is getting longer by the day. But in among the essentials -- tent, toilet paper and wet wipes -- are, of course, our top pick of Glastonbury gadgets. These are our prized pieces of rugged, durable tech that will see us through four days of festival madness.

First up is the vital camera -- we're banking on the Olympus µ [mju:] 770 SW. This tough-nut 7-megapixel snapshooter is waterproof to 10m, drop-proof to falls of 1.5m and even crushproof to 100kg, making it capable of handling pretty much anything you can throw at it -- or throw it at, as the case may be. Not only is it particularly thick-skinned but it takes decent pics too, so you can capture all the crazy festival action, and it's stylish and small enough to fit in the pocket of your shorts.

It costs around £235 online, or if you're feeling lucky you can have a go at winning one -- we've got two to give away in our Win Things section in Digital Living this month.

If you really want to make the most of the good memories, you need to be thinking about taking a camcorder. Panasonic's SDR-S10 is a small, flash-based camcorder that records to SD card. It's weather-proof, meaning it can handle the odd bit of rain (although it doesn't mention flash floods), plus it's dust-proof and robust enough to handle a drunken drop.

Unfortunately it's not the best at capturing low-light footage, so evidence of your night-time tomfoolery will almost certainly remain within the confines of Glasto's huge parameter fence, but then that's probably a good thing -- what happens at Glastonbury stays at Glastonbury...

The S10 can be found online for around £280 -- which, when you think about the YouTube value, isn't a huge amount to stump up.

Glastonbury isn't all about the bands -- there's always hella fun to be had in the campsite, too. So when your weary feet are too tired to trek down to the main stage, or your addled mind is incapable of making you go, you and your friends can still enjoy a few tunes thanks to a battery-powered DAB radio, such as PURE Digital's Oasis .

The Oasis is the oak tree of DABs -- it's solid as they come and capable of enduring a right old battering. The audio quality is surprisingly good for its £100 price tag and a whopping 15-hour battery life should see you through a few breakfast barbecues. Its only downfall is its heavy weight, but considering the benefits, it's well worth lugging it to your chosen pitch. Your mates will thank you for it.

Sometimes at festivals it's necessary to take stock of the day's events and have a little quiet time on your own. If you've partied yourself into oblivion and need to go and rest your eyes, your loyal MP3 player will feel as soothing as your favourite, matted childhood teddy.

Sony's NW-E013 is the perfect vessel to get you through these quiet times -- its 1GB memory will hold all your essential tunes, and the 30-hour battery life will ensure you won't be left clutching your knees and rocking to silence, with your mind twisting itself into a tangled web. At just £59 it's a worthwhile investment compared to several years of therapy.

Finally, here's the best festival tip you'll get this year: don't go to Glastonbury without a Mobcharger .

Mobchargers are the toilet paper of the gadget world -- by which, of course, we mean marked 'Absolute Essentials' and double underlined. They're disposable batteries that you simply plug into your phone, giving you 60 minutes more talk time or 480 minutes more standby time -- we all know how essential that can be.

They only cost a fiver, they come with a range of different connectors that fit mini-USB devices and Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones, and they can be found at Asda, BP Connect, One Stop shops and WH Smith travel shops. End the frustration. Prevent the tears. Buy a stock of these now! -Kate Macefield

 

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