We love glamping. Even though we are not the most outdoorsy people, we do enjoy spending time at one with nature. Especially if it means we can switch the mobiles off and leave the laptop at home. Camping is something we cannot agree on at all. Mr ESLT loves it, whereas I cannot abide it. Even though I am not a girly girl and will quite happily go make up free and abandon the hair straighteners, I do need a certain level of comfort. Therefore, glamping ticks a lot of boxes as Mr ESLT still gets to sleep under canvas, and I get to sleep in a big comfortable double bed.
There are of course a number of other benefits glamping offers. The main one for me is that the yurt is already up; therefore you don’t have to waste time putting a tent up, which is never fun, especially if it’s raining. The other biggie is that some yurts like the one we stayed in at Yosemite have en-suite bathrooms and kitchens. However, others offer the very basics of just a bed and you have to bring everything else with you or hire it directly from the site.
Therefore, from our glamping experiences, we have put together the ultimate (I say ultimate, but I’ve probably forgotten something) packing list for your first time/next glamping adventure. Quite often glamping sites are in the middle of nowhere which means a trek back to civilisation if you have forgotten something – we hope this list helps.
Some sites offer bed linens as standard, some will hire you it for the duration of your stay and some simply do not offer it. Therefore, it’s important that you check with the site before arrival. If you need to take your own, you may simply want to take the linens off your own bed at home or you may want to take sleeping bags. Blankets are equally as important, not only to do they provide an extra layer on your bed but also great for when you are sitting around the fire pit.
Towels can often be hired from the glamping site. However, if you are anything like me, you will want to take your own towel with you. Towels can be thick and bulky, therefore we recommend investing in a Lifeventure micro fibre towel (or similar). We have XL ones and they have travelled around the world with us. They are the size of a beach towel, however, they fold down to almost nothing, making them great when space is limited. They are also super absorbent and dry quickly too.
Depending on where and when you go glamping will depend on the weather and light levels. However, unless you are glamping in northern Norway in the middle of June, the likelihood is you will need to pack a torch. The main reason is for the middle of the night trips to the loo. A lot of people recommend a head torch when camping/glamping which leaves your hands free for carrying things. It depends how practical you are and I understand they are very handy but I just can’t bring myself to wear one.
Layers of Clothes
I’m a cold person, therefore, I always carry layers of clothes with me to put on and take off as necessary. I would recommend that when glamping your backpack contains clothes for every type of whether you can think off. Even in Yosemite in the middle of summer, the evening chill warranted four layers of clothes and even thermal socks. Also, if you plan to sit around the fire pit at night the likelihood is that it will leave you smelling smokey, so don’t bank on being able to wear that outfit again.
We’d recommend planning your meals out before your glamping trip, so you know exactly what to take with you. You then need to decide whether or not to hit up the supermarket before you leave for your trip or on the way. On our recent trip to Kingfisher Lakes Glamping Site in East Yorkshire, we ensured we had everything bought and packed before we set off after being bit on our glamping trip in Yosemite last year. We arrived at the site to find the closest shop was 30 minutes back the way we’d just come.
Pots, Pans, Crockery & Cutlery
Some sites provide this sort of stuff, some don’t. Therefore, you will need to check before arrival. Imagine getting to your site to find not one pot or pan to use? I suppose it’s a great excuse to eat out, providing there are restaurants close by of course. You could pack up the contents of your kitchen and take that with you if you wanted to save a few quid. However, there are loads of travel sets that you could buy which are usually more hardwearing then your bone china dinner service.
Providing you remembered to pack the food, the likelihood is you will need a roll of tin foil or some Tupperware to cover/keep half opened packets in or store leftovers in. I personally would opt for the Tupperware as the tubs are usually airtight and definitely reusable and I’m all for protecting the planet as much as possible. Also, if you plan to make pack ups for your day trips while glamping these will come in super handy to wrap and store your sandwiches in while on the move.
Scissors and a sharp knife are two important pieces of glamping kit as they have many uses. Yet are ones which are often forgotten. From opening and cutting packaging to slicing your sandwiches in half (or quarters if you prefer), you’d kick yourself if you forgot them. You may be lucky if the site you are staying at provides them to use while you are staying there. But if they don’t, just imagine getting your BBQ or grill up to temperature and not being able to snip your sausages apart – urgh!
This could be something as simple as bottled water, if there is none available on site, to beers for around the fire pit. If drinking water is available on site then we’d recommend investing in a collapsible water carrier to carry your water from the tap back to your yurt. You can buy all different sizes depending on how much water you think you are going to need. Some even have a nifty tap on them which you can put your glass under and turn. It will save you having to wander backwards and forwards to the tap over and over again.
