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Turn Camping into Glamping

5 Ways to Make Your Overnight Setup More Comfortable

I stuck my head out of our desert fortress and watched the stars glimmer in the sky. My partner and I were in New Mexico on a climbing trip with our dogs. We spend many nights a year in a tent, near home in the Blue Ridge and beyond, and although we love roughing it, sometimes a little luxury goes a long way. So on this particular night, my partner hung string lights inside of our tent and we packed our full-sized pillows, which stretched across a large, inflatable mattress. Nearby, insulated mugs sat waiting to warm us from the inside out. While there are glamping resorts out there that offer plenty of creature comforts, the price for an overnight stay can be quite steep. So here are five DIY ways to upgrade your camping experience. 

1. Level Up Your Lights

Lights create ambiance. And many outdoor lighting products don’t require a power source since they re-charge themselves via solar during the day. Aspiring glampers can line their campsite or tent with a string of fairy lights like the MPowered Luci(R) Solar String Lights. You can also add lanterns or tiki torches to amplify the magic of the evening. 

2. Bring a Bigger Shelter

A common source of camping discomfort is the cramped size of smaller tents. If you choose an option that’s too small, you’ll feel like you’re stuck in a coffin. But bringing a bigger shelter like the new six-person MSR Habiscape gives you and your camping partners more space to relax comfortably inside—a complete game changer when rough weather rolls in. While in New Mexico, my partner and I used a four-person tent in which we could stand up. This made routine things like sorting gear and changing our clothes much easier. 

3. Don’t Forget a Big Blanket and Pillows

In extremely cold temperatures, sleeping bags are an efficient camping tool, but they can restrict sleep mobility. During the warmer months, most campers will find that bringing a big blanket and pillows will substantially increase their sleep comfort. Bring a classic comforter or throw. And if you still want to feel like you’re roughing it in the backcountry you can bring a wool blanket like the Pendleton Wildland Heroes Firefighters Blanket, which will wick moisture away and fight off the camping stink with its naturally microbial properties.

4. Upgrade Your Kitchen

Backcountry campers are often limited by their cook systems. But if you have a front country spot with room for amenities, switching to a full camp system like the Camp Everest 2X stove with a table can open up a variety of cooking opportunities. A versatile stove gives you the ability to simmer, and boil just like your at-home stove.  Additional kitchen tools that can maximize backcountry comfort may include a coffee AeroPress and an insulated mug like the Kleen Kanteen 14 oz Rise Mug. Or pack a mason jar and make a few backcountry cocktails. 

5. Pack Your Camp Furniture

Another good way to enhance your glamping comfort is packing camp furniture. A high-quality camp chair like the Cascade Mountain Tech High-Back Chair is typically too heavy to carry on backpacking trips. But it’s the perfect piece for a casual glamping setup, allowing you to relax and unwind. Amenities like an electric cooler can also keep your food cold for longer, allowing you to pack more temperature-sensitive items like meat. 

Cover photo: Solar string lights from MPowerd can add ambiance to a campsite. Photo courtesy of Mpowered.

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