A couple weeks ago I had the chance to sleep in a tipi, sip wine by the fire and eat dinner by candlelight with a group of friends – a far cry from the dreadful powdered food camping excursions I remember as a kid. While legitimate camping works for some people, “glamping” is much more my style. And while it might be easier to show up to a yurt or tipi vs. pitching your own tent, a glamping weekend requires just as much planning as a normal camping trip.
Booking Your Glamping Weekend
First of all, you’ll have to decide which type of structure you want to stay in. Examples of glamping accommodations include:
- Yurts – Circular tents traditionally used by nomads in Mongolia.
- Tipis – Conical tents originally used by Native Americans and designed to have a campfire inside. Typically most tents you can rent today will not feature a campfire inside due to fire codes and safety reasons.
- Cabins – For cooler months, a cabin is the perfect option for staying close to nature while also remaining warm and cozy when you go inside.
- Treehouses – Fulfill your childhood fantasies and spend a couple magical nights sleeping in the trees.
Next up? Actually tracking down a destination. This was harder than I originally thought and required quite a bit of research and messages back and forth with various property owners before I found an available and suitable booking. If you’re researching where to go glamping near you, here are some resources:
- Glamping Hub – a booking website dedicated exclusively to luxury camping, Glamping Hub offers what is probably the best selection of glamping accommodations.
- Airbnb – Airbnb might be known for their apartment rentals, but you can really rent just about anything. From treehouses to yurts, there are plenty of glamping possibilities that are affordable.
- VRBO – Similarly to Airbnb, you can rent yurts, cabins, campervans and more through this apartment rental website.
- Yurt Lodging – Offers a list of yurts available to rent throughout the United States, although you’ll have to contact each property individually to inquire about availability.
What to Pack For Glamping
Once you’ve booked a place to stay and have your glamping weekend on the calendar, make sure you’ve packed the essentials before you take off. What you’ll need depends on just how luxurious the campsite you’ve chosen is, but I’m going to go off of the assumption that we’re mostly “Level 1” glampers here. I’ve broken my glamping packing list into two categories: items you can’t live without, and things that will elevate your adventure to the next level.
Things You Can’t Live Without
- Warm blankets and/or a sleeping bag – Unlike hotels, many glamping destinations do not offer linens and blankets. Bring your own, or you’ll be chilly!
- Pillows – Because sleeping without a pillow would not be very glam, after all.
- Warm footwear for cold weather – Packing a pair of cozy boots, like these from EMU, will make hanging out at the campsite so much better.
- Layers for changing temperatures – A 70 degree day could turn into a 40 degree night.
- Outdoor lighting – It gets dark in the woods. You might think you’ll be OK with flashlights and candles, but if you’re planning to cook or eat dinner outside at night you’ll want something more. I picked up a lantern at Home Depot before my glamping weekend and it was a lifesaver. Another chic option would be battery-operated paper lanterns, or outdoor string lights.
- A means to cook food – Remember that wherever you’re going probably has minimal utensils. If you want to grill, you’ll need to bring your own tongs, spatula, etc. If you need to chop vegetables, bring a knife and a cutting board.
- Travel towel – While many glampsites have showers, it’s unlikely that they will provide towels. A travel towel takes up very little space in your suitcase and dries quickly.
- Fire supplies – Half the fun of glamping is getting cozy by the fire until it burns out. But chances are, if you’ve made it this far into this post, you’re not an expert survivalist and might need some assistance with getting that flame going. The easiest thing to do is buy firewood at a grocery or supply store on your way (FYI: it’s illegal to carry firewood across state lines in the US). That way if it rained recently near your campsite, you won’t have to worry about finding dry wood. You’ll also want to pack an aim and flame lighter.
- Plenty of food – Many glampsites are quite remote, so if you get hungry after a few glasses of wine there’s no pizza delivery coming! You’ll be much happier if you’ve packed loads of snacks for the weekend.
Things To Pack For Elevated Glamping
- Pretty cups, dishes and silverware – For a Pinterest-worthy table setting, you won’t want just any old paper plates. And don’t forget the actual table – some sites have a picnic table, others you’ll need to bring your own, plus a nice table cloth to take things up a notch.
- Wireless speaker – Play music from your phone or iPod without electricity.
- Portable power – A back-up battery is a must, in case your phone/iPod/wireless speakers die. You won’t want to have to leave them inside to charge.
- Wine – Does this really require an explanation? When in doubt, bring an extra bottle. And don’t forget a cork screw.
- Sneakers or hiking boots – In case you’re planning some hiking on nearby trails, you’ll want to be prepared with the appropriate footwear. I personally like these from Timberland as they’re classic and inexpensive.
- Picnic supplies – In case you get hungry mid-hike, a chic picnic kit will come in handy.
- Entertainment – Keep everyone occupied with a fun game. Bring a deck of cards, or something else that’s easy to transport. My personal favorite is, coincidentally, Bananagrams.
- S’mores – Go gourmet by opting for a healthier take on marshmallows, organic graham crackers and dark chocolate. Roast marshmallows on special sticks from the grocery store, or do it the old fashioned way and pick one up that you find on the ground. I promise, you won’t die.
Keep in mind that these are only my personal suggestions. The whole point of glamping is to bring a touch of luxury to the outdoors, so if that means you’re packing satin pillowcases and a fancy cheese plate, go for it, girl!
To read all about my glamping experience in Pennsylvania and see the tipi I stayed in, click here.
For more glamping inspiration and tips, follow my Glamping Pinterest board.
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