How to Glamp Like a Pro

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How to Glamp Like a Pro

While camping is a very popular outdoors activity, it’s not for everyone. Bugs, uncomfortable sleeping pads and the persistent smell of smoke are common complaints among camping naysayers.

The good news is that camping has evolved, and it’s now an activity that can include everyone.

While today many campers will still choose to hike deep into the woods and sleep in a minimalist tent, others more accustomed to comfort might choose to “glamp” instead.

What’s Glamping?

Glamping is camping, but glamorous. It’s luxury camping. It’s getting a good night’s sleep and eating a meal that wasn’t burned on the outside and cold on the inside.

The great thing about glamping is that there are no rules. Some people glamp by getting a bigger tent or better-quality gear. Other people pay to glamp at luxurious campsites that are really hotels in disguise.

Under Canvas is an “upscale outdoor accommodation” that provides huge canvas tents with real furniture and running water. This is the epitome of glamping. It provides access to the outdoors and the fun of camping without having to actually rough it.

Fortunately, you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars per night to glamp in style. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your next camping trip, you’re definitely in the right place.

What Gear Do I Need to Glamp?

Glampers are always prepared. If you are really going to glamp, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right supplies. Depending on your glamping goals, your gear list might change and include other items.

For example, someone wanting a relaxing glamping trip to recharge and focus on nature might not need a great speaker, but someone wanting to party with friends would be lost without it.

In addition to all of the normal things that you need to go camping, you can turn any boring camping into glamping by making a few of the following upgrades.

Get a Cozy and Spacious Tent

The number one way to elevate camping is to get a better a tent. A tent sets the whole mood for camping as it’s the primary place you will be spending time. Sure, you’ll be outside, but if it’s raining or the weather is bad having a nice refuge is what sets glamping apart.

Plus, no one wants to be stuck in an overcrowded tent that smells by the next morning. And no one wants another person’s feet touching their head all night.

If you’re willing to splurge, this bell-shaped canvas tent is certainly glamorous. It’s spacious enough to hold actual furniture, including a bed with room to spare. There’s plenty of space for extra cots to accommodate a large group and you can also set up a food and bar area for snacks.

Life in Tents Fernweh Bell Tents for Camping
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Life in Tents Fernweh Bell Tents for Camping
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This tent is also completely waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about the rain getting you down. Plus, the canvas material is sure to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Sometimes canvas tents are difficult to assemble and people looking to glamp may not be interested in the trouble of set up. In that case, a nylon tent might be a better option because they are lighter weight and usually easier to set up.

This nylon tent is a great option for glamping because it is large enough to accommodate 12 people and it has multiple rooms for privacy. It’s also a solid choice because it includes a rainfly, it’s mosquito proof, and it has an awning for sun protection.

Get a Comfy Bed

You might have the nicest tent in the world, but glamping is about making sleeping outdoors comfy. A great bed set up that keeps you from tossing and turning on the hard ground can make all the difference.

More basic glampers can use an inflatable air mattress instead of a sleeping pad. While sleeping pads have come a long way, they are really not that comfortable. If you are glamping, it’s a great time to pull out the air mattresses. You can purchase a car charger that will easily inflate the mattresses, or better yet, get a self-inflating mattress like the one below.

Intex Queen Dura-Beam Inflatable Bed
3,924 Reviews
Intex Queen Dura-Beam Inflatable Bed
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If you want a more luxurious experience, bring in real beds. If lugging in a bunch of furniture doesn’t sound fun, bring in a cot and get a nice sleeping bag and pillows. Light weight camping furniture is great and can be used both outside and inside of a spacious tent.

This camping cot is definitely glamping worthy. It keeps you off of the cold ground and has an inflatable air mattress top. You’ll also be able to keep track of your phone and personal items because of the side tables that pop out.

Get Climate Control

Another way to turn camping into a comfortable glamping trip is to make sure that you are prepared for any weather. With a few key considerations, you’ll never be sweating or shivering while camping again.

If you will be camping in summer, a rechargeable USB fan is a must. I have three of this exact one.

These fans are small but mighty. You can recharge the fan in your car or through a power pack. They are pretty strong and have three settings to meet your needs. I find that they hold a charge for a long time (mine have lasted over 12 hours) and you can clip it anywhere in the tent to create a cross breeze.

If you’re in a warmer climate, or just can’t stand the heat, then you should look into a small portable air conditioner. It’ll be worth it.

I’d definitely recommend bringing a power source when glamping, because you’ll want to be able to charge all of your electronics, including the fan. The good news about this fan is that it also works as a power bank to charge other electronics in a pinch.

In addition to a fan, you’ll also need a heat source if you are camping in the winter. Yes, a great sleeping bag and some warm layers go a long way, but glamping is about comfort, not roughing it. You don’t want to be cold when you’re hanging out in the tent, but not in the sleeping bag.

If you’re up for it, a wood burning camp stove is the best way to keep your tent warm. However, some people might find it to be a bit too much work to keep it burning while glamping.

Luckily, there are many propane tent heaters that are up for the challenge, like those made by Mr. Heater.

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Mr. Heater Portable Space Heater
621 Reviews
Mr. Heater Portable Space Heater
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This propane heater is designed to be safe in smaller spaces, and it has an automatic shut off if it is tipped over or oxygen gets low. It’s portable and very easy to find the 1lb propane cylinders that it runs off of at any local department store.