Travel Kettle and Mugs
This, of course, leads on from drinks….tea. As a Yorkshire lass, I love nothing more than a big mug of Yorkshire tea. Especially one first thing in the morning. Therefore a travel kettle and mugs, it can’ be those little plastic cups that come with the kettle, have to be packed in order for me to enjoy my early morning brew. However, of course, the kettle can come in useful for many things including packet food and pot noodles. On our recent glamping trip, we had both in our yurt, so it may be worth checking with the site you’ll be staying at before you pack.
Washing up bowl & liquid, Dish Cloth & Tea Towel
Again some sites offer them, others don’t. But not to worry, you can easily grab the dishcloth and tea towel from the kitchen at home. You could even take the washing up liquid from home, but you may be better off filling a small reusable bottle instead of taking the family sized one from your sink. However, the washing up bowl may be a different story. So why not check out collapsible washing up bowls? They are handy inventions as they fold down making them super easy to pack. And if you don’t like drying pots, why not invest in a collapsible drainer too?
Bin bags have many uses, especially when camping/glamping. First of all and the most obvious one is to put rubbish in. Just remember to separate recyclables from non-recyclables. And also remember to tie the bags up at night if you are going to leave them on your decking area, as the smells from them could attract all sorts of creatures, especially in certain countries – bears in Canada, I’m looking at you. Bins bags are also great if you forget to pack your waterproofs and need to make a makeshift cagoule or if you need something to put your muddy boots or dirty clothes in.
Firewood, Fire Lighters & Matches
Some yurts have wood-burning stoves in them, which are great for taking the edge off the late night chill. Therefore firewood, firelighters (eco ones if you can find them – let’s think about the environment) and matches are essential. Some sites provide a couple of logs free of charge, however, if you have ever used a wood burning stove before, you’ll know that they do not last long. We would advise asking if you can buy more on site, or close to site, to save you having to lug logs with you, taking up precious space in your car. Also, most sites provide firelighters and matches, but in our experience, never enough, so pack some extras.
Disposable BBQ/ Charcoal
We love a BBQ, especially when glamping. There’s nothing better than a charcoaly on the outside, slightly pink on the inside sausage. That’s why we glamped in Yosemite, we were gutted to find a gas grill on the decking outside our yurt, which is apparently common in America (boo!). However, whenever and wherever we have glamped in England, the sites have always supplied charcoal BBQs. Therefore we have always either taken bags of charcoal (instant light is preferable as it means we do not need firelighters as well) with us or disposable BBQs which are super cheap and super easy (and cleaner) to dispose of once used.
Candles are a great way of creating an atmosphere/actually providing light to ensure that you are able to see what you are doing. They are pretty cheap and can be picked up easily. However, if you have a fear of mixing a naked flame and a yurt, like I do, then funky fake (LED operated) candles are a must. Granted they are more expensive to buy and they need batteries to work but they can be used over and over again on your future glamping adventures. They also eliminate the possibility of burning your yurt and all your stuff inside it to the ground.
If the weather is nice while you are glamping, the likelihood is that you will want to take advantage of it and sit outside, especially if you are having a BBQ. Therefore, it’s important to have suitable chairs. Some glamping sites provide picnic benches outside their yurts whereas others don’t. Therefore, packing collapsible camping chairs is advisable, if you have the room to do so of course. Many do fold down very small and so not take up much space. Especially the cute kid’s camping chairs that come in a variety of colours and designs.
Obviously, you don’t want to be that person who blasts out music morning, noon and night. In fact, most sites have a curfew, which is great if you are not a night owl or have kids to settle. However, as music lovers, we always find it nice to have a bit of background music, therefore a Bluetooth speaker is a must. Yes, you can just play music from your phone, however, it can sound rather tinny and Bluetooth speakers are a lot more reasonably priced than they used to me. We would always recommend a waterproof or splashproof Bluetooth speaker just in case you accidentally leave it outside at night.
Books, Board Games, Cards
Depending on where you are glamping, depending on whether or not it has wifi or even a 4g/3g signal. Therefore, if your idea of evening entertainment is your favourite box set on Netflix, it simply may not be possible. Therefore, and especially if you are glamping with kids, it’s important to have back up entertainment to hand. Plus, board games and a deck of cards can be great family bonding games (until someone wins and sore losers appear). Books or a Kindle are also a great, and quiet thing to enjoy, especially if the kids are asleep and you want something to pass the time that won’t wake them.
