Several years ago a lot of people would not have had the foggiest about what ‘glamping’ meant. Now it is a very different situation – but just in case, it’s a coming together of the words ’glamorous’ and ‘camping’ – get it?!
Glamping is a means of enjoying being in the outdoors, but without the discomfort and aggravation of sweaty polyester tents, low entrances and crawling around on one’s knees. It usually involves canvas tents, as they are more traditional in their feel, quite atmospheric and they are basically very pleasant to live in.
Canvas bell tents are seemingly one of the most popular style of tent for campers – sorry glampers – who use their own tents. Bell tents are available in 4m, 5m, 6m and 7m sizes, plus the ‘emperor’ style, which is basically two 5m tents joined in the middle. An emperor therefore has two main poles as opposed to just one. What’s more you can join a smaller bell tent to one of the emperor entrances, so creating two rooms!
Safari-style tents are used on an increasing number of glamping sites, where people simply pre-book, arrive, unpack, have a shower and then light the stove, before sitting out on the porch. Of course there are also glamping sites that hire out bell tents plus all the facilities.
The benefit of glamping with bell tents is that they are single-pole tents and they are incredibly simple to erect and take down. A lot of belltenters have got their tents erected, all of their decorations installed, plus interior furnishings and kitchen tents finished a long time before the polyester brigade have even got their tents straight!
Glamping is a way of going somewhere very different to the usual every-day weekly environment, whilst also being amongst the outdoors and, most importantly, it is being comfortable and enjoying the whole experience. Glampers can (apparently) become addicted to this way of life! It starts off with the tent. Then the tent needs some basic, though lightweight and portable decorations and/or furnishings. This may mean lighting (lots), selection of indoor rugs, beds/mattresses, sheepskins, ornaments. It will probably mean low tables, storage, outdoor entrance mats or flooring. It will need sets of cutlery, cookware, plates, kitchen tents and awnings (awnings are great for creating ‘outdoor rooms’ in front of your tent). Comfy inflatable or collapsible chairs, sofas and cushions are definitely a necessity.
It’s great! People then find that they’re enjoying their leisure time so much that they have to buy larger cars, or trailers, or both in order to transport themselves to their weekend (or week long) homes away from home. So then of course there is the tent stove. Various styles of stoves are used by glampers in their tents. Some cook on or in them, or both, and some just use them for heat. Some of the stoves being used out there are like little mini cooking ranges which means fantastic hot, home-cooked meals are possible. Outdoor fire pits and stoves are also extremely popular. Of course a stove is not safe to use inside a tent unless it is installed correctly and uses a compatible safety flue kit. I would never advocate leaving a stove lit overnight and CO2 detectors, fire extinguishers and sand buckets are a must.
Bring on the Good Life!