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Glamping Ideas to Upgrade Your Camping Experience

Tonya Prater, Owner

You don’t have to head to a glamping resort to get the full glamping experience. You may have to do a little extra planning, but there are plenty of ways to turn your camping trip into a glamping trip. These glamping ideas help you go from camping to glamping, no matter what kind of camping you are used to. And best of all, most of these glamping tips are budget-friendly!

Glamping Ideas to Upgrade your Camping Experience

We’re all about saving money and thinking outside the box. Here are some ways that we’ve taken camping to glamping. 

Upgrade Your Camping Meals

My mouth still waters when I think of the yummy dessert my husband and I ate on our last night of backyard #glamping. Oh yum!

You don’t have to get too fancy to feel like you’re glamping at mealtime. Instead of quick-cook oats or Pop-Tarts, why not make up a batch of breakfast burritos ahead of time? Freeze them individually in aluminum foil and toss them in the campfire at breakfast-time. Even the classic fire-roasted hot dog can benefit from an upgrade. Pick a theme and dress up your dogs with a little pineapple, lettuce, and barbecue sauce for a Hawaiian glamping theme. Wine and cheese are easily portable and make for a luxurious camping happy hour.

Kabobs are a budget-friendly alternative to hot dogs. You can buy beef or chicken in bulk, seasonal veggies, and voila! Everyone can build their own kabob to cook over the fire!

If you have a Dutch Oven, every camping meal can be indulgent. Make a campfire lasagna for dinner, followed by a cobbler or cake cooked right in the fire for dessert! You can even upgrade your s’ mores with flavored marshmallows or different types of candy bars. Pinterest is full of fun glamping ideas for campfire cooking. 

There are tons of ways to make coffee at your campsite, but a cold brew coffee will taste so much better, and you can store it in the cooler! Instant coffee will taste cheap, but cold brew coffee can use the same coffee you use at home!

Upgrade Your Shelter

Exterior of the Roughrider cabins

If you are used to tent camping, then renting an RV for the weekend can really feel like a luxury upgrade! Cabin camping may not seem luxurious to some travelers, but for backpackers and tent campers, cabin camping is definitely considered a glamping trip. There are many rustic cabins in forest preserves, state parks, and campgrounds that offer a few bunk beds and electricity. You still have to use the main shower and restroom, so you’re still “roughing it” but you’ll have a roof over your head. This is especially great when you just don’t want to set up a tent or if bad weather is in the forecast. 

Upgrade Your Sleep Kit

A glamping set-up in a yurt

Sleeping on the ground never quite has that luxury touch, does it? That’s why the best glamping upgrade you can make is to your sleeping situation. Nothing says luxury like a good nights’ sleep and a well-rested body. Rather than tossing your sleeping bag on the ground, invest in a good air mattress that will cushion your body from the ground. A few extra blankets can provide more warmth and cushion so you’ll be fast asleep in no time. My husband and I used to have an air bed which was an air mattress on a metal base. Add our goose down comforter and some cozy pillows and we were pretty darn comfortable even on the coldest fall evenings. 

Even a larger tent can feel like a camping upgrade, especially if you have a rainy day at the campground. A multi-room tent where you can set up a table and chairs will almost feel like your own private cabin. 

Upgrade Your Accessories

Southwest style pillows, blankets and accessories

Little extras are what can make your camping experience more comfortable. Instead of bringing folding stools and your standard camp gear, look for ways to bring the comforts of home into your campsite. Using real pillows from your bed and a comforter instead of a blanket can make your sleeping arrangements so much cozier! Adding a tablecloth to the campground picnic table is an instant upgrade to your dining quarters. Fairy lights are an inexpensive, fun accessory that can really “glam up” a campsite and make it feel warm and cozy. Not to mention, super “Instagrammable!”

Upgrade Your Surroundings

It’s a beautiful night to go #glamping!

Don’t just choose any old campsite to go glamping. Find a campsite with a breathtaking view. This could be next to a river, overlooking a great view of the mountains, or any places. You want to choose a spot that has natural scenery over other campsites everywhere you turn. If you can, find a site that is a little more secluded from the others to give you added privacy. It might be a tad further from the bathroom, but you won’t have the smell of campfires all over your campsite. There are many sites that review campsites and include photos from campers, so take advantage of the information out there, and check out a campsite before making a reservation. 

Many campgrounds offer additional activities on-site that really amp up your experience. Look for hiking trails, kayak rentals, or even ATV rentals for exploring the area surrounding the campground. Some of the nicer campgrounds even have a swimming pool or mini-golf. With the right campground choice, you’ll barely even notice you’re camping!

As you can see, it takes a few simple swaps to make your camping experience a little more high-end. Just doing even one of these things can make you feel less like roughing it and more like you’re on a relaxing vacation in the woods.

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