Despite the rise in luxury hotels and vacation packages, camping has remained popular. Campers love the feeling of sleeping in the great outdoors under the stars. The adventurous hikes, swims, and sights are all pulls for many campers, and the huge range of campground types can be exciting - it's never the same trip twice! There are many outdoorsy people who enjoy camping, but there are also a lot of travelers who don't love the outdoors as much but still love the rush of sleeping in the wild. The technology of the tents and accessories available has advanced to such a level that virtually anyone can enjoy camping.
Additionally, there are literally tons of hacks available to make your camping trip a little bit more luxurious. You can get the comfort of home or an upscale hotel while experiencing the true outdoors in complete privacy.
Many seasoned campers have come forward to give their advice on their favorite hacks. Some are simple, some are expensive, some take a lot of effort, and some seem absolutely necessary once you learn about them. Check out these really awesome hacks that will make you feel like you're staying in a 5 star hotel while experiencing the thrill of sleeping under the stars!
20 20. Use a Double High Inflatable Mattress: The Feeling of a Real Mattress For a Fraction of the Price
If you're going to be camping in a tent versus "Glamping" in a camper or log cabin, your best bet is to invest in an air mattress. They're definitely a pain to blow up at the beginning of your trip, but your back will thank you by the end. If you do purchase a new inflatable mattress, opt for the double thick kind. It'll feel much more like a real bed and will stay fluffy longer.
It's always a good idea to read some reviews before purchasing so that you can be sure you have a good mattress. There's nothing worse than feeling your back on the ground in the middle of the night because your mattress deflated after a few hours.
19 19. Bring a Good Cooler for Food: It'll Hold Ice For Days
Another super essential piece of camping equipment is a great cooler. A well-made cooling container can actually keep ice cold for days at a time! This means that you won't have to either do constant ice runs or settle for warm food and drinks. It's an awful feeling to be camping in the dead of summer only to find that you don't have a single thing that's stayed cold!
Yeti is always a good choice, but there are many other options that will probably work just as well. Do some research and invest in a great piece. It'll be worth it if you camp often!
18 18. Add Twinkly Solar Powered Lights: Make Your Site Homey and Cute
Who doesn't love twinkly outdoor lights? They're all the rage right now in home decor, so this is a great addition to bring some sweet but trendy pieces to your campsite. Make sure to hang them out during the day so that they can charge up by using the sun's rays, but beware: many of them won't shut off at night! This can be troubling if you need complete darkness to sleep.
Many campers choose to invest in lights that have an On/Off switch and are solar powered. They're the pricier choice, so it's dependent mostly on your sleeping habits.
17 17. Throw In Some Scented Candles: Bring the Aroma of Home
Scented candles are well-loved by many, so why wouldn't you add them to your campsite as well? If you have a signature scent that you use in your house, it's a great idea to bring those along and get your traditional "homey" scent. If not, grab a few different scents and see what you like. Many campers find that having traditional scents around makes the campsite feel a little more civilized and refined.
From regular scented candles (that you can even find at the dollar store) to upscale homemade soy candles, there are lots of options out there! Don't forget to pack a lighter or box of matches.
16 16. Set Up a Nice Place to Eat: Make Your Dinner Look Pretty
Whether or not you cook your own food, making the table look pretty almost makes it taste better! There's plenty of options here. You can go traditional and bring glass or metal plates from home with a nice linen tablecloth. You can also choose to make it look more "campy" by using wicker baskets and gingham or plaid tablecloths.
Using a plastic tablecloth will save you the hassle of having to wash it, or you can bring a few linen choices - one for each night. Additionally, bringing plastic (or glass if you're feeling brave) glasses or canteens for drinks can be a nice touch.
15 15. Bring a Comfy Chair: A Place to Read That New Book
One problem with camping is that while you might bring a ton of items for functionality, there's very often not a lot of places to sit. If your site doesn't provide a picnic table with benches and you don't bring chairs, your choices are basically to sit on the ground or in your tent. Many people do remember to bring outdoor chairs, but bringing a chair that will fit inside your tent is a great addition for your relaxation time.
