Glamping: everything you need to know

Glamping: Everything You Need To Know

I recently went glamping to Joshua Tree National Park. If this spot isn’t on your bucket list, then I highly recommend you add it on.

Joshua Tree is a desert park and gets its name from the Joshua tree, which is everywhere. The park also has a ton of different rock formations and boulders, making it a mecca of rock climbing. With hiking, climbing, and camping, it’s an easy weekend or weeklong getaway to spend outdoors exploring and spending quality time with people, and sleeping under the stars.

I’ve done camping before, and it’s not my jam. I’m the kind of person who can hike for hours, but I need a bed and a hot shower at the end of it. So, I decided that I’d try glamping as a compromise. Given all the crazy amazing sights and things to do outdoors, I thought that glamping may be a good way to appreciate those trips a little more (minus the suffering of camping).

Here’s what I’ve learned about glamping.

joshua tree
A Joshua Tree!

What Is Glamping?

Glamping is essentially “glamorous camping”. In other words, you’re still able to do all of your outdoor activities, but at the end of the day, instead of sleeping in a tent on the ground in a sleeping bag and roughing it without a shower, you keep the comforts of home. In other words, you can sleep indoors and have access to bathrooms, showers, and running water.

Where Can You Stay When Glamping?

There are a ton of options out there. We chose an Air Bnb in an off the grid little one-room home in the middle of the desert. It afforded us the comforts I mentioned, plus a fire pit, outdoor campfires and grilling, no noise or light pollution, and great views.

Other Glamping Options To Choose From

We chose a small home, but you can also opt for RV camping, an airstream, or sprinter vans are all the rage now. My friend brought a car tent and spent one night in that with insulated sleeping bags.

Some areas have luxury tent cabins, or yurts, available that are super fancy with plenty of standing room, a real bed, and insulation to protect you from the elements. You can think of a yurt as a really large, solid teepee. Then, for the shower part, there’s a communal washroom you can use. Yurts can give you more of the traditional camping experience while also providing cozy luxury camping accommodations.

How Can You Find Glamping Sites?

There are a bunch of camping sites to choose from that are glamping friendly, across the country, where you can stretch your glamping wings.

For specifics, I’d recommend you check out some of the National parks that we have right here in our backyards. For instance, Zion, Moab, Yellowstone, or the Grand Canyon. State parks are another option. Given I’ve been there, I can vouch for Big Sur, California, specifically Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park as a great spot right here in California.

Websites like glampinghub, or glamping.com also have a lot of information, plus regular travel sites have started advertising glamping nowadays as well so you can always check those out and see what your options are.

Glamping is also available abroad, so if you are looking for a unique experience on your travels, definitely look for those options at your destinations. An example of something I’d really like to do one day is to visit Finland and stay in a geodesic dome cabin of Hotel Kakslauttanen.

Rows of the Glass Igloo Village at Hotel Kakslauttanen Finland
Consider adding this to your glamping bucket list!

How to Pack for This Kind Of Trip

Depending on where you’re staying and how it’s set up, this can vary. Here are some things to look for/look into when you’re planning and deciding what to take:

Your Accommodations

Look to see what your accommodations will provide for you. This is the number one thing to look at. With my glamping experience, the little one-room Air BnB came fully furnished with a queen bed, comforter and blankets, dishes, pots and pans, and towels but didn’t have a refrigerator. As a result, we ended up having to pack an icebox to take with us.

Check out your area of stay and figure out what is missing that you will need and then go from there.

The Activities You Want To Do

Hiking? Pack your backpack with your hiking necessities Cooking over a fire? Be sure to bring firewood and the appropriate open fire cooking tools.

Whatever you hope to do on your trip, pack accordingly.

Where You’re Going

Different glamping campsites will have different amenities, different terrains to navigate and different weather patterns to deal with. Understand what your destination is all about and use that as a guide for anything else you may need!

If there are specific activities you’d like to do at your destination, for instance, anything involving a kayak, canoe, or raft, then you’ll have to make arrangements for those as well.

Some Essentials To Remember No matter What:

  • Sunscreen, Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (or bladder to place in your backpack)
  • Toiletries
  • Bug spray
  • Downloaded Google map of your area (especially if you’re going off the grid)
  • Lotion (a lot of glamping options are in areas that are arid and super dry)
  • Portable solar lantern

Final Thoughts

Glamping is a great way to experience the outdoors and maintain your access to creature comforts so that you can unwind after a long day. In addition, it’s a type of trip you can make over a weekend or many days, with friends or even solo. With so many unique options and destinations to choose from, glamping is sure to be your next favorite vacation!

Happy glamping!