Ah, camping: whether you’re planning a solo trip, a romantic excursion or a weekend with the kids and dog in tow, noone can deny the peace and quiet that comes with living amongst nature, if only for a night or two. That being said, you don’t have to give up all your creature comforts in the process. Let’s talk ‘glamping.’ Glamorous camping, as it’s otherwise known, is a way to incorporate the best of both worlds – the luxury and convenience of modern inventions, and the stoic calm of the great outdoors. Sounds good? Excellent. From insulated space heaters to an almost solid roof over your head, here are five of the best accessories to bring along the next time you find yourself in the depths of the wild.
1. A Computer in Your Pocket – And with Internet to Boot
Modern technology is amazing. In a single block of polished screen and circuitry you have a combined calculator, compass, radio and contact service. You have a notepad, a dozen books, even a recipe for fish stew (how about that freshly caught trout from the river, eh?). Most importantly of all however, you have the internet. Whilst you might be going camping to get away from the constant connectivity of email and social media, having 3G on standby is never a bad idea. Unsure if a particular mushroom is edible? Not quite sure which poisonous spider is which? Google it and find out.
A pocket PC is great for a little evening entertainment, too. Put Netflix on for the kids, download a touchscreen videogame – you can even check up on the latest race results from the comfort of your very own sleeping bag. Oddschecker follows everything from the Grand National to the Rugby League, so even the most rural of fans can keep up over the hols. Very smart. Very easy. Very fun.
2. A Little Power Goes a Long Way
Speaking of smartphones, you’re going to need something or other to keep that workhorse battery on full. And while a car charger or a portable brick can be helpful, this is glamping we’re talking about. No expensive is spared. So bring the smartphone, bring the television, bring the speakers. In the cosy den of your countryside paradise, a generator is just the thing to keep any and all tech running smoothly. There are various prices and sizes of generators available, but the main premise is this: electricity on tap (within reason) the whole weekend long. The kids can have their flashy screens, and you and the partner can rest assured in the knowledge that the light will always turn on, the stove will always be hot and comfort levels are at an all-time high.
3. You Get What You Pay For: The Tent Itself
This is where things can get a little dicey. At what point does camping in style simply become, well, not camping? There are so many tents and shelters available out there, from caravans to the smallest two-person shell. What you decide to buy, and how much you pay for it, is ultimately up to you. For potential glampers out there, however, here are a few important things to think about. Do you want to bring your own set-up, or rent? There are plenty of service providers that can have a cabin or forest dome suited and booted for a fee, after all. And if you do bring your own, what kind? One room, two, three? A separate area for kids? A 50-part assembly or a simple pop-up?
As comfortable and unique as glamping can be, it’s important to remember that it’s still an outdoor holiday. There’s a lot to plan and a lot to think about. You have to be practical.
4. Turn Up the Heat
The rain beats down, the wind howls, the river breaks its banks – as glorious as nature can be, it also has a penchant for violence from time to time. As such, no matter where you are in the world, camping comes with its own inherent risks. One of those, especially when combined with more severe weather, is the cold. There’s a reason ‘basic’ camping comes with a requirement for thermals, big jumpers and huge blankets. Thin, waterproof tents can only do so much against the chill – even luxury gear can struggle. One way to counter all that, and one way to make your home away from home even fancier than ever before, is to bring along a space heater.
There are heaters that work off batteries and there are heaters that will need the help of a generator, but the bottom line is it’s solid heat without all the risks than an open campfire represents. It might not be as majestic, nor as core to the entire camping experience, but it certainly has plenty of benefits of its own. Besides, there’s no reason you can’t have both! Space heater inside, firepit out. Easy.
5. A Good Night’s Sleep
Last but not least, the place you lay your head to rest. Long gone are the days of a yoga mat and sleeping bag – rather, glamping presents a new way to get your rest: on a double air mattress, in a hammock strung from strut to strut, on a fold-out futon with combined sofa capabilities. The possibilities are endless.
Glamping is imaginative. It’s indulgent. It’s silly and expensive. But it can also be part of an amazing experience, alone or with family, one that you’ll never forget. And the best part? You can incorporate as much or as many of its tenets as you like. Like the idea of a small generator? Take one! Not so keen on the idea of a bulky bed set up taking up space? No problem. It’s all up to you. Happy camping!