Camping: affordable family fun, where you're all stuck in a couple of tiny tents, eating canned food with a distinctive flavour more commonly known as campfire ash, swatting at mosquitoes and sleeping on a cold, hard ground with things that bite and sting. Sounds like fun, right? Hell no! Once upon a time, having dry socks and a pillow were considered luxury items on a camping trip. Not anymore, sister! You can be at one with nature without having to give up your luxuries in life.
Lots of established glamping sites can be found across Canada, where you can rent yurts, tepees, airstreams and tents, all decked out with the mod-cons. We have one of the very best just a 45-minute private seaplane flight from Vancouver. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is luxury at its utmost. Tents are decked out with king-size beds, underfloor heating and flush toilets, and you can choose from an enormous range of activities, from bear-watching to visiting nearby hot springs. It's well worth it — if you can afford it. Rates start from around $4,750 for three nights.
However, if you're on a budget and have maxed-out credit cards, we're going to teach you how to go glamping like a boss — without spending thousands.
These are the most important things you need to kick-start your glamping holiday:
A good night's sleep on a soft mattress is paramount to an enjoyable glamping experience. There are several bedding options you can select, which depend on how much space you have in your trailer:
You'll need to have somewhere to sit, so it might as well be comfortable. You could try to take a couple of recliners or a sofa with you, but failing that, beanbags, lots of big, plush scatter cushions or comfortable camping chairs will suffice.
Rent a portable generator that can provide lighting for your tent, run a portable fridge and even provide power for a small television, hair dryer, heating or cooling. Alternatively, try running a mega-long extension cord from established laundry facilities if they are available.
Who wants to eat canned food or dehydrated astronaut-type food? If you're not too far from town and have cell phone reception, you could order pizza and have it delivered to your campsite or you could go pick up food from a nearby restaurant. Want to cook? Take a gourmet hamper and a couple of bottles of your favourite Champagne. Steaks and even lobster will taste great cooked on an open fire!
Other luxuries you might like to include:
With our starting points on what you need for the camping trip of a lifetime, you get the idea. It takes only a bit of creative planning. So next time your partner suggests getting up close and personal with nature, you can tell him to leave all planning to you.
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