If you consider yourself a city slicker and the thought of going without your smartphone for a weekend scares the bejesus out of you, then read on my friend.
The phenomenon known as “glamping”, or “luxury camping” is the city slicker’s preferred way to camp, and is anything but ‘roughing it’.
But a Ron Swanson you are not my friend, and if you really can’t afford to roll in an Airstream for a simple camping getaway, read on.
True glamping, ‘Tom Haverford style’, costs money; you could spend your rent check at REI if you wanted to, but that’s not what it’s about. You just need the bare essentials, and some choice accessories.
Things you need:
A decent tent: This is an area where there should be some flexible spend, meaning you leave some leeway in your budget for a 5 or 6 person tent by going in on one with your friends for $15-20 each.
A Camping Reservation: City Slicker mentality is generally pretty lax when it comes to making plans, but trust us, don’t wing it the day-of. Your significant other will strangle you (we learn from our mistakes). Most campsites fill up fast during the summer months, so book online at least 3 weeks ahead of time.
A Sleeping Bag: Sleeping bags are another must have camping item. Overstock.com has some varieties for around $36.00 USD. Skimp if you want to, but layer up at night.
A flash light: Any cheap flashlight will do, but try to spend at least $6.00 to $8.00 on one because you get what you pay for. Quick tip; just use the one on your smartphone (if so equipped).
Of course, most city slickers can’t live without their electronics, even for a day, which is why you need a power supply.
Portable Power Bank
The portable power bank is a must-have not only for the pampered technophile hitting the woods, but also for any modern camper with no intentions to leave the grid. A portable power bank is a rechargeable battery enclosed in a durable, waterproof case with numerous outlets. These particular unit run anywhere from $29.00 to $70.00 and allow you to power or recharge a wide variety of devices. The Kodiak from Outdoor Tech features USB ports to make room for plenty of simultaneous charging. This particular unit retails for about $49.00 USD and can charge the average smartphone 3 times. Weight is around 9 ounces and they are shock and water resistant so you don’t have to worry too much about leaving them out on a picnic table.
Deluxe Air Mattress
A Deluxe air mattress is another item you’d actually like to take with you on a camping trip. REI sells air mattresses for around $30 USD, but you may have to buy an air pump, unless of course you’re a horn player and have mad cheek muscles.
A deluxe air mattress makes you look prissy but you won’t be complaining of a poor night’s sleep or stiff neck like your friends will, so this is item is really more of a must-have glamping piece of gear.
A simple weekend getaway might end up costing you close to $200.00 up front, but once you get the glamping gear you want, you’re set for years. Pretty soon, the only thing you’ll be paying for on a weekend camping trip will be food, gas, or your share of the rental fee. A good tent will set you back around $70.00 USD, give or take, an air mattress $30 USD, and a portable power supply around $50.00 USD.
You don’t have to pop for a sleeping bag because you can literally wrap yourself in your comforter and you can save a few dollars by using the flashlight on your iPhone. Chip in for food, rental fees, and gas and you’ve got yourself a weekend getaway for under $200.
Creative Commons photo by Ranch Seeker