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We are in the heart of summer now and I’m so excited to FINALLY get back into camping after a few years away from it.
As much as a fashionista and girly-girl as I can be, I still love being outdoors and close to nature. Camping was always one of my favorite things to do, especially in college, so I’m super excited to be getting back into it this year.
But with young children (3 in 3 years now!), camping is going to look a bit different fr us.
Sure, I can handle roughing it in the woods, but I can assure you that my 3 year old will not.
And some folks make the argument that putting your kids in uncomfortable positions builds their character. But the honest truth of it all is that I as a parent don’t want to deal with the fall out of toddlers tantruming on vacation over something that could be avoided.
So for today’s post, I put together a few ‘glamping’ ideas that we’ll be using for our camping trips this summer (assuming that they don’t get canceled because of the fires).
Glamped Up Shelter
So I don’t think you can call it glamping without having some sort of comfortable shelter to retire too.
We recently purchased a secondhand tent camper that has all the amenities of a small hotel suit and I absolutely LOVE it. I can’t wait to get more use out of throughout the summer and fall.
But you definitely don’t need an RV type vehicle to enjoy the comforts of glamping.
Nowadays, companies offer oversized tents that come with living, cooking, restroom and sleeping areas. These are great for extended camping trips in which you and your family may need a bit more room.
There are also ‘pop up’ shelters that you can throw over the 10×10 canopies to give yourself a quick extra space that you can use for eating if you rather keep food away from your sleeping space (a great idea in many areas).
And if you’re looking for a great nights rest outside, I suggest investing in a camping cot or an air mattress that will keep you off the ground and support your back more.
Bring Power Source
If you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time with your little ones, consider bring some source of power with you. Wheatear it be a small battery pack or a solar generator, this extra source of power can feel like a life line when your phone battery is almost dead (of worse, their tablet is just about out of juice!).
You can also use these power sources to plug up some lights which can make it much easier to navigate around your camp site and adds a nice home-y touch. I( personally love adding fairly lights to my tents and just hanging out under them and the stars.
I know that a lot of folks will argue that when you’re out in nature, you should be limiting your use of tech–and I actually agree! But as a mom, I like to think ahead and there are plenty of instances that can come up where you’ll want accesses to some form of power to either get help or be more comfortable. So better to be prepared than to not.
This is a great idea if you’re camping in area far away from civilization, at a site that may have shut down their restrooms still due to COVID or if you’re just the type of person who rather have privacy when you’re taking care of your business.
If you have young children who are in the middle of potty training, then this is something that you especially need to think about.
While we now have a tent camper that includes a ‘wet room’, we still have a portable toilet that we keep in the car for emergencies when we’re out with the kids. Pair this with a small pop up tent and you have a portable bathroom.
This has actually worked out great for us, as we enjoy spending the day at the local beach a lot, however their public restrooms are often closed nowadays.
If you’re going to be outdoors for an extended amount of time or doing an activity where you’re going to get dirty, then you might want to also consider some way to clean up as well.
There are a lot of nice portable showers on the market nowadays (some even include hot water!). However, many will find that a small tub filled with some clean water to clean their kiddos off will work out just fine enough for them.
If you tend to camp in a more mild environment, then this isn’t something you may really need to think about. But here in Eastern Washington, heating and cooling options are a must for most of the year.
Before kids, one of my favorite camping items was a battery operated heated blanket to keep me warm throughout the night. But portable heaters also make a great option as well if you’re trying to keep a large space heated throughout the night.
If you’re camping in a more mild area and are looking for a bit of coolness in your tent, then small evaporative coolers can be a great option for you. These work best topped off with ice and in low humidity areas.
If you’re in a really hot area like we are (averaging 100+ this month!) then you might want to look into a true portable AC unit. We recently invested in the IcyBreeze and it does an amazing job at keeping our camper cool by conditioning the air with cold water. This is defiantly and investment, but If you plan in camping a lot, this may be one that you want to make.
Camping furniture is just another way to really elevate your experience while you’re outdoors. And it doesn’t have to be anything super fancy either.
My favorite bit of camping furniture has to be these foldable chairs. We actually store these in the boot of our Highlander (which is micro small since we use the 3rd row) and they are great! They are small enough for our toddlers to drag around and yet comfortably support us adults and allows for us to have sitting anywhere.
We also really like these blow up hammocks– as they re easy to set up and they act like a couch that you can lounge in and enjoy a good book or some time snuggled up with the kids.
Have portable tables is also a good idea as well. Our old CR-V has a picnic table in the trunk that we use all the time but we also pick up a roll up table that also is able to fit in the back of our Highlander. It’s not an understatement when I say we use these so often when we’re out enjoying nature and it really makes our experience just that more easy.
Lastly, can you even call it glamping if you don’t have some of your favorite non necessity comforts from home? Personally, I think not!
I’m a morning tea drinker and Stephen needs his coffee to get on with the day. So we invested in this Keurig to bring with us while we are camping or tailgating. I also have a small Impressions mirror that I like t bring with us so I can do my makeup on the go (because yes, sometimes I do enjoy doing my makeup and skin care routine outdoors too).
These things are in no way vital to any of our trips, nor do they make life any easier for us. But they definitely make things more fun and I feel like that’s part of the experience of glamping as well!
We love to bring our laptops and watch movies together, listen to music though our speakers or even just bake outdoors with the kids. Sometime I can even bust out the Cricut with the kids and do art projects with them on the go.
There will be some folks out there that won’t consider ‘glamping’ as real camping.
But my thoughts are, anything that you can do to help introduce and instill a love for the outdoors in your children is a good thing. I love seeing my eldest son’s face light up when I tell him were going camping or spending the day at the beach.
And yes, while we do have all the creature comforts of home surrounding us, we still spend the majority of our time experiencing the wonders of nature.
Are you interested in glamiping or do you camp with your children often? Let me know what your favorite thing about it is!