Thursday, 1 September 2016

From Camping to Glamping - 4 Tips

My career as a camper began badly whilst on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition in my teens -myself and my fellow bronze award candidates inadvertently used all of the wooden tent pegs as kindling wood for the camp fire! However, despite this shaky start, I have continued to go camping all of my life - before and after kids, in rain and shine. They've been the best and worst holidays. Nothing beats a sunny camping holiday, glass in hand, watching the children playing happily outdoors all day. Conversely, I'll never forget the slugs in the tent one particularly wet summer!
Being a huge fan of my home comforts, I've always tried to make our tent cosy, but the purchase of a bell tent two years ago was a game changer. The transition from camping to glamping really does improve your experience. Here are my 4 top tips for glamming up your camping.

1. A Bell Tent.

They're popping up everywhere now and as well as looking great, they're much quicker and easier to put than traditional tents. You can buy them in several sizes - 3m to 6m diameter. Ours is a 5m one with a zipped in groundsheet (the slugs can't get in!) and was from When deciding on what size bell tent to get the main factor to consider is being able to dry it out. I know I sound like your dad, but it has to be 100% dry before you pack it away or it will rot. So you have to have a big enough garden to be able to erect it to dry if you've been rained on. Once you've decided on size then you're away - they're so easy to put up! I can do it on my own in less than half an hour - our old frame tent used to take two hours and guaranteed a massive argument! And once it's up you'll notice how quiet and calm it is compared to traditional nylon tents - no rustling or flapping noises. As long time Outwell tent users, we were sceptical about how dry you'd stay in a bell tent and how difficult they'd be to put up. Our doubts were unfounded on both counts and we'd genuinely never go back to traditional nylon tents. If you like the sound of bell tents, then you're ready for stage 2!

2. Rugs.
Rugs in a nylon tent would be ridiculous because they'd get damp from the condensation. However, because of the way the modern canvas bell tents are waterproofed, you don't get condensation.
You can buy beautiful bespoke coir bell tent rugs from Soulpad. They look stunning and make your bell tent look like a proper home.
However, we always bring our own rugs from home though because a) we're tight! and b) I prefer an eclectic look. Adding rugs immediately makes the tent look and feel cosy, warm and homely.

3. Lighting.
Yes I'm going to talk about fairy lights again! I add them inside and (if it's dry) outside. They add more magic to your tent and have the added bonus of helping you find your tent in a dark field! 
Festoons are also a great option and lots online shops now sell them such as and

4. Cool storage.
Once upon a time, storing your stuff when camping was all about keeping things as dry as possible in plastic boxes. But because you don't get any condensation with bell tents, you can use whatever you like! We use a vintage leather trunk to keep our cooker in, wooden crates for food and belly baskets for everything else! Storage can be both useful and beautiful in your bell tent.

There's one last thing you'll need for glamping and that's a big hatchback vehicle. The only drawback of bell tents is that they do weigh more and take up a bit more room than standard tents.

So  - give it a try. I guarantee you'll never go back to normal camping because it's not like normal camping. You feel like you're living in your own cool little canvas cottage. All they have to do now is to overcome the other camping dread - communal toilets - and invent bell tents with bathrooms and there really will be no looking back!

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  1. Great post. I really fancy getting one but wasn't sure about them. You have totally sold them to me! Might have to get a bigger car though xx

    1. Thanks Love Lemon! Yes transporting it, and the rugs etc is the issue!

  2. Love a Bell tent - have borrowed one twice now for festivals and been fortunate enough with dry weather & even borrowed bunting lights and rugs: I could *almost* be converted to glamping even if I can't wear my metallic glitzy shoes whilst doing so! 😉 Great post 👍🏻

    1. Of course you can wear your glitzy shoes! Of its dry. 😂 Thanks for commenting lovely! 😘😘

  3. You do make tenting look more desirable! We have moved on to Lodges in the State Parks. And just walking or driving thru the camp grounds for atmosphere!

  4. Ah thanks! Yes I don't blame you! I'd love to camp around the US one day! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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