Tips for Glamping Out

How to make “roughing it” a little less rough.

A quick Instagram search for #glamping will reveal why “glamorous camping” has become such a buzzy trend in recent years. Sun-drenched vistas. Dreamy sleeping nooks. Cozy campfires. And so many string lights. Who wouldn’t want such a lovely alternative to the sweaty sleeping-bag experiences of our camping youth?

“The glamping movement has gotten huge, especially since COVID,” says Kelly Emilianowicz, co-owner of The Pop-Up BnB, a Cincinnati-based, full-service glamping company that hosts experiences from Texas to Maine. When she and her husband launched their business in 2017, they were among just a few such companies in the country. Now, she estimates, there are roughly 10 nationwide. “COVID kept everybody home and not going on vacations. That’s when we started backyard setups,” she adds.

So, what exactly qualifies as glamping? Let’s start with aesthetics. A quintessential “glamp-out” often takes place in a spacious, boho-chic canvas tent with pitched ceilings and sturdy sides. Decor makes the space feel like home: bistro lighting, side tables, a bench, and maybe even a rug or two. Through The Pop-Up BNB, there are also rentable add-ons to enhance the desired mood. Corporate event? Rent a movie projector. Couples’ getaway? Add games. Family adventure? Try the pizza oven.

Now, let’s talk comfort. Mattresses (a.k.a. “airbeds”) are a must for any glamping experience, as are real sheets and beautiful bedding (so long, sleeping bags!). Tent floors are often propped on a platform or, at very least, are more weather-proof than typical nylon tents. The Pop-Up BnB will also set up and tear down the campsite, and a VIP upgrade grants bona-fide bedframes and memory-foam mattresses.

It should be noted, however, that while glamping is lovely and totally Instaworthy, it is still…well, camping. It’s still outdoors. There are still bugs and elements and likely a less-than-ideal bathroom situation. “One of the things that is always underestimated [about glamping] is the heat,” Emilianowicz says.

Nevertheless, adding a few glamping elements to your next outdoor overnight might make the great outdoors feel a little greater.

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