Glamping tips and advice from Hugh
I’ve put together this article on glamping tips and advice based on my own experience of camping and glamping. It was a few years ago that I first shared my camping tips – soon after I opened campsites at Wild Boar Wood and Beech Estate. It’s proved to be one of the most popular articles on our website. But over the years, I’ve picked up a few new tips and tricks and have had lots of feedback on it too. As a result, I thought it was about time to re-visit and update it.
I’ve created this version specifically about glamping. If you’re looking for tips on things to do with camping basics – you might like to check out my Best Camping Tips article instead. Neither of these articles are meant be the hard and fast ‘rules of glamping and camping’ – just a few of the things I’ve learned along the way, which you may find useful too. Here’s the original article – updated with glampers in mind…
Sharing camping and glamping tips
I was first inspired to share my own camping tips after a post placed by a new camper on a page I set up on Google+. A camper was asking for some advice and tips before he headed out on his first UK camping adventure. I’m no camping guru, but over the years running Wild Boar Wood and Beech Estate Campsites(formerly Eco Camp UK sites), I’ve learned a few tricks of the camping trade. So I thought about some handy camping tips and advice I had picked up along the way. This is now updated specifically for glampers. Some of the camping advice will be obvious to regular campers.
Please feel free to email us with any of your own tips and advice and I’ll consider them for inclusion in my next update.
Glamping tips on tents
Personally, I am a big fan of bell tents. These are the only glamping options at Wild Boar Wood and Beech Estate Campsites. Elsewhere you might find yurts, safari tents and tipis but I like bell tents for their simplicity and style. If you are looking for a glamping experience that’s as close to ‘real’ camping, bell tents are just perfect.
When choosing a bell tent site, you might like to consider the size of the tent. We use five-metre diameter, British-made BCT bell tents. These are spacious for a family of four and cosy for up to six people.
What to pack for your glamping trip – the basics
One of my best camping tips is to create a separate camping (or glamping) storage box. Have this packed with your utensils, matches, torches, spare batteries, suncream, toilet paper, insect spray, spare pegs, tomato sauce, coffee, tea bags, cling film, foil, long life food stuff, spices, oil etc etc etc. Then all you need to do is throw it in the car and chuck in the sleeping bags, tent and beds and you’re almost ready. Stop at a farm shop on the way and you have your dinner. If you take out the hassle and the hours of preparation, you will camp or glamp more often.
More important than the tent. Sitting on the ground gets boring very quickly – especially if like me you enjoy watching Fire TV and putting the world to rights! At Wild Boar Wood Campsite we provide a picnic bench and at least two camping chairs per tent. This means you’ll never have to sit on the floor. You only need to bring extras if there’s more of you in the tent!
A great sleeping bag
In the UK it gets very chilly some nights, so a good quality sleeping bag can make the difference between a great camping experience or a disaster. It also pays to take an extra blanket!
Headlamps, lamps and torches and spare batteries. Sounds obvious but the number of people who rock up to our campsites with one torch and flat batteries is incredible. I’d even recommend including a wind up lantern – as they ensure the flat battery situation will not occur. We provide these in our bell tents at Wild Boar Wood – so we know they are good.
What to wear for your glamping trip
Thongs as we Aussies call them – flip flops or waterproof sandals – great for visits to the showers and loos. At night though it can get quite cold camping in the UK, even next to a fire, so some walking boots and thick socks can be very handy too.
Clothing – important camping tip
Layers are the key to camping. In the UK it can get fairly cold very quickly, so it’s always a good idea to be able to add layers when the sun goes down. Start the morning dressed warmly, then take the layers off when the sun comes out. You can remove them and catch some vitamin D. Also pack a woollen hat for late nights around the campfire, especially if you are follicly challenged like me. Hoodies for the kids – great for wearing in a sleeping bag to keep their heads warm and even gloves if it’s cold.
What to pack for your glamping trip – campfire cooking
The most obvious things you need for campfire cooking are cooking pots and utensils. We provide these for you at Wild Boar Wood Campsite. This will make packing a lot easier for you, but here are a few extras you might like to bring…
Get one that works. I’ve had my Aussie-made Esky since I turned 21 – so over a quarter of a century and it doubles as a seat. We actually provide one for you at Wild Boar Wood Campsite but you might still want to bring your own. Then you can have one for food and one for drinks. No one wants to remove the eggs and bacon every time Dad grabs another tinnie out!
Good pocket knife or multi-tool
Pretty self-explanatory. There’s always a tin to open, something to cut or a a marshmallow stick to trim. I have a Leatherman and rate them very highly.
Matches, lighter and candles
But make sure you don’t leave naked flames alight in your tent. For hardcore campers getting super prepared you could include lighter fluid in sealed container – can be used to get a fire going.
Single burner camping gas cooker
Great for the early morning coffee. But in case you forget yours, we provide a gas camping stove for communal use at Wild Boar Wood Campsite too.
Tips for glamping which make life easier
Take lots of plastic bags
Especially if it’s wet. These are useful to pack away your clothes so they stay dry, or separate the dirty ones. They are also good for rubbish collection. Lots of campsite require you to take your rubbish home and no one wants a boot full of stinky leftovers. It also pays to locate the nearest recycling and waste centre to the campsite to dump your rubbish as soon after you leave the campsite as possible.
Wet wipes & talc
Especially for kids or if you don’t fancy the campsite showers!
Most important camping tip if visiting a campsite with open fires. Potatoes, sweetcorn, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes (or almost any veggie) can all be cooked on a bbq or the edge of open fire in foil.
Also useful for leftovers. I even save the baked potatoes from the night before if uneaten and mix them with eggs and bacon in the morning for a Spanish omelette – my kids love it.
Must take the marshmallows!
I’m biased but I only camp at places which allow open fires!
Freeze your camping meat
I like to freeze my meat, bacon etc for day 2 & 3 – it acts like an ice block in the cool box as it defrosts, and is fresh and ready to eat a day or two after arriving.
Wine in a box
You can get some decent wine in boxes nowadays. Using these helps the pack-up as there’ll be no empty bottles to carry or break.
Cans instead of bottles of beer or soft drinks
The empties can be crushed and put in a small (or large for some) plastic bag to be recycled.
A big umbrella
Like a golf one – is useful. Get one of kids or a mate to hold it over you if it’s raining while you are BBQing or cooking on the campfire. Never cook inside a tent due to carbon monoxide poisoning – which is a serious threat.
Daily contacts lenses
Ever tried changing hard contacts in the wilds of Sussex? I’ve had to do it for both my daughter and myself and the dailies are much easier. If you drop them you just pop another one.
In the UK I never need to use the stuff, but you never know when you will get an infestation. Expect lots little biting insects at different times which hone in on some people ahead of others. It’s also been suggested that some incense to keep away the insects at night. It can pay to have a tick remover if roaming or camping through woodland areas. You can buy these cheaply online.
If you’re a keen camper or glamper and have anything to add – send us your favourite glamping tips.