What’s your camping style?
Do you feel happiest surrounded by rustic plaids, enamelware and a cozy fire with a gourmet marshmallow roasting spread? Or colorful bohemian tapestries, twinkly lights and delicious cocktails? Whatever your personal preference, camping in style only takes a little extra preparation and creative flare.
Whether you are camping out at a music festival, high in the mountains or in your backyard, a few extras are all you need to take your campsite from rough to ready.
Some might mistake it for glamping, but this is really about expressing your personal style by creating a unique outdoor space that feels good to you.
Camping in style can be simplified into three key elements: comfort, camp vibes and refreshments. Discover your own camping style by following these simple guidelines…
Do your research ahead of time so you know what amenities are waiting for you at the campsite. Picnic table, firepit and grill? Or will you be pitching your tent beside a beautiful alpine lake where no one has ever set foot? Make sure you have the basics covered before moving on to the more refined items.
If you’re going to be truly roughing it, start here:
A tabletop or flat surface, like this awesome bamboo table from evrgrn.
Seating so your friends can relax comfortably. ENO hammocks are super-compact, lightweight and fun to sit in.
Something to cook over, whether it’s an open fire with skewers or foil-wrapped meals, a grill or even a backpacking stove.
Set the table
A tablecloth can cover any ickyness common on public picnic tables, while adding a pop of color to your setup. Choose a simple gingham print in red or blue for that classic rustic campsite look, or keep it simple with a solid color or mix things up with a vibrant print if you really want to liven things up.
Mason jars work great to hold silverware, fresh-picked wild flowers or scrumptious cocktails.
A wooden cutting board doubles as a serving tray for delicious snacks.
Tip: Avoid tabletop clutter by keeping cooking and other supplies organized in storage bins beneath the table. A few key items to bring include trash bags, wet wipes, paper towels, flatware and silverware. Don’t forget a bottle opener!
Stay warm. Nothing kills a good time faster than everyone getting too cold. If the night is expected to be chilly, make sure you have plenty of cozy attire and extra blankets. I always bring spare hats, gloves and jackets for unprepared friends if I know it’s going to be freezing outside.
Turn your evening campsite into an oasis of fire, candlelight and twinkly lights.
Fun fact: In Denmark, where winters are long and dark, there is a word that means ‘creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people’: hygge. The Danish put great emphasis on creating an inviting space in a cold, nocturnal environment, and stylish campers do the same.
Real or battery-powered tea lights in mason jars will really amp up the tabletop ambience. Trust me, I’ve gotten more random strangers stopping by my campsite to compliment my lighting than anything else! I even bring mine backpacking.
Add some warm, feel-good tunes and your camp will be radiating good vibes. Check out our Camp / Vibes Spotify playlist.
Sparklers create an instant party. If there’s no risk of starting a wild fire, surprise friends or family with just-because sparklers for a little extra pop. Play around with slow shutter speed photos for some fun memories.
Now, on to the decor….Have fun with this part. Think of a few key items that express your style and will really make your campsite shine.
My personal favorites include a colorful Mexican blanket, a few brightly colored oversize throw pillows, twinkly lights and prayer flags strung up around the campsite.
A large outdoor rug is definitely a luxury, but creates a nice space for lounging, yoga and stargazing out of the dirt.
Some other ideas include candles, colorful lights or lanterns, tapestries, Mexican wedding flags, a teepee or handmade shelter perfect for heart-to-hearts.
Take advantage of natural elements around the campsite. Hang lanterns from the tree branches or set candles among the rocks to add depth and define the space.
Tip: Once you assemble the key elements for your stylish campsite, store everything together and keep your supply box stocked. It’s a simple way to make sure you’re prepared for a spontaneous campout.
Don’t worry if you aren’t a professional outdoor chef or mixologist. There’s plenty of foolproof ways to create fabulous camping snacks, meals and cocktails. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Before dinner snack
(Placed on wood tray)
Several kinds of cheese
Grapes, apple slices or other fresh fruit
Blackberry Ginger Moscow Mules with Fresh Mint Sprigs
Your choice: Vodka or Bulleit Whiskey
(Pack into a tin or Tupperware)
Trader Joe’s Graham Crackers
Chocolate Bars (sea salt, caramel etc)
Add it all together and you’ve got a recipe for a stylish and awesome campsite. We hope this post has inspired you…what creative tips and ideas do you have for creating a truly one-of-a-kind campsite?