‘Glamping’, or ‘camping for softies’, has firmly pitched its way into the travel mainstream in the last few years. The act of glamping is perfect for precious people like me who want to experience the glory of the great outdoors but don’t want to crap in a ditch.
I don’t care whether my makeshift home is a bell-tent, a yurt, an airstream, or a treehouse, I still want decent shower pressure, a comfy mattress and some champagne with my nature-fix thank-you!
A whopping number of Glamping digs have popped up around the globe (most can be found on Airbnb.com). But as their popularity rises so does their price tag. So what happens if you don’t want to chuck a few hundred dollars a night toward living it up in someone else’s decked-out dwelling?
With a little bit of planning and creativity you can re-create the experience yourself for a fraction of the price-tag! Here’s some DIY hacks guaranteed to set you on the path to five-star glamping righteousness.
Words by Stefanie Acworth
Choose your location wisely
The whole point of glamping is to get as close to nature as humanly possible without actually having to rough it (much). It’s all well and good to find that perfect camp spot with the ocean vista, but if the site isn’t serviced then you’re up shit creek – literally.
Sometimes the trade-off for serenity is a hot shower, so decide which is more important to you. Would you prefer possible crowds or non-existent bathroom facilities? Let your values guide you! If all else fails, you can purchase a solar-heated shower from here.
Invest in a Bell Tent
What would glamping be without the ubiquitous canvas bell tent? They’re like the stove-pipes of the camping world, and they’re not as expensive as you might think. A standard 3 metre bell-tent is a little over $500 to purchase from these guys.
When you consider this is around the same cost as a 2-3 night glamping adventure with any hospitality company, you’ll realise this is money well spent. Plus you can deck out your space any way you like and use the tent over and over again.
Glamping is an inherently sustainable pursuit. But not so if you’re racking up a rubbish bag the size of Mount Fuji.
Why not go the full-monty on your carbon footprint? Stick with biodegradable bags, take mostly perishable foods like fresh fruit and store in a cardboard box or esky.
Set the mood with candles and gas lanterns and use external chargers (charged prior to the trip) for anything electrical. Not only will you be doing the earth a favour but the clean-up will be super easy!
Food fit for a queen
If you want a glamorous camping experience you’ll need to treat it like one. If you’re anything like me, food factors rather prominently into the daily equation, even more so when I’m travelling!
If there’s one piece of advice I have to give is bring real food, it’ll make you feel that much more pampered. No packaged items. No cans. And especially no baked beans. Glamping is the perfect time to test out your gourmet grilling skills.
I’m sure Jamie Oliver has a new book out; go buy it. Purchase a stove for cooked breakfasts in the morning, a grill for the evenings and a good esky for dairy items like blue cheese and champagne (yes, I’m well aware that champagne doesn’t come from cows).
All air mattresses are not created equal
Is the mattress you plan to take one of those full-bodied queens or simply a skinny as fuck blow-up bed that’ll deflate as soon as you roll onto your side in the middle of the night? I don’t want to remind you how important a good night’s sleep is… especially out in the middle of nowhere!
Taking a good, solid, mattress can mean the difference between hell and some restful zzz’s. Get one that’s at least half a metre thick and dress it up with your duvet from home for a bit of style and comfort. Sleeping bags are for backpackers.
Leave the technology at home
Disconnecting is good for the soul. There’s nowhere to charge your devices anyway so you may as well concede to the simple life for a while.
If you can’t bare to part with your iPhone for even an hour, get a portable or car charger .
Pack a rug
I’m not talking about your Grandma’s fifty-thousand dollar Persian, but if the rug fits… Jokes aside, if you’ve got a quirky little Moroccan inspired weave that isn’t too heavy to roll up, plonk it in your car and grant your tent some instant good vibes and style kudos.
BYO Candles… Lots and lots of candles
Glamping is about including the little luxuries of home we wouldn’t find in nature. Okay, so you can make fire in nature but I bet it doesn’t smell like lavender and frankincense. Apart from being sustainable, candles provide much-needed light for your campsite at night (and are easier to carry than lanterns), they give off a certain blissful ambience when you’re sleeping under the stars and their sweet aroma might even neutralise the smell of cows sharing paddock space with you. Just make sure to keep them in a jar on a sturdy surface or else your tent may not be there in the morning.
Put your phone in a cup for instant speakers
If you want to prepare dinner while singing to Bowie at the top of your lungs, then your iPhone speakers alone ain’t gonna cut it.
Cue cup for an instant sound boost! Pop your iPhone inside an empty cup or mug and live in awe of the surround sound. Maccas cups are specially built for this. They even come with instructions.
Written by Stefanie Acworth
This post is from TheVine’s past archives. Stefanie runs the blog A Modern Wayfarer.