Camping doesn’t have to feel like a compromise. Throw in a few home comforts and you’ll have a comfy and enjoyable camping trip that you’ll want to repeat again and again.
For first timers or reluctant campers especially, comfort really can make or break your time under canvas (or nylon), and after many years of trial and error, i’ve finally got it right. Whilst I no longer believe in camping light, I do believe in camping comfy!
Sure you can pay for a glamping holiday; the tent is already set up for you, you’ll get a real bed and luxuries like a wood burning stove to keep you snuggly and warm, however glamping breaks really don’t come cheap and I strongly believe that you can create your own glamping experience and that it doesn’t need to cost the earth.
Splash out on a good quality tent by all means, decent sleeping bags and camp beds too – I’ve got a kingsize, and a double height air bed that are both SO comfy I love sleeping on them (not at the same time of course) and a darling canvas bell tent that is SO pretty I just want to live in it all the time. When it comes to camping essentials and practical gear however, you can easily inject some style and a bit of luxury into your tent by shopping savvy.
Don’t limit yourself to outdoor stores, you’ll find that style wise, you are extremely limited, though places like Mountain Warehouse are doing an excellent job of creating some ranges with funky designs. Supermarket outdoor living ranges, department stores and quirky online shops all have fabulous pieces that are easily adapted for camping purposes, so keep your eyes open, you’ll find gear suitable for camping in all sorts of unexpected places.
Below are 5 simple tips that will help you glam up your next camping trip.
Invest In Solar Powered Fairy Lights - Fairy lights are an inexpensive way of making a tent look pretty and sparkly. Instead of relying on an electric hookup or endlessly buying batteries, solar powered lights are the economical and eco-friendly way to light the inside and outside of your tent. Evening time and solar lights Strategically place stake lights around your tent to stop annoying night time trips over your guy ropes.
When it Comes to Bedding, Indulge! - Who says you have to take a sleeping bag camping? A good 3-season bag can be pricey and finding sleeping bags that look good can be a challenge. A proper duvet used on top of a sleeping bag will keep you cosy and looks good too. To make bedtimes ultra-snuggly and luxurious, we always take proper pillows, our kingsize goose down duvet, and our double height, queen sized inflatable air bed. Unless you have a tiny car, you’ll find packing extras like this really don’t take up much room at all and can make all the difference.
Don’t Rely On Outdoor Stores - Outdoors stores are brilliant places for practical and useful gear, but when it comes to glamping, don’t limit yourself to camping shops as you’ll find that gear suitable for camping is available in lots of places you might not expect. When it comes to tableware for camping, lots of shops have excellent picnic and outdoor living ranges in store and supermarkets in particular are a great place to start and you’ll find far funkier colours and designs available than those stocked in most outdoor stores, and at much better prices too.
Think Comfort - It’s super easy to create a pretty and relaxing area for lounging around inside or outside of the tent. Invest in a plastic backed picnic rug that can be easily picked up and moved, there are lots of gorgeous designs available and during the summer, they can easily be purchased along with your weekly shop. Festooned with cushions you can build yourself a comfy and inviting day nest, ideal for lounging around in the sunshine with a good book.
A Little Bit Of What You Love - Camping doesn’t have to mean basic food or drink! Love a decent cup of coffee in the morning? A camping kettle, stove and caffatiere are moderate investments that will help to make your camping trip a happy one. Invest a little more to get a good cooler and you’ll be able to take food with you, proper food, that you can prepare and cook so you’ll feel less like you are slumming it. A good cooler will keep ice frozen for days without power, and a jug of Pimms and lemonade, complete with ice cubes when camping is an indulgent joy I rarely pass up on!