I have always been one for outdoor activities. Many years ago my friends and I started an annual camping trip which initially was for my birthday and over time became an annual camping trip just for fun, no particular reason. The first few years we began camping we started off sleeping in one big 12-person tent with all the stakes and supports, taking a handful of us to put it up and spending almost a good 20-30 minutes on it. We would only go to a couple different areas and the level of preparedness we were at was around a 2 out of 10. In our more recent years we went to the music festival that is Coachella and to say the least we were amazed at how nice our friend’s setups were.
It wasn’t until we were introduced to the idea of “glamping” that we decided to step up our camping game. While the gear we were using had improved slightly, the way we were going about the planning was overdue for some upgrades. We were completely pampered during our time camping at Coachella. While we were there squeezing 4 people into a small tent, all of our friends had these big pop-up tents with blow-up air mattresses, memory foam padding, night stand and even area rugs.
Lately, we have been camping pretty much every month this year. We like to explore and head up north towards the Sequoias and sometimes even around Orange County. It used to be a bit difficult driving in after work to our camp site and struggling to put up our tent in the dark. Nowadays, Costco along with many sporty stores have affordable tents that take less than a minute for setup. These tents have been worth every dollar I along with many of my friends have spent on them and the best part is that they are built exceptionally well and so convenient that one person could easily set it up under minimal lighting. (added benefit is purchasing from Costco, as they have an insanely good return policy — they practically take back anything purchased from them) These pop-up tents are quite affordable and when compared to the old-fashioned rods and stakes tents these are a shoo-in. What could be more convenient than a moderately priced tent that goes from stowed away to completely setup within seconds? A portable shower-head.
You haven’t been glamping before if you haven’t been able to take a nice, refreshing shower from an actual portable shower. This portable shower-head has brought us much comfort for the small price tag. You can buy it from Amazon or many other online retail shops. It comes battery-powered and has a filter on the pump end to keep the shower-head from pumping out dirt, other unwanted things or getting clogged. The water pressure comes out just like a regular water line at home and during times where it’s extremely hot this easily becomes the main attraction. The only addition you will need apart from batteries can be purchased for a few bucks at places like Home Depot. 5-gallon buckets work perfectly and you would be surprised by how long that bucket of water lasts when dispensed from a battery-powered shower-head.
After cooling off under the shower we just want to sprawl out and lay in the sun (or not if it’s too hot!) The most comfortable chairs we have found are the zero-gravity chairs with the little folding tables attached. These can recline so that you’re laying flat and boy are they comfortable. Sure, the typical fold-in camp chairs are pretty nice but they can’t recline or adjust like the zero-gravity ones. If this chair is still not comfortable enough and you want to take a quick nap, why not go lay down on your super comfortable blow-up air mattress?
Now, you’re probably thinking… Why do we have an air mattress? Why aren’t we using a good old sleeping bag? Have you ever had to sleep on a plain sleeping bag with almost no cushion beneath you? That has to be one of the most uncomfortable things to do and in the morning you wake up with aches and pains… not a fun time. Using a blow-up air mattress has to be the biggest change to camping we’ve made while but for the better.
These are the few pieces of gear that I would suggest to truly step-up your camping game. Not only can all these items be purchased for relatively cheap, but you can find most if not all of these items online, in the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re a minimalist or a glamper, this equipment can completely change the way you camp. The comfort these items bring can help you get that peaceful rest and relaxation that should always be associated with a successful camping trip.