With April and its showers being shown the door and the country experiencing the first prolonged spell of decent weather in what seems like decades after the misery of winter, it's time to start looking ahead with cautious optimism to the summer. And for many of us this means hitting the festivals and hopefully enjoying the sun and great music in the same place.
But alongside the tent and the wellies, you'll no doubt be wanting to pack your phone as well, as the thought of three days in a field with no connection to the outside world is enough to make some people break out in cold sweats.
Some people say you should leave your smartphone at home and rely on a cheaper option when you're on the festival grounds. But let's be honest – for many people, this won't be a good solution. As well as keeping them in touch via social networks and browsing the web, a smartphone isn't just their contact with the world, it's how they remember it, and you may want your phone at hand primarily for its camera as well.
So if you do choose to take a more expensive model out to Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight or anywhere else, you'll need to take precautions. In order to make sure you bring it back home in the same condition it left in, here are our top tips for keeping your gadgets safe from the mud and the mosh pits.
Add a protective case
A smart case for your phone is more than just a fashion statement – though surely this too will be important if you're going for that festival chic look. It can also help ensure that if you do accidentally drop it or have it jolted around in a handbag, it might be less likely to leave you peering at your photos through a cracked screen.
Just because you've got a rugged, yet stylish cover though, this doesn't mean you can instantly start treating your phone like a bouncy ball. Use your common sense and keep a close eye on it, and try to refrain from things like holding it high over your head if you're being elbowed from all sides.
Mind the mud
It's Britain, it's summer, so inevitably, it's going to be a bit wet. But while traipsing around trying to find the one dry spot to pitch your tent is all part of the festival experience, keeping your phone clear of the wet stuff is vital. Even if you've got one of the latest generation of waterproof phones such as the Sony Xperia Z2, there's only so much it can take.
That's why something like our BeachBuoy Collection of waterproof cases could be a great idea. these have been fully tested by the British Standards Institute and are guaranteed to be 100 per cent waterproof. They're rated for depths of up to 16 feet of water, so you'll be able to cope with even the worst of the British weather.
Keep it juiced
One of the most frequent complaints many users have had about the jump to the smartphone era has been the drop in battery life that's come with it – understandable when you look at what the new high-definition screens and beefed-up speakers are capable of. Makers have been trying to fix this with less thirsty processors and bigger battery packs, but the chances of you getting a phone from the festival gates to the trip back home on a single charge are about as likely as the headliners inviting you to sing on stage with them.
If you've gone down the cheap feature phone route, you might have more luck, but for the smartphone-obsessed, there are a couple of things you can do about it. At the very least, you should bring along a portable charger or in-car device, so you can top up at the festival grounds. But if you don't want to head back to your car or fight over limited electrical sockets, you might like to think about something like our Proporta USB TurboCharger 7000 emergency charger.
This lightweight gadget can be topped up with charge at home and lets you charge up to two gadgets at once wherever you are via its two USB output ports. It comes with a range of interchangeable connectors that let you top up almost any portable gadget, and it's also powerful enough to keep a big tablet like an iPad running, as well as your smartphone.
No-one wants to spend a festival fretting over their phone, but with a bit of forward planning, you can ensure that you're free to fully enjoy whatever event you're headed to this summer, without having to keep worrying about your favourite gadgets. So enjoy yourself, and remember – the mud is half the fun.