The number of Americans who have camped in the past 12 months has skyrocketed by an extra 5 million in the past ten years (up to nearly 47 million in the spring of 2017). While this figure is fantastic it begs the question – why aren’t the other 278 million people out under canvas too? The wilderness can be daunting but with some quick and easy camping hacks, it doesn’t need to be. Our country is amazing and can only really be experienced by living in nature, but this doesn’t mean giving up the home comforts.
What you need to know about glamping
Not every formal campsite is generic, some are truly gorgeous. If you are unsure about glamping then you would be better off trying your hand at one of these first, to see if you enjoy them. Glamping doesn’t require an expensive RV, or trailers and roof racks full of equipment. Glamping just needs a little bit of thought and some key kit; an average sized family should be able to pack what they need for camping in a station wagon. In the past, tents required dozens of people to fight over the poles and battle each other to get them up. Now the major companies are offering pop up family tents that can be erected safely in seconds. Pick the biggest tent your family can fit comfortably in the car. Next, you need a power source. Now there is a wide range of portable power sources available.
The right lighting can make a difference
Many electrical camping lamps give poor quality light making everything feel cold and miserable. Torches cast narrow beams and can blind your co-campers. Gas lamps give brilliant light quality but they are dangerous and noisy. Without good light, your enjoyment can end a few minutes after the sun goes down. With a high-quality power source, you can literally bring your home lighting with you. Cheap standard lamps can be unscrewed into tiny packages yet will illuminate your tent and site as if you were at home. Fairy lights can add a touch of glamour which can raise spirits. When dinner is made and eaten, when the washing up is done, when books are read and the site is tidied up for the night… then you simply flick the switch and bask in the show from above.
Comfort is key when glamping
Inflatable mattresses were the thing of nightmares. Older models are fragile, leaky, cold and uncomfortable. Modern mattresses are divan beds, standing 3 foot tall and every bit as comfy as the bed you left at home. Even the thinnest of strips of memory foam can ensure that you sleep like a baby. When you are glamping don’t bother with sleeping bags. Pack your car then stuff your pillows into spaces and layer your quilts on top of the gear. Nothing can make you feel at home quite like a comfy bed and your own duvet. The inflatable revolution doesn’t end with the beds though. Folding camp chairs are great for a few minutes but soon after that your back tells you that you are far too old to be visiting the wilderness. Inflatable armchairs and sofas, on the other hand, are so comfortable you may not want to get up again. These have the advantage of also remaining very light so you can sit in the tent or take them out to enjoy the stars. Don’t worry about blowing anything up either; with a good power supply you can use an air pump to fill them quickly and easily.
A few extras can make a difference
There is so much cheap camping equipment available that can completely change everything. Tables, kitchen units, shelving units and even sinks can be folded and collapsed down to the something only slightly thicker and longer than a closed umbrella. Each of these takes only seconds to erect and are so easy to construct that everyone can join in. With so little room being taken up by your equipment you can pack more food, water, and gas allowing you to stay for longer.
Glamping up your choice of venue
Without the constraints of bulky equipment, America is your oyster. Every state has multiple gorgeous spots to camp in so go for broke. If your car can make it there, and it is legal, then go for it. Woodlands, mountains, deserts, lakesides, and beaches are all within your reach. Don’t settle for a dingy park when you could open your tent to look out on unspoiled wilderness to the very horizon.