Glamping: Glamorous Camping on a Budget

Gear Guide — By Alexi Ueltzen on October 22, 2009 at 9:24 am

The current economic state of, well, most of the world, has spawned some really, really awful new words.

Staycation,” “Funemployment,” “Freegan“…

(If you don’t know what any of these are, ask me. I’m happy to expound). Another term that’s about as sexy as leftover meatloaf is “glamping.”

A hybrid of “glamour” and “camping,” glamping means to camp…luxuriously. While it’s a bit of an oxymoron, high-end camping actually has a lot going for it. Participants get to be in the great outdoors, but without the typical backache that comes with sleeping in a tent. It’s a long hike…with champagne. It’s a chance to stay in your own backyard, but still feel like you had a vacation.

For a glamping trip to be truly successful, there has to be some luxury mixed in with the outdoorsiness. Whether you opt for tent, cabin or RV, read on for our packing list to make even the most wild locale feel a little more like a resort:

  • A plush inflatable mattress: No matter how awesome they claim to be, thermarests are never equal to sleeping on a real bed. For your glamping trip, invest in a decent air mattress. Make sure you have inflating options, too. While an electric pump is convenient, it’s hard to use if your batteries die and you don’t have access to an outlet, so throw in a foot pump or portable air compressor. The mattresses range in price (and size) from $30 to $100. Choose the one that  fits best into your budget. And your tent.
  • Need a little more luxury? Throw in a memory foam pillow.
  • A big cooler: because freeze dried meals and glamping do not mix. We hope you spend the glamping trip grilling and toasting (marshmallows) and toasting (your wine glasses), and you’ll need a roomy, capable cooler to hold all that tasty grub. Tips: buy one with wheels for better mobility, or a cooler bag, for shorter trips and greater packing flexibility.
  • Portable music: whether it’s an ipod dock and speakers or a simple radio to pick up the local stations, a glamping trip should not rely on an acoustic guitar and some guy who “played in college. A little bit.”
  • Fun utensils: Wine glasses. Marshmallow toasting forks. Sporks. Hot chocolate mugs.
  • A portable, solar shower: if your RV isn’t equipped with one, or you just really like the idea of bathing under a pine tree, try a portable shower for a truly unique experience. Unless you also throw in a portable shower curtain, be strategic when you pick your shower’s location.
  • Movies: You can watch ‘em on your laptop, but a portable DVD player isn’t a bad idea, either. You’ll worry less about someone breaking into your…tent…and hustling off with it. It’s true: Dumb and Dumber really is funnier in the woods.
  • A hammock: if there’s anything less-stressful than swinging in a hammock, I don’t know what it is. Plus, they’re a requirement for glamping trips and no, I didn’t just make that rule up.

For more tips on glamping, check out MSNBC’s article here.


Tags: camping, cooler, glamor, glamping, hammock, luxury, solar shower, Yosemite


  • Amy @ The Q Family says:

    Yup.. Camping in style is a great way for an affordable fun vacation. Another must have for us is a big tent. Get a tent big enough so you have enough space to not just sleep but hang out.. Maybe even put a small chair to relax at night as well.

  • heel lifts says:

    Excellent work. You have gained a new reader. I hope you keep up the good work and I look forward to more of these excellent posts.

  • luxury camping says:

    And if you really want to go all out, let us not forget the portaloo! How could your own glamping experience be complete without it!?!


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