Summer may be winding down for some of us (well, you – I live in England, where summer goes to die) but there is still plenty of time left this year to pretend to be outdoorsy. And no, I do not mean drinking on patios. However, I understand not everyone is into camping and pooping in the woods. And that’s okay. Because for you, there is GLAMPING. That’s right, fancy camping. Having just returned from my very own yurt in Wales, I feel fully prepared to offer a tutorial on how to glamp like a champ.
Glamping Requirement #1: Weirdly classy digs in the middle of nowhere
We chose a Mongolian yurt, which is clearly a very traditional dwelling in North Wales. For the record, the owners also got Mongolians and Native Americans mixed up, because there were dream catchers and Sacagawea paintings everywhere. But I can highly recommend yurt living as lovely and bizarre residence for a weekend. It meant real beds and romantic tea lights, instead of mummy sleeping bags and a paraffin lantern that always makes me feel like I am going to die a fiery nylon death. Also acceptable: Vintage airstream trailers, tipis, safari tents, homesteading cabins. I once stayed in a place in Montana called the Goat Chalet, next to a trailer called the Pickle. Which was as awesome as it sounds.
Glamping Requirement #2: Hardy travel companions
Choose your companions wisely, since you will be sharing a tiny confined space with them and possibly an eco-composting toilet (YUM). People that freak out at the sight of spiders, beetles and other woodland creatures should be accompanied by a badass bug-killng ninja at all times (for the record, I am the latter, unless it is a cockroach, because those are nasty). And if you are brave/stupid enough to bring along your Tiny Human™ like we did, you may want to ensure he is not cutting his first tooth, and thus freaking the F out throughout the peaceful evening hours.
Glamping Requirement #3: Appropriate reading material
It’s not a vacation without an inappropriate number of books! Preferably one for each day of the holiday. My YA picks were The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin for getting my wilderness on, and The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale for feeling like a medieval peasant every time I stoked our wood burning stove. Saldin's in particular was a really good read, and reminded me so much of living out west in Montana, and why I am really glad I am not 17 again.
Glamping Requirement #4: Dorky diversions & ridiculous gear
Because my husband and I can only stare at each other longingly in the candlelight for so long, we brought lots of dorky boardgames and toys. Dominoes are a camping classic, along with Pass the Pig. We also went for more labor intensive dork-classics like Pandemic and Carcassone. And just because you are glamping, you don’t have to miss out on one of the best parts of camping – ri-donkulous camping gear. Even if a de-LUXE full kitchen is provided, do not pass up the opportunity to drink out of a folded cup. FOLDED CUPS! You make shitty coffee taste so good. Well, you, and whiskey. My other favorite? An ice-cream making ball. Toss the ball, make ice cream. Boredom and hunger, DONE.
Glamping Requirement #5: Booze, obviously
The official beverage of our camping trip was bottle conditioned ale, but next time around, it would be cocktails in a can all the way. Convenient, delicious, and both trash and pretentious at the same time. If you don’t live near a Marks and Spencer to have access to these delicious, pocket sized Harvey Wallbangers, boxed wine and champ cans are an acceptable alternative.
Right! Get out there and glamp, people. And if you can find a more ridiculous place to stay than the Pickle, please please please let me know.