Blowup chairs are super easy and work much like air mattresses. If you have a bit more room in the car, a padded wicker chair is always great.
14 14. Bring an Indoor Side Table for Ambiance: A Place For Cups, Lighting, and Momentos
If you can fit it, bring along a small side table that will fit in your tent. There's plenty of different options available, and some even fold up completely so that they won't take up more than a few inches of space during transportation. Sure, this is a small touch, but it really does make your tent feel more luxurious. You can throw an indoor lantern on it or keep water by your bed during the night.
It's also great to snack on top of if you're just hanging out in your tent for some quiet time. Whatever the reason, there are so many options available for such great prices that it's a necessary easy piece to add.
13 13. Bring Sheets and a Comforter: Feel Like You're in Your Bed at Home
Many campers just bring a sleeping bag, but they don't realize how much of a difference actual sheets and a comforter would make. There's really no comparison! While a sleeping bag might seem warmer if you're in a place where the nights get cold, you can bring a great padded or goose-down comforter and stay cozy all night.
Even if you just bring your oldest sheets and comforter to go under a sleeping bag, you'll feel much more refreshed in the morning. Make sure that the sheets will fit your air mattress if you choose to bring one! Since you probably have these items laying around, this is a super easy addition to your tent that makes a huge difference.
12 12. Add Throw Blankets and Pillows: Cozy, Comfy, and Color Coordinated
There's something about throw blankets and pillows that just make a bed seem so much comfier. If you want to get really fancy, color coordinate your whole tent! You can take your throw pillows and blankets from home or get them for affordable prices at Ikea or on Amazon. Pinterest has lots of awesome ideas to make your tent look super cute.
Not only do throw pillows and blankets enhance the look of your tent, but they'll actually make your bed comfier and keep you warmer at night. Even if you choose not to color coordinate, that's enough of a reason to throw a few in the car before you leave.
11 11. Get a Cute Outdoor Table Set: A Place to Hangout With Little Hassle
Not all campsites offer private picnic tables with benches, so it's worth investing in a really easy outdoor table set. This one actually folds up completely and will lay flat on the floor of your car for the journey. It takes up no space but offers 4 seats with room on the ends for added seating! A table and chairs are so handy for eating, hanging out, and for playing cards or other camping games.
Surprisingly, camping tables are pretty inexpensive. You can get them at any outdoor store or even on Amazon a few days before heading out to your site.
10 10. Invest in an Outdoor Rug: An Extra Layer of Home
Nothing finishes a room like a great complimentary rug, and this goes for camping as well. It not only ties everything together color wise but makes your tent so much cozier! There are a few options here: you can either place the rug in your actual tent to make it feel like a real room, or use it outdoors under a table or just on the ground for a picnic.
Getting an outdoor rug is usually the best way to go, just because it's durable. Dark colors work well, especially if you intend to reuse the rug for multiple trips. Whatever color scheme or type you go with, it's a super easy addition to your camping "room" that makes your site feel so much more like home!
9 9. Bring a Cafetiere for Coffee: Make Your Mornings Luxurious
If you're a morning coffee person, a cafetiere is essential. It makes way better coffee and is much easier to use than a camping coffee-maker. They're surprisingly inexpensive and you can even get one used from other campers on Facebook or LetGo. You can choose a super fancy version (that's a lot more expensive) or a really easy piece that still makes great coffee.
Make sure you'll have somewhere to plug the cafetiere in and that you bring the essentials, like milk, creamers, sugar, and of course, coffee mugs. There's nothing like drinking a great cup of coffee in the morning to get an awesome day of adventure started!
8 8. Bring Insulated Mugs: Keep Your Drinks at the Perfect Temperature All Day
For you multiple coffee-cup drinkers or even for holding any other drink, insulated mugs are a lifesaver. They keep hot beverages hot and cold drinks ice cold. There's a few reasons that insulated mugs are especially essential: they're perfect for any hike or adventure, they're temperature durable, and they keep your drinks clean throughout the day or even during the night.
