Love the idea of glamping but keen on DIY? Here’s our guide to a self-supported glamp out!
Glamping’s a form of comfy camping that lets you bring all of life’s little luxuries away with you. It’s not hardcore, but glamping is a great way to get family, friends, loved ones, or even yourself back into the wild.
Even if you’re normally into tougher adventures, glamping out can be a great way to go somewhere new and have a break from society. This guide is for any outdoor lover who wants to add some glamour to their next campout.
Most importantly though, glamping doesn’t have to be a bookable experience – with the right gear and mindset you can do it yourself at almost any drive-in campground (hiking glamping exists, but it usually means an extra pack of beef jerky and a full size toothbrush).
I’m going to share some of my own tips and tricks that I’ve found work best so you can make your next glamping experience one to remember!
Picking Your Ideal Glamping Spot
When picking your perfect glamping location it’s best to do a little research on the campsite.
Some things to think about include:
- Where does the sun set? Where does it rise?
- What do you want close to your tent?
- What kind of environment are you after? Rainforest? River bank?
- Do you need to bring your own water, rubbish bags, firewood, or are these available?
Nowadays it’s a lot easier to find the perfect location due to articles and blogs. Within a few clicks you can find a beautiful campground just a few hours of your place.
Check out the Adventure Map on We Are Explorers and the search filters to see what’s around. You can also use the excellent state-based National Park websites, apps like WikiCamps or book private land through services like HipCamp.
What To Pack When Glamping
When you’re glamping you’re living in the wild, but doing it with a bit of luxury. You can get away with clothes that you wouldn’t normally take camping, but there’s still a risk they might get a bit sweaty or dirty. Comfy jumpers, broad brim hats and your favourite doona are all in, but maybe leave the white sneakers and floor-length dresses at home.
The tent is one of the most crucial parts of a glamping setup, it’s your bougie home away from home. The key things that a glamping tent offers are space and height, you want to be able to stand up to get changed, not touch the sides and fill it to the brim with pillows, blankets and mattresses (more on that later).
Lots of glamping setups are pretty hectic tent setups, bell tents that never move or buildings with canvas walls, but that’s not portable! You want that size and space with a quick setup and packdown, so you can focus on chilling.
The tent I’d suggest would be the Dometic Hayman 4 Air. It’s 4×3 metres inside, and nearly two metres high, so any adult can stand up and properly resistant to bad weather. But the thing that really sets it apart from other large tents on the market is that it’s inflatable – instead of poles you simply pump it up and the AirFrame tech keeps it rigid, giving you more time to focus on Feng Shui.
I’ve written in detail about my experience with the Hayman 4 Air tent, head here for the lowdown.
Pro tip: Bring a dustpan and brush to keep everything ship shape ‘indoors’.
Want to win a Dometic Hayman 4 Air Inflatable Tent? – Enter Now!
Glamping calls for a proper deluxe cookup. Leave the dehydrated meals at home, it’s time for all fresh ingredients on the fire.
Some must haves include:
- Grill for the fire
- Cast iron cookware
- An overly complicated way of making coffee
- Tin foil for potatoes
- Wine to pair it with, if you’re so inclined
- Washing up buckets, detergent, and tea towel – they’re always forgotten!
Oh and of course some nice plates, glasses and cutlery never go astray. Just nab some stuff from home, it’ll feel fancy outdoors.
Don’t forget to get some firewood on your way out to your campsite, chances are that the service station near you will be selling local bags of dry firewood.
Proper preparation when you’re going to have a fire can sometimes make or break the glamping experience so remember: fire wood, fire lighters, a lighter and even fire tongs if you’re really feeling like going the extra mile. Oh and don’t forget to keep it in a fire pit and make sure you’re allowed to light up wherever you are!
If not, a decent portable stove or BBQ can work wonders for outdoor cooking with way less hassle.
As discussed, we’re going gourmet.
Cheese boards and red wine, an ice box full of local craft beers with some burgers on the fire, lentil curry with a hot choccy nightcap. Plan your meals to be fun, exciting for the guests and most of all, delicious!
Planning a meal at a campsite can be tricky at times but if you’re well prepared with your cooking methods and equipment, and have spices handy for that extra flavour, you’re sure to make a cracker dish.
On a recent trip we made baked potatoes in the coals topped with sour cream, cheese and bacon. They were so tasty and a bunch of fun for kids (and adults) to make.
You can never have too many pillows, blankets, and rugs when going glamping. Sometimes you might not even need a chair if you have these close by. You and your mates can recline in your own private lounge.
That being said, if you do go the chair option you better make it plush. Camping shops have chairs in literal $10 increments, which correspond directly to plushness. Take your pick, but remember that you can always add your own blankets and pillows to PimpYourChair™.
Another option is setting up inside a roomy tent, it’s warmer, all-weather and big on the slumber party vibes.
Glamping is all about about aesthetics. Whether it’s a stylish icebox, that wicker basket that you’ve never really used at home, flowers or bunting, you want to make that campsite g o r g e o u s.
Lighting used to be a pain when camping but recently it’s become delightfully easy. And in a glamping campsite, the more lights the better!
You’ll want a nice lantern for the table and another for the tent so everyone can whip off their head torches. Then, if you’re really shmancy, grab some fairy lights and run them through your tent and kitchen.
Candles are great too, especially because they pull double duty keeping mosquitoes away. Just make sure that your campsite’s only ‘lit’ while you’re there, no fires while you’re off adventuring!
Hopefully you’ll have set up your glamping experience somewhere awesome where hikes, kayaking, bike rides or surfs are on the menu.
But back at camp can also be a blast with the right gear. Bring a footy or some makeshift cricket gear for an innings, or, if you’re a bunch of millennials, crack out the Finska and chuck on the latest Lime Cordiale record.
Once it gets dark board games are a must, get out the cards or something super complex like the Game of Thrones board game, you might actually work out how to play when everyone’s off their phones!
Most of all, have fun!
Glamping is really just comfy as heck camping. Whether you’re doing it for Instagram or just want a setup that’s got heaps of room for activities, you’re in for a good time.
The best thing about glamping is that it’s super accessible, with any luck you’ll get even the most glamorous of your friends into the outdoors. To me, that’s worth more than a few candles.
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