Throw out the old rules of camping in favor of the new rules of glamping!
Glamping has experienced a huge boom in popularity over the past few years, thanks, in large part, to the perfect social media photo sharing opportunities it provides.
But that’s far from the only reason why glamping rocks. Not only is it stylish, but it’s incredibly comfortable as well. It’s perfect for those that prefer a few extra amenities over the traditionally barebones camping experience while still enjoying the great outdoors.
Our ultimate beginner’s guide is the perfect tool for those planning their very first glamping trip!
What Is Glamping?
Glamping, a portmanteau of glamorous and camping, is a type of luxury camping that brings a host of extra amenities, luxuries, and comfort items into the mix.
Although it still takes place in an outdoor location, the main difference between glamping and camping is the tent.
Most camping tents are designed with weight/space savings, easy setup and take-down, and portability in mind which limit their overall size.
Glamping tents, on the other hand, have few of these limitations since glampsites are typically permanent or semi-permanent. Most glamping tents are much more spacious than their camping, and especially backpacking, counterparts.
This extra interior space and somewhat permanent nature allows for more comfortable furnishings. Most notably, real beds with real mattresses rather than sleeping pads or camping cots although additional furniture like desks, tables, and recliners are all common.
Many glampsites also come equipped with kitchenettes, small bathrooms, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, hot tubs, and other amenities to up the luxury camping factor.
In fact, the definition of glamping is somewhat loose. Camping in a canvas wall tent is considered glamping just as much as staying in a yurt, teepee, treehouse, or even a vintage trailer. Some people even consider camping cabins a type of glamping accommodation!
Basically, your glamping opportunities are nearly unlimited. You’re all but guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for in your next glampsite.
DIY Glamping vs Glampsite Rental
There are two main types of glamping: DIY glamping and renting a glampsite.
A glampsite rental is an already established glamping campsite that you rent for the duration of your stay.
Glamping.com, GlampingHub, and even Airbnb are examples of websites where you can make glamping accommodations. Many state park campgrounds as well as private campgrounds (KOA is a great example) also enable you to reserve fully-furnished, fully-stocked glampsites.
Simply put, a glampsite rental is perfect for a hands-off approach. All you’ll typically need to bring is food, drink, and possibly bedding. Almost everything else is taken care of for you. And you still get to chill in an amazing outdoor setting!
Your other option, DIY glamping, takes a little more effort. It’s the prefect hands-on approach for people that prefer do-it-yourself glamping!
DIY glamping is similar to traditional camping. You pack along your own glamping tent, furnishings, décor, amenities, and other camping gear. Then you set up your own campsite by yourself.
The nature of the glamping gear you bring largely depends on where you’re glamping (traditional campsite or private land) and the length of stay (a few nights or semi-permanent).
Because a glamping rental is so straightforward (all you have to do is make a reservation!), the rest of this guide focuses primarily on DIY glamping.
How to Choose a Glamping Tent
A glamping tent is the most important piece of gear you need for DIY glamping.
Most DIY glampers prefer a tent that is lightweight and portable as well as easy to set up. This is especially true for those that take short glamping trips to traditional campsites where frequent set up and take down is required.
For this style of glamping, a canvas tent is likely your best bet. A bell tent, wall tent, or tepee work as well. Each of these is relatively lightweight, relatively portable, and very spacious. Although models are available made from different materials, canvas is usually the best option thanks to its rugged durability.
Not only is a canvas glamping tent a great option for occasional trips, but they also make a fine permanent or semi-permanent glamping shelter, especially if you add a wooden platform into the mix. A wooden base picks your tent (and therefore your sleeping/living area) up off the ground for more robust weatherproofing, better heating/cooling, improved cleanliness, and to keep rodents, insects, and other creatures at bay.
Another option for a semi-permanent glamping setup is a yurt. Even portable yurts require up to an hour to set up. But the long setup time results in an incredibly robust and durable glamping tent that holds up well in pretty much all weather conditions.
Outfit your glamping tent with a comfortable cot, warm sleeping bag, string lights, and other odds and ends to create a comfortable hang out space.
How to Turn Camping into Glamping
A tent is just one step – yes, an important one – on the way to turn camping into glamping.
After you buy the best glamping tent, it’s time to create a cozy sleep system. I prefer a luxury camping cot or a full-blown air mattress for the utmost in comfort.
From there, think about bedding. For my air mattress, I like to use actual sheets as well as actual blankets and pillows instead of a traditional sleeping bag for even more nighttime comfort.
Of course, hanging around outside is another important part of glamping. For me, that means bringing my hammock! The Mock ONE is the ideal glamping hammock thanks to its lightweight and portable design with a built-in stand. Better yet, it’s just as comfortable to use as a chair around the campfire as it is to use as a hammock.
In addition to my glamping hammock, I always add in my string lights, a portable speaker with my favorite tunes (just remember to keep the volume low so as not to disturb your neighbors), and a cooler full of my favorite cold drinks for a top-notch glamping setup that doesn’t break the bank.
Go Glamping This Summer!
What are you waiting for – whether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned vet, summer is the perfect time to go glamping!
Get out there and make happy!