You guys may have heard a lot about glamping over the years: the luxe way to camp which basically involves turning up at a site to a premade semi-permanent dwelling, usually made of heavy canvas, to enjoy the outdoors without the slightest bit of inconvenience. Well, that’s all well and good if you have deep pockets and you don’t really enjoy camping, but if you’re into going outdoors and you want to introduce a bit of glam to your campsite on a budget, here’s the post for you! Get ready for possibly the most shallow discussion of tents and accessories you’ve probably ever read…
I got into camping a few years ago, and the first thing I really noticed was how garish most of the accessories and tents are. The key thing that differentiates a luxury glamping tent from an ordinary utilitarian one is the colour. Bright, bold primary colours or khakis seem to be everywhere you look, and fun prints or plain whites are hard to find.
But it’s those latter two that are really going to help you step up your tent game. Mainly, a plain white or grey tent isn’t going to cast coloured shadows inside and mess up your decor. Glamping is about creating a refined, relaxing atmosphere, which is certainly more difficult to do when you’re sitting in a lounging area bathed in dayglo orange. Plus, it’s much easier to match in neutral accessories for a plain Scandi style – think faux furs, grey or beige pompom garlands, big fluffy pillows…The other alternative for me is a patterned tent which has a sense of fun and style about it, which is why I really like the Easy Camp Dayhaven Tipi tent.
We all remember hygge, right? The clean and simple lines of Scandi style are always hugely appealing, but I’ve recently discovered and fallen in love with the more adventurous Scandi Folklore style – think Fair Isle jumpers in bright colours, the cute Yule Goat, teal and pinks, navies and red, abstract patterns and gorgeous forest creatures like stags and foxes. Stylish and bold, but also sophisticated and chic. (Yes, I’m still talking about camping.) You can select a glamping style for yourself and then go nuts on the accessories, using my three top tips to turn any campsite from dull and drab to glam and fab!
Three easy tips to turn your camping trip glam
1: Pick Your Tent Carefully
The tent is your base for your colour scheme or camp style. Fun glamping looks include safari (white canvas, wooden and metal accessories, with accents in neutral faux furs), carnival (bright pinks, reds, blues, greens – a wash of colour against a neutral background including bunting, bright blankets, paper lantern fairy lights and coloured rugs), and Scandi fairytale (fairylights, natural wooden accessories, woodland creatures, pinks, teals, blues, stone and similar colourways). All of these looks will work with a neutral colour like grey or white, or a tent which is specifically designed for that look.
My pick is the Dayhaven tent, which you can get here, but you can also get some super grey neutral Easy Camp tents here (I also own the Huntsville 500). Easy Camp also do a load of tents in a similar colourway under the Carnival range, which you can view here.
2: Luxe up your accessories
One of the major issues with camping I’ve found is storage. Where to pop your pots, pans, plates, clothes, and so on. A luxury tote or cabin bag is obviously key for wardrobe storage, but when it comes to plates and cutlery, I love to use a picnic basket. The wicker construction really adds to the relaxing atmosphere and gives it a luxury look. Mine is a past season from Joules, but you can get recent ones here, here, and here. It also happens to match really well with the teal/duck egg colour scheme from Fortnum and Mason – how handy! Shop their range here.
Coordinating napkins, mugs and cheap disposable partyware is a great way to step up your glamping game – I had a palette of cool colours to choose from thanks to the Dayhaven tent, so I picked tropical napkins, a funky lobster bottle opener from Paperchase (I seriously LOVE this thing), and a galvanised metal tray from Next. (My navy and white enamel mugs are from Wolf and Badger’s Folklore range here.)
Another point about storage – wicker baskets (like empty F&M hampers, for example!) are a great way to keep your things tidy inside a tent, and go really well with that aforementioned safari theme. I actually picked up a small washing up bowl in teal from Addis which goes perfectly with the colour scheme of the tent. They are available in a massive range of colours and are so cheap it’s handy to have them around for all manner of things. Not only are they obviously great for washing up – but I use them to store clean pots, pans, plates, etc, and even food and miscellaneous items in the tent. I also have a few lurking in my summer house to hold tools and seeds.
3: Bring decorative elements
Glamping in its very essence is the rejection of the practical and the mundane. It might be ridiculous to go wild camping with backpacks and try to find room for reels of fairylights, but if you’re going on a family holiday in your car, you should have room for a bunch of frivolous extras. Trust me, it makes camping so much more fun and relaxing to settle down in a swathe of gorgeous blankets, watching the fairy lights twinkle, than it is to huddle under an efficient yet boring, ultralight, top of the range sleeping bag, lit by a megawatt lantern that has no charm whatsoever.
Go nuts with your extras – you’re not here for a long time, you’re here for a good time – right? Festoon the place with strings of lights (solar panel powered are excellent and mean you don’t even have to think about turning them on or off or checking the batteries are charged), deck the interior with bunting, get some little side tables and try chucking a vase of flowers you’ve gathered on a walk in there. Be creative and own your space – let’s get rid of boring camp sites and glam everything up.
Inside our tent, we wove some battery powered lights around the pole in the middle to create a central light source which made for a soft, ambient atmosphere in the evening. Outside we wove some bigger fairy lights around the front entrance so they’d look appealing during the day even when switched off. Check out some fairy lights here, and a range of solar lanterns here. Even solar pathfinders set out around your tent are a good idea for finding your way back from a midnight bathroom break!
Easy Camp actually do a matching sleeping bag for the Dayhaven tipi tent. Mine is called the Bohemian Day, but you can also get a dark Night version. When it comes to blankets and throws, my two favourite places are Ikea and Next. We threw down a textured fur blanket like this for the entranceway carpeting, and a Gurli textured blanket in an orange (similar to this) nearer the back. Trust me, no matter how warm it is during the day, come the evening you’re going to want to cuddle up!
Giant garden pillows are also great to take with you, for sitting and lounging. They can be used inside or outside the tent. But you can also use knitted or fabric cushions inside – the more the merrier!
Here’s a little tent tour to give you a flavour of how simple it is to add a few little touches to your tent to create a welcoming glamping experience in your own camp site!
Easy Camp provided me with a Dayhaven tent and sleeping bag for the purposes of review. All photography and opinions are my own. This article contains affiliate links which help support the blog.