Even though your old battered Converse trainers may be the comfiest pair of shoes you own, the likelihood is that after a couple of hours exploring your glamping site and neighbouring countryside, you will be cursing them while ripping them from your feet. I have done it more times then I care to admit and have had to deal with the blisters for weeks afterwards. Therefore, I have now invested in a pair of walking boots, that I pack regardless of the weather. They are super comfy (now they are broken in) and I can walk for hours in them. I also pack my wellies even if there is the slightest threat of rain as wet feet are just not pleasant.
There’s nothing worse than getting caught unprepared in a downpour. Therefore, the very minimum I pack is an umbrella, even if it’s the middle of summer and rain is not forecasted. However, even if there is a hint of the weather not being great, then waterproofs (jacket and trousers) are essential. A lot of waterproofs can be folded down, therefore, do not take up much space. If space is particularly tight then a pakamac is ideal. Our trusty pakamacs have been around the world with us and luckily for us, we have only had to use them a couple of times. But I’d rather have one close to hand just in case rather than get soaked to the skin.
A pretty obvious one! Most sites, especially with toilet and shower blocks provide toilet roll and replenish it on a regular basis. If your site has self-composting toilets (gross but great for the environment), then check out the rules about toilet roll. Often it cannot be placed in the toilet itself but in a bin by the side of it. A few years ago we hired an entire glamping site for my friend’s hen weekend. As we had the site all to ourselves, the owner did not want to disturb us and our frivolity, which meant that toilet roll was not replenished. Therefore, I’d advise packing a roll or two just in case as it’s a small but vital thing.
Again if your glamping site has a toilet block, the likelihood is that handwash will be provided by the wash basins, but that will be about it. You may find a rogue bar of soap if you are lucky. Therefore, pack your toiletry bag with everything you will need for the duration of your stay. If your stay is a long one, why not buy your toiletries from the on-site shop (if there is one) or a shop close to the site to save a bit of case in your bag. Obviously, if you use something in particular (for me it’s conditioner for my unruly hair) it’s advised to pack that just in case the local shop doesn’t sell it.
Antibacterial Hand Gel
A lot of people use antibacterial hand gel on a daily basis, keeping a little bottle in their pocket or handbag. I have even seen bottles on keyrings. I’ll be honest I am not that extreme about my hand cleanliness. However, when out in the elements I do ensure I have a bottle to hand. Often hand washing facilities, especially when out in the countryside are not always available. Therefore, a quick squirt of gel, particularly before eating is advisable. Particularly when it comes to kids as they have a habit of picking stuff that they shouldn’t. No one wants a tummy upset whilst glamping, especially if the site only has self-composting toilets!
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit with at least the basics – plasters (for blisters and cuts) and antiseptic cream (for insect stings and grazes) is vital. However, we would recommend taking an all singing and dancing first aid kit as you never know what you may need urgently. There are a lot of hazards when it comes to glamping and being in the countryside in general. Quite often sites are quite a distance from civilisation. All it takes is a trip, slip or fall to ruin your break if you don’t have the right things to patch you up. Also, and this is from personal experience – pack some Periton as you never know when you may realise you are allergic to something. This will ease the reaction and make it bearable….hopefully.
Pots need to be washed. Apparently, it’s actually a stress buster, I’m yet to be convinced. As we have a dishwasher (or magic cupboard as it’s called in our house) at home, washing up liquid is not something we have readily available. Therefore, it is often the thing (ok one of the things) I forget to pack. We have been lucky on previous occasions and found that some sites provide it. However, we have also been unlucky at other sites where they don’t. For a quid or so, I now keep one in the cupboard under our sink so I am prepared for future trips.
Travel Washing Line & Pegs
Depending on how long your trip is will depend on whether or not you need a travel washing line and pegs. Washing your clothes mid stay means that you can pack lighter. This then leaves you more space for other, maybe more important, stuff. Another reason you may need a travel washing line and pegs is if you intend to go swimming on your trip. Maybe your site has a swimming pool or lake nearby that you can take a dip in? If so, you can then hang your swimming costume, swim shorts, or trunks (if they are your thing) out to dry.
Eye Mask and Ear Plugs
It’s important to remember that the only thing between you and the great outdoors when glamping is the thin material of the yurt. Therefore, when it gets light outside, it gets light in your yurt. When it is noisy outside you can hear it in your yurt. Perhaps the neighbouring farmer is harvesting or the cows decide to give you an early morning wake up call? I personally can sleep through anything, much to Mr ESLT’s annoyance. However, if you are a light to moderate sleeper an eye mask and earplugs may be your best friend on a glamping trip, especially during the summer months when it gets light super early.
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