Luxury camping — or glamping — is now a very viable and comfortable option for those wishing to holiday in style while still feeling linked to the great outdoors. And while many glamping sites offer ready-made pods (including the beautiful Burghley Boutique at the Horse Trials this year), you can still enjoy the style if you're bringing your own canvas. Here's how to keep your tent looking and feeling as luxurious as possible.
There’s a moment in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry heads off camping with his wizarding friends for the first time. He’s initially baffled at how many people seem able to fit in to a tiny tent — and ends up outright amazed at the enormous, comfortable home within.
And while we haven’t yet seen a magical tardis-like tent with a spacious living room and a fitted kitchen, in most other respects glamping has caught up with the idea that camping needn’t mean roughing it. Pick the right tent and the right accessories and you’ll have it made.
Be ‘tent’ative with your choice of accommodation
Not much can be done to improve a one-man tent only accessed by crawling. Head-height or higher is a must to avoid stooping and leave room to practically decorate. Other elements are less-important but still vital to consider: double lining prevents leaking and an area to remove muddy boots outside (or relax with a glass of bubbly) is always a good idea – even if you have to buy a separate awning.
Sleep in style
Long-gone are the days of deflating blowup mattresses and creaky camping foldouts. Nowadays, luxury glamping sites like Burghley Boutique are offering memory roam mattresses with 13.5 tog duvets and pillows.
Although unloading a feather mattress from your Landy every time you stop to park sounds a tad unfeasible, there are some self-inflating options on the market that store easy and promise all the comfort you can expect from sleeping arrangements in the great outdoors. Opt for a high mattress so you’re off the ground: every Duke of Edinburgh participant worth their salt will tell you that the closer you are to the floor, the colder you’ll be.
If you want to go full-Harry-Potter, there are examples of people who have turned their humble camping bed into a luxury four-poster, but we’ll leave that decision up to you.
Our top tip? If you’re travelling by car, bring your own duvet and sheets to avoid sweating in a sleeping bag. If you have room, a throw pillow or two wouldn’t go amiss.
If you’re cooking outside, you don’t want to be eating on the ground. Invest in a folding table and chairs and we promise the elevation will not just be physical. There’s plenty of cooking equipment made specifically for camping; having one or two will give you a few options for mealtimes (even if it’s just a purpose-built hamburger cooker).
Even Mr Weasley, with all the magic in the world at his disposal, opted for a natural fire, so do make use of the barbecues at your campsite if they have them. At the very least, build a fire and toast some marshmallows.
The little touches
A few simple swaps will keep your tent looking chic while not breaking the bank.
Replace your old torchlights with soft LED lanterns – not only do they actually stand up by themselves, but they just look better. LED fairy lights are also an option and a candle-lit picnic under the stars sounds heavenly – but only a safe distance from the tent and carefully monitored to prevent a fire without the magical means to put it out.
Add a bedside table, especially if your bed is a high mattress – you’ll need a place to put your phone and water and you don’t want to be reaching around blindly in the dark.
Bring along a clothes rail, not only for your robes but for any and all formal clothes you are hoping to bring camping with you – after all, with a luxury tent who knows what heights you could reach?
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