I’m always trying to find ways to make glamping better. Easier, adding more comfort, and leveling up on style. Each camping trip I test out new products, finish new DIY projects, and try new ideas or methods. They don’t always turn out. I’ve had my share of disappointments and fails, but this trip I hit it out of the park.
#1 – Rug
If you’ve read my book or any of my blog posts you know I’m a big fan of rugs. Rugs are an easy way to make your campsite cleaner, more comfortable, and more stylish. In fact it’s my number one suggestion when people ask how to start glamping. This time, however, I’ve finally got it perfected for the rug that goes inside your tent. It isn’t cheap, but it’s performed far better than anything else I’ve found. It’s durable, machine washable, won’t fade, and it’s reversible. Cost about $30 to make.
I bought two pieces of Sunbrella fabric (rated to be fade resistant and made for covering outdoor cushions and chairs) that were 2 yards by 1 yard. I could have bought the same pattern for both pieces, but I wanted to have a different pattern if I flip the rug over for more versatility. I put right sides together and stitched all four sides together, leaving an 8 inch gap on one side. Just like how you make a pillow (you can google step by step instructions). Then I turned it right side out and stitched the opening closed. I went the extra mile and stitched all four sides again, about 2 inches away from the edge so it would lay nicely flat.
Looked like a million bucks in my tent, stood up to muddy feet and shoes, kept leaves out of my bed, and came out of the washer looking like new. PERFECT rug.
#2 Battery Chinese style lantern
This is another instance of knowing what I want (a hanging light for my tent) but not finding the perfect one for several years. Yes, I know there are tent lights (some with fans) that are specifically made for tents. They suck. And they suck for the same reasons most camping lights suck. They’re ugly, too bright, and the battery life is crap.
This lantern had every quality I was looking for in a tent light – keeping in mid my tent is just over 5ft2 in the center height. It has a soft, diffuse light that is still strong enough to read by, light-weight, and attractive. It’s an LED light so 2 AAA batteries easily last an entire week long camping trip and then some. As a bonus it folds flat for easy packing. I debated getting a solar light, but I’m glad I went with a battery light. It was nice to not have to get the light out each day and make sure it was put out into the sun to charge – I always forget to put out my solar lights. This light is made of plastic and water-proof fabric, not paper, and I bought mine at Pier 1 Imports on clearance for $5, two to a package. The other one could hang in my canopy at night.
#3 – Vinyl topper for my table
I like using tablecloths to cover my portable, but ugly, camping tables. What I don’t like is how they get trashed in just a few hours by spilled food and drinks. I’ve tried buying plastic table covers but hate how they look or feel, even though I enjoyed how easy they were to wipe off. While staring at rolls of vinyl in the fabric store I had an “aha!” moment. Make (or buy) some really nice tablecloths, but buy a square of coordinating vinyl to put on the top to protect against spills. I bought a blue pattern Sunbrella fabric to make a tablecloth that would compliment my small blue canopy and a silver, “woven” vinyl for the topper.
Looked great and worked like a charm. I put it through the ultimate test of inviting people over to my campsite for Hibiscus Margaritas. Hibiscus simple syrup is VERY red and stains like a MoFo. And people who have had 3 or more of them aren’t the most careful or coordinated so spills happened. My tablecloth looked as good on day 4 of camping as it did in hour 1 of day 1. Now I don’t need to bring a different tablecloth for each day of camping – unless I want to!
What great glamping ideas have you stumbled onto?