Insulated mugs are pretty inexpensive. Great options can be purchased online or at most department and even grocery stores. They come in a range of colors and can be as personalized as you want! For such a small price and hassle to purchase, insulated mugs are a must-have!
7 7. Rig a Tarp Below and Above Your Tent: Stay Dry No Matter What
Do you hate waking up in a great tent only to feel that your bedding has become slightly damp from the outdoor moisture overnight? Dew can seep in and make literally everything (your comforter, your change of clothes, and even your food) wet and soggy. Luckily, there's a super easy fix. Rigging a tarp over your tent offers that extra layer of protection that will help keep you dry for your whole trip.
If you want to go the extra mile, lay another tarp under your tent. That plus the added layer of protection your tent itself provides will make you and your things almost waterproof.
6 6. Set Up a Mirror In Your Tent: An Unknown Addition That Changes the Whole Tent
Many campers are well-versed in the little things that can make a tent luxurious, but few remember to bring a mirror! Not only does the reflection make your small tent space look way bigger, it's extremely helpful since mirrors are tough to find on campgrounds. If you can bring a standup mirror, that's ideal, since there isn't exactly a wall to hang it on.
Some mirrors are pretty inexpensive online and you can even get ones that are shatterproof specifically for camping trips. They do get dirty easily, so don't forget glass cleaner and some paper towels or washcloths!
5 5. Use a Solar Powered Portable Speaker: Music Ambiance is Key!
What adds more ambiance to a setting than music? Luckily, there are tons of portable speaker options available that are even solar powered if you don't have electricity available. Don't forget to leave it out during the day! Ideally, waterproof choices are best so that you don't constantly have to worry about your speaker.
If you have a big campsite, you can purchase two speakers that are linkable and place them at either end. Download a playlist on your phone beforehand in case service is sparse. Other than that, you're set to rock out for the rest of the trip!
4 4. Bring a Paper Towel Roll: A Lifesaver For Any Camper
It seems insanely simple, but many campers forget not only paper towel rolls but paper towels themselves! There's a lot of reasons why using a paper towel roll is so essential, but the ease of use and having it in a central location are some of the best parts. With any type of roll stand, everyone will know exactly where the paper towels are during your trip.
There are many kinds of paper towel rolls that you can get, some of which are made specifically for camping. You can also rig your own for less than $1! It's such a simple addition that there's no reason you can't have one.
3 3. Use an Eye Mask: A Simple Alternative to Curtains
In the summer, the sun rises super early, so light sleepers may have a tough time getting enough hours. Remember that you don't exactly have blackout curtains like you may at home! A simple fix is a good eye mask. Typically, a safe rule is to bring one for each person on the trip. Even if not everyone uses theirs, it's better to be safe than sorry!
Eye masks can be purchased for less than $2 each at some stores. Read the reviews to find a really great one, especially if your tent doesn't have a lot of coverage from the sun.
2 2. Bring Spices for Cooking: Eat Gourmet in Luxury
Camping food is known for being pretty bland, but it doesn't have to be! With a few simple tricks, you can make your food taste just as good (or better!) than your meals at home. To do this, spices are pretty essential. Firstly, always make sure you have salt and pepper. You can't make anything without these two! Secondly, consider the types of meals you'll be making. If you're going for fajitas or tacos, spices like fajita seasoning are best, but if you're going for other cuisines, consider different spices.
You can actually buy camping spice sets, make your own mini spice jars, or just bring your own set from home. It's an essential that will make you feel like you're living large!
1 1. Bring Snacks: Food is the Most Important Part!
Lastly, what's a camping trip without a ton of food? Snacking is essential. Consider bringing a ton of easily-bagged snacks in case anyone is feeling hungry during the day (or even at night). If you have the time, other snacks can be fun to make, like peanut butter balls, tomato salad, cheese and meat spreads, and layered cheese or hummus dips.
Of course, camping isn't complete without s'mores! To get super fancy, make squishy brownies ahead of time and bring larger graham crackers. Layer the brownies with the melted chocolate, marshmallows, and the graham crackers and enjoy a special treat.