I've got a bee in my bonnet and it's called Glamping. We *might* be taking a camping trip next weekend to Chincoteague. And I would like to do it with a twist. Here are some ways to turn your next camping trip into a "Glamping" trip WITHOUT dragging along a bunch of heavy furniture. Most of my suggestions can either be deflated, folded or have stuff stored in it.
1. THE TENT
First off THE TENT! Now, we don't have a fancy canvas wall tent. Our tent was bought at Walmart last year. On the plus side, it's huge at 200 square feet! If you want to truly glamp you need a tent that you can at least stand up in. That's my theory. And if you want to TRULY glamp you want a canvas wall tent or a "bell tent" and unfortunately that's going to cost you a lot more than a cheap Walmart tent. But I'm going to try it with my cheap tent anyway. It's beige at least and not some ugly florescent colors. Below are some ideal tents that would be perfect if you have $1,000 to spare. Alternatively, I recommend Craigslist. I've found a bell tent on the list for only $300 once so it's definitely worth checking. I use a free service called AdRavage which alerts me anytime a specific keyword is listed and I've jumped on so many awesome deals that way. Also if you look up "bell tent" or "wall tent" on eBay you can find some under $600.
2. THE FLOOR
Second is the floor. If you're lucky enough to have a camp site with a wooden platform then skip to the next step. If not, here's my suggestion....buy faux wood sheet vinyl in the size of your tent floor, like this one from the Home Depot for $1.25 a square foot. Not only will it make your tent feel more homey but it will help to make the ground you're stepping on more comfortable. Roll it out when you pitch your tent then roll it up when you're done.
I also recommend a couple area rugs like a sheepskin, Moroccan, natural weave or cowhide. IKEA has some great cheap flatwoven rugs. They also have an excellent looking cowhide rug but it's a bit pricey at $200. They makeup for that with their faux sheepskins which are pretty cheap at only $10.
3. THE BED
Third, is the bedding. I'm all for a wooden bed frame but it's just not practical to lug around a bed and frame in your car on a camping trip then set it up and later tear it down. So! Here's my alternative....It's a faux leather air headboard. Interesting huh? There are other colors and styles. I recommend you can find them on eBay or Craigslist as they are $99 retail.
Also you should have an air bed that sits high above the floor like a regular bed. Something like this below. I know air beds aren't really comfortable. That's why I also bring my 4" memory foam mattress topper. I've bought four of these for our house and they work miracles on a crappy mattress. I swear, when I put it on our air mattress it feels like a real bed. BUT I like my beds soft so if you like yours hard you might want to consider a cot like this with a built in mattress.
4. THE FURNITURE
Speaking of the foot of the bed, let's move onto number four, furniture. I recommend packing your clothes in a wicker chest storage. It's light and can hold your stuff well. Then place it at the foot of your bed. Voila! Instant charm. These canvas boxes from Walmart would work. Only $10.99 and $14.98. But I found many a wicker chest on Craigslist for around $20. Just use keyword "wicker storage". Also Target has these really great colored cylinder baskets for only $34.
For seating you want something charming but NOT heavy. Something comfortable is nice but the more comfortable usually means the heavier. Here are some great in betweens....if you're getting a chair I recommend getting two. I like butterfly chairs because they fold. Leather is best but canvas looks great too. They're normally $60 on eBay. I actually really like this furry one on PBTeen here. Here's a padded butterfly chair for $45 on eBay. These bamboo folding chairs shown below at Walmart are only $32.
Then there's these inflatable Chesterfield air sofas and chairs. The sofa is $149 and the chair for $119. I don't know how they'd look in person but they sure are interesting!
Also, director chairs look great and are inexpensive. These are Walmart are only $37.00.
Poufs also looks great and work well. I like these Moroccan style poufs on Amazon ONLY $38. Also inexpensive floor pillows work well too.
Then you need side tables. I would put these between your chairs and on either side of the bed. I like the sea grass cubes at Walmart for $20. You can put stuff in them and they are light. Also, these folding wooden side tables from IKEA for only $21.99 look great. Also, for eating meals, here's a great wooden folding table from Amazon for only $45 (shown on the right)!
5. THE LIGHTING
Step 5, Lighting! Then on top of those side tables I would place your lamps. If you don't have electricity at your camp site. I wouldn't go out and buy special battery powered lights. I would bring some regular lamps and buy these puck LED lights and place them where the bulbs would go. Maybe use some double sided foam tape to secure them in place.
But these battery operated tradition look lanterns are also pretty charming too! Only $13.44 on Amazon.
6. THE DECOR
The devil's in the details and glamping is no exception. Things like picture frames, vases, flowers and figurines. I recommend getting very light weight picture frames (the dollar store is a great place for those) and hanging them with those 3M products that don't make holes. Or alternatively you could make stick frames which would be really light weight and look quaint and rustic. Here's a tutorial on how to make your own.
And a vase with fresh wildflowers from a hike is also a must for glamping.
7. THE TEMPERATURE
Just because you are camping doesn't mean you have to be uncomfortable. I know it may sound crazy to some people and maybe even defeat the purpose of camping but if you're one of those people who can't stand the heat (or cold) consider bringing a cooler or heater. Ultimate glamping;-)
A lot of larger tents have vents for just such a thing. Our tent does. If your camp site has electricity you can bring your portable air conditioner or evaporative cooler. Craigslist is a good place to look for a bargain. If you use an air conditioner just be sure that your tent is as air tight as can be. Also a little portable freestanding electric stove heater instantly adds homeyness to a space. But if you prefer to keep it simple a retro looking fan is also excellent! If your site doesn't have electricity, Ryobi sells a battery operated fan for $29 that runs on a lithium battery and says it will last over 10 hours before it needs another charge. You have to buy the battery separately but many of the Ryobi products have interchangeable batteries so if you have a Ryobi drill or weed wacker check their battery before you go out and buy one. It's an ugly fluorescent green fan but if that bothers you too much you can also spray paint it silver or some other kitchy color.
8. THE EXTRAS
If you want to bring some stuff to take to the outdoors I also recommend bringing bikes, kayaks, a fire pit (if your site doesn't already have one) and even an outdoor movie set up. Here's a nice portable screen for $66 on eBay. And this is the projector I use. I recommend it because it's fairly inexpensive for a new projector AND it has a very high contrast ratio for the price (15,000:1). Contrast ratio IMO is the most important thing to look for in a projector. But just keep in mind that if you're camping in a campground you might not be able to do this anywhere but inside your tent because of the large amount of light it casts.
THAT'S IT! If you follow those steps you should be good to go!
Good luck and happy Glamping!!!!!!!