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Picture this: You’re on a camping trip. You don’t enjoy tent camping, but you’ve agreed to come because you want to make memories with your family and friends. As it’s time for bed, you unzip your tent and a wave of bugs budge in before you and make themselves at home.
Swatting your way into your sleeping bag, you finally shut your eyes. Then, all of a sudden, BAM! You awaken in the night to the crack of a thunderstorm. You *hope* your tent is rainproof, but soon you find the ground of your tent soaked, your clothes wet, and everything around you moist.
There’s no other shelter to take so you tough it out through the night, but wake up in the morning to the sun baking your tent from the inside out. Your head hurts, everything is damp from last night, and you’re sure your tent has preheated to 350°. Cue the, “I HATE CAMPING!”
I’ve been there. It’s true, there is no better feeling than being immersed in nature while camping in the great outdoors, but let’s be real here — tent camping simply is not a comfortable way to sleep through the night or brave the outdoor elements!
Luckily, there are still outdoor vacation options where you can have both a good night’s sleep, and enjoy the peacefulness of the outdoors.
In this article we will be covering the alternatives to tent camping. Outdoor vacation options such as renting an RV, booking a yurt, staying at KOA’s and state parks, lodges, and glamping teepees are all great ways to enjoy the best of both worlds!
Ways to Enjoy a Camping Trip without Sleeping in a Tent
Rent an RV
If you’ve been hanging out with us here, you know that renting an RV is our favorite way to travel. Once we started, we couldn’t go back to tent camping.
This outdoor vacation option provides you with A/C and heating, a comfortable mattress, running water, and more amenities that are considered luxurious while camping.
The best part about renting an RV is that home is wherever you park it. Take it to a state park, a remote mountainside, down by the river, even park it at Grandma’s. Instead of opening your door to a hotel hallway, open your door to grand views.
There are many choices that must be considered when renting an RV, such as the type of class to get and what rental company to pick. CLICK HERE to discover how to select the best RV rental for your camping trip.
Camp in a Yurt
Yurt camping can be a fun and easy way to upgrade your tent camping experience to a more comfortable outdoor vacation option.
What the heck is a yurt, you may ask? A yurt is basically a circular, durable outdoor structure that resembles a tent. Some of these structures are elevated off the ground on wooden platforms or have wooden flooring on the interior. Though they aren’t mobile like RV’s, yurts still include fabulous amenities such as king-size mattresses, electricity, and kitchen supplies. Some even have private bathroom quarters or A/C!
Yurts can be found on campgrounds mixed with tent sites and cabins, and can also be found in exclusive yurt campgrounds. Some of the best locations include campsites in Georgia, Oregon, California, Colorado, and more!
Book a Cabin
Many people who are used to tent camping in KOA or state parks may not be aware that there are more comfortable options right on site. Many parks have cabin and yurt options as well as tent sites.
Cabins are great because they give you a home away from home feel. Though camping comes in many forms, cabins are a way to enjoy all of the outdoor aspects of camping with some added comforts you miss when in a tent such as electricity, a mattress, four solid walls, and a stable roof.
Check ahead to see if your desired park has these options available for your date, as they usually book in advance. Though there are private cabin rental options, KOA and State park cabin rental options tend to be cheaper and are immersed in nature ($65 – $250 / night).
Reserve a Room at a Lodge
Alternatively, you could also stay in a lodge. Lodges are usually founded as their own resort-type properties, but with an emphasis on outdoor accessibility. They come in all different shapes and sizes but resonate with hotel rooms more than the tent camping experience.
Similar to these outdoor camping experiences, lodges have amenities such as electricity and a solid roof, but additionally have shared common spaces such as restaurants, swimming pools, playgrounds, and more.
If it’s easier; think of the setting as a campground, but all the campsites are hotel rooms connected by the lodge. You are still surrounded by the great outdoors and have access to explore at your fingertips, but have the peace of mind that you’re going to sleep great and all of your belongings will stay safe and dry.
To set themselves apart from hotels, some lodges actually host activities such as snowshoeing, trail walks, archery, and more.
Glamp in a Teepee
Last but not least, this list wouldn’t be complete without covering the modern hippy’s home; a glamping teepee.
This chic way of camping surprisingly is the closest at connecting to camping’s historical roots. The classic shape and design of teepees are still used to stay warm in the winter and cool during the summer, but campgrounds have upgraded the structure’s materials and amenities to elevate the experience from camping to glamping.
Glamping teepee’s range from $50-$500 depending on just how much ‘glam’ you want. These new teepee accommodations include cozy beds with fuzzy blankets, southwestern-themed decor, wool rugs, and even indoor fireplaces in addition to the electricity and private bathrooms.
Though glamping teepees are available around the nation, make it a bucket list experience to camp in one in the southwest states such as Utah, Arizona, or New Mexico. On the outside, you really feel like you’ve jumped back in time to the wild west, but once you step inside the teepee it’s like you’ve entered an oasis.
Which of these camping trip alternatives appeals to you most? Comment below!
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