Picture a lovely camping experience — string lights, soft cushions, excellent food, music and good friends. Now multiply that vision by a thousand and you imagine the most epic camping trip in history. The year was 1520, and the young royals of France and England met in a Balinghem among a palace of tents — nearly three thousand of them — to show off their power, wealth and friendship. The trip lasted two weeks and included lavish feasts, fountains that ran with red wine and monkeys covered in gold leaf. The place was draped in so much gold that the event was forever known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold. While you don’t need gold-plated monkeys to have a pleasant camping trip, there is something to be said for upping your camping comforts. Read on for a few tips, tricks, and clever hacks to make your next journey a little more luxe.
While you don’t need to turn out a party-planning Magnum Opus, proper planning can mean the difference between delight and disaster outdoors. First, be sure you reserve a space at your campsite of choice. That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting prime real estate, even at popular campgrounds. Next, pack right for all conditions: cold, dry, wet. It can be easy to forget things when you’re camping, so find a detailed packing list online. Include essentials like paper maps of the area (in case you can’t find precious phone service), a first aid kit, and fun things to do like board games, books and playing cards. Since camping is by definition an escape from civilization, you should have plenty of relaxing downtime.
Just because you’re sleeping out under the stars doesn’t mean you have to rough it. There’s nothing that says you can’t bed down with all the comforts of home — or, at least, most of them. For starters, a high-quality sleeping bag is the first place you’ll want to invest. You can get suitable ones for all sorts of weather, but the best come with removable layers so that you can customize your coziness! To keep your sleeping bag as fluffy as the day you bought it, toss a couple of tennis balls in the dryer along with it!
Going To The Mat
Just a sleeping bag won’t cut it for comfort, though. Bring along purpose-made padding to keep you away from the cold, hard ground — no flat yoga mats here! Get yourself a foam pad or self-inflating mat to feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud — or, at least, as close as you can get to that in a tent. Anyone who’s ever slept outside can tell you that it’s a chilly experience —much more than you might expect. While a good sleeping bag can do wonders to keep you cozy, there are a few extra touches that might help. Stash a pair of ‘sacred socks’ — wool, comfy, clean, and just for sleeping. Secondly, a hot water bottle is a delightfully retro way to stay warm while you’re out in nature — or anywhere else, for that matter.
Comfort isn’t just for bedtime, though. Create an Instagram-worthy glamping experience by bringing along rugs, throw blankets, and cushions that’ll make the floor of your tent feel (and look) like home.
Eat Like A King
Getting rustic doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat rustic. There’s more to the world of camping cuisine than beef jerky and freeze-dried eggs. And it’s a vacation: you deserve to eat as well on your camping expedition as you do at home, if not better. For starters, add a little gourmet luxury to campfire classics. Make s’mores with dark chocolate squares, flavored marshmallows, or a peanut butter cup. Dress up your weenie roast with brats instead of plain hot dogs. A few spices will turn roasted corn into fabulous elotes. Use your imagination!
Glampers worldwide are taking good food to the great outdoors — and doing it without a lot of fuss. The internet is full of one-pan meals for cooking on a camp stove. Suddenly, a camping experience full of tasty treats like nachos and pasta primavera is within reach!
Get Out There!
Camping in comfort and style is possible — people have only been doing it for hundreds of years! There’s nothing that says that getting out in nature can’t be a perfectly comfortable, even luxurious experience. Sure, it takes a little investment — and planning — but the fun you’ll have and the memories you’ll make will last a lifetime.