Get Good Music

The thing about glamping is that it’s not just an activity, it’s a vibe. Glamping means relaxation and fun, combined. For some that might mean enjoying the sounds of nature, but for others it might be playing an awesome playlist to set the mood.

Normal campers may not have room for a speaker that takes up space in their bag, but glampers will definitely have the space. The good news is that many portable Bluetooth speakers are now quite small, meaning humbler glampers on the move can enjoy them as well.

I have this JBL Bluetooth speaker, and I think it’s a really strong option. It is lightweight and portable, but large enough to get some serious sound. It’s waterproof and has endured some dewy mornings when it’s been accidently left outside overnight.

JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
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JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
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The only downside to this speaker is that after a few years, the battery life is waning. Overall, it’s a great speaker for the price though and I will probably buy another one when it dies.

If you’ll be glamping near a lake or other body of water, you can bring a floating speaker to really set the mood. This speaker gets great reviews and can be brought while floating a river or in the pool.

Blufree Portable Speaker Waterproof Floatable
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Blufree Portable Speaker Waterproof Floatable
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Get an Awesome Cooler

Snack and drinks are definitely an important part of glamping. Traditional camping can mean making minimalist and unappetizing meals or drinking a warm beer when the cooler runs out of ice. If you are going to glamp, you need a cooler that can handle your needs to keep food and drinks cold and fresh.

It might be helpful to consider purchasing two separate coolers that preform different functions. Having one larger cooler in your tent or at your glamp site will be useful for keeping in the cold and preserving ice. You can then use a smaller travel cooler to keep specific snacks and meals cold throughout the day.

This will also help you to limit the number of times that you are opening and closing the larger cooler. If you are glamping while it is hot, this practice can quickly melt your ice and you might end up with soggy or spoiled food.

If you haven’t heard of Yeti coolers, you’d be best off familiarizing yourself now. Yeti coolers are very expensive, but in my experience, they are worth the hype. I own a large Yeti Tundra cooler like the one below and a smaller travel Yeti cooler.

YETI Tundra Cooler
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YETI Tundra Cooler
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The Tundra is big enough to keep large ice reserves and keep your food and beverages cold. Too often we purchase coolers that are the size what we want to pack inside. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much room for the ice that needs to work to keep it cold. It is important to have a cooler for room for excess ice so that it stays cold for longer.

I’d definitely recommend purchasing Yeti ICE, even if you don’t buy a Yeti cooler.

YETI ICE Refreezable Reusable Cooler
6,519 Reviews
YETI ICE Refreezable Reusable Cooler
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Yeti ICE is a super ice pack that is designed to stay frozen for longer than ice. When the ice in the cooler melts, the Yeti Ice re-freezes the melted water and maintains a sheet of ice on the bottom of the cooler. I’ve used it in other coolers, and it has worked exactly the same.

For a smaller portable day cooler, I do not actually recommend going with a Yeti. I used to have the Hopper, but the zipper broke, and it really didn’t carry much for how heavy and expensive it was.

After trying to find a solution, I now use the Tourit backpack cooler.

TOURIT Lightweight Insulated Backpack Cooler
14,178 Reviews
TOURIT Lightweight Insulated Backpack Cooler
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This cooler is cheap and pretty spacious for a backpack. It keeps things cold when I include Yeti ICE, and my food can certainly survive a day away from the tent. You can also use a smaller cooler like this exclusively for beverages.

Make a Great Meal

Since you will be bringing a variety of snacks to your glamping adventure, you’ll need a way to cook a great meal. Normal camping means making something uninspired and easy, but glamping offers more flexibility.

Try making some gourmet fondue. It might seem like overkill, but it can be easily made in a pot over any camp stove. You can precut veggies and food to dip and dive into the cheesy goodness. A special tip is to use s’more sticks for dipping.

You can also invest in a Dutch oven to make your meals tastier. A Dutch oven might be too heavy for the average camper, but a glamper can make use of its versatility to make gourmet meals while out in nature.

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Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven
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This Dutch oven can be placed directly into the fire and can make all things from stews and chilis to chicken and even bread! I love that it has legs so that you can keep it even in the flame. There are so many recipes online that don’t require a lot of work but will really enhance your glamping experience.

Where Should I Glamp?

Now that you know what you need to glamp, you’ll have to find an awesome spot to set up. If you have a lot of gear, try finding a campsite that has a spot for your car to be parked next to the tent. This will make it easier to manage your gear and organize your site.

There are many campsites across the US that are in very scenic locations. They have access to water, showers and other amenities that you might not find in more remote areas. Most campsites post photos on their website so you can see what it’s like and you check out a map of the whole campsite.

If you can, reserve a campsite that is not too close to the bathroom, but not too far from it either. You don’t want any smells or noise to ruin your glamping, but you also don’t want to have to walk a mile in the middle of the night.

If you are glamping close to water, make sure your site is not in the flood plain so that you don’t get hit by any unexpected water during a storm. Also try to find a place under a tree that might provide some shade and refuge from the sun during summer.

Glamping is fun because it is a versatile activity. With the right gear and set up, it’s hard not to enjoy glamping, no matter where you do it. Be sure to try out different campsites and gear over time, so that you can really perfect the art of glamping. As you get better, you’ll be able to glamp almost anywhere!

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