No rough stuff: Our top tips for glamping
FORGET the happy propaganda that goes with camping: it's not always perfect sunshine, idyllic views and happy families sleeping under twinkling stars.
Many of us have had our camping experiences marred by torrential rains, leaking tents, mosquito bites and spectacular, sleep-deprived arguments. Plus, does anyone really prefer answering the call of nature in the insect-infested bush rather than a clean and private toilet?
Little wonder the idea of glamping - glamorous camping - holds great appeal to so many. You still get to experience the great outdoors of course, but surely there's no harm in being comfortable too?
Bush backdrop? Check. Sleeping under the stars? Check. But throw in hot showers, cosseting mattress, fine cotton sheets, a proper toilet and even bush room service and most would agree it's a more appealing holiday.
Glamping also gives camping fans, whose partners or children may not be not share their loved one's passion for bush life, the chance to share the experience.
The hard-core camper may feel the luxury experience is cheating, but deep down they too will enjoy being spoilt in the wild.
The Urban Dictionary defines glamping as:
"Glamorous camping. Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed."
Sounds reasonable? So, Step 1:
Convince your partner
1 Know your partner's favourite food and drink and bring plenty along. Any experience can be improved with a vintage Shiraz and luxury Swiss chocolate.
2 Bombard your partner with sunny pictures of the idyllic location you'll be going to - Google images will prove invaluable here.
3 Tell your partner you love their company so much you want to get away from television, internet and mobile phone reception so it's all about them. And that you want to practise your new massage technique on them.
4 Take a good gas stove and know how to use it. It's surprising how wonderful a hot cup of tea or hearty soup can be.
5 Tell your partner that camping needs specific clothing such as cosy knitted jumpers for being under the night sky. They may not be excited about sleeping in a tent, but pre-trip shopping will win you valuable points.
6 Learn about the stars and constellations, and tell your partner you want to test your knowledge under a perfectly clear bush sky. Your better half can't fail but be impressed at your depth.
7 If all else fails (and you're brave/stupid) tell your partner that you've booked a five-star luxury suite. They'll only know you're lying when you arrive at your camp. It may jeopardise your relationship, but here's your chance to prove how great camping can be. See note*
(Maybe you should book a camping spot near a five-star hotel. Just in case.)
Make a hammock
A HAMMOCK is a classic symbol of casual relaxation that may be the tipping point in convincing a reluctant partner to go bush with you. Here's the easiest way to make a hammock out of rope, material and two trees or poles:
Step 1: First bunch up the material ends and tie a big knot in each end.
Step 2: Over the big material knots, tie a rope to each end with a lark's head knot. (Lark's head? Look it up.)
Step 3: Hang it up between the trees, get in, and relax. Wrap the material around you for extra comfort. If you don't fall out, you've done it right. If you do, don't blame us.
Alternative step 1: Buy a hammock.
Learn from grey nomads
THE retirees cruising the country are glamping masters. Give it a go: Hire a luxury camper trailer like the award-winning hard-floor Odyssey ZR camper (and tow it behind your air-conditioned, leather-seated 4x4, of course).
With a hot shower, queen bed and stainless steel kitchen, it has plenty of creature comforts. Best of all it can be set up in minutes so you can tuck into the fine wine and barbecue treats in no time.
Why leave home?
SO your powers of persuasion have fallen short, but you have a backyard with a good outlook? You can go glamping without leaving home by setting up your own permanent luxury tent and making best use of your own wilderness.
Seek out a luxury safari tent or cabin tent.
Set one of these beauties up in your yard and you don't even need to get in the car to enjoy glamping.
Best of all, if you get too cold, too hot, hear too many strange animals in the night, or simply miss the flat screen TV too much, you can go for a healthy, invigorating hike back to the comfort of your own home.
Note * Don't lie to your partner. Seriously.
That would be really dumb.