There was a time when ‘camping’ and ‘glamour’ were two words from opposite extremes of the spectrum. As it turns out, though, it is possible to ‘camp glamorously’ without feeling the need to purchase expensive camping gear.
What is glamping?
Surprisingly, this portmanteau has been around for more than a decade. Some people call it boutique camping, luxury camping, or comfortable camping. In essence, it is the act of living and sleeping outdoors with all the comforts that you can usually find at home.
Its origin is a little muddy, but most would agree that it is not exactly a modern invention, as Turkish Ottomans were known to have set up luxurious, extravagant palatial tents made of silk centuries ago. Yet, glamping is really more than just pitching a nicer tent or bringing your own inverter generator. Glamping is experiencing the best nature has to offer without all the hassle that comes with camping – like going for days without a proper, relaxing bath. In short, glamping is having a five-star hotel experience with the full view of the stars or the clouds.
Camping vs glamping: What’s the difference?
Glamping is a recent global trend in the travel and tourism sector. Many businesses are offering a myriad of options for those who appreciate the outdoors but are not willing to rough it up. If you are confused as to whether you are camping or glamping, here is a list of equipment and gear that can give you a clue.
1. Glamping tents
Because of glamping’s rising popularity, there are many companies that offer special lodgings like yurts, along with full glamping services. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t go DIY glamping especially when you’re on a tight budget. You can bring in double, safari, or tepee tents. These accommodations are bigger than your average camping tent which means you’ll have more room for luxuries like generator-powered fans (or heaters, if you’re glamping during winter), portable pressure showers, and dedicated camp kitchen kits. If you are still uncomfortable at the thought of sleeping under a canvas, then you can go glamping with either a campervan or a caravan. It is your choice.
2. Complete camp kitchen
Why mess around with campfires when you can cook using a portable camp stove and oven complete with cast-iron cookware and silverware? Some camp kitchens even come with their own portable sink and fridge (or cooler). If you are feeling the need for more aesthetic, you can set up a canopy shelter and a picnic table with placemats and centrepieces to make you feel at home.
3. Inflatable everything
You can bring a queen inflatable high mattress, but why stop there when you can also bring an inflatable spa? The blow-up spa in a camp site is one item that can make the glamping experience different from the rest. Most campsites do not have their own bathroom facilities. Whilst it is nice to bring a portable shower when camping, nothing beats soaking your tired body in a DIY outdoor spa. You can even bring plush towels, portable speakers (for some sweet music), scented candles, and a bottle of wine to complete the package.
Benefits of an outdoor spa
Bringing your own blow-up spa for camping might not seem worth the trouble for some. After all, you need to inflate it, find a suitable source of water, and enough power to heat the tub and the bubble jets. Yet, soaking in one whilst glamping is not only nice, it can also give you some amazing health benefits to boot.
1. It provides stress-relief
The primary reason most people would purchase and use a blow-up spa is to immediately relieve stress. The best place to do this is with nature. It does not matter if the stress you’re feeling is physical, emotional, or psychological. A good soak in a bath can effectively ease and decrease any muscle soreness, tension, or anxiety that you might be feeling. The hot water from an inflatable spa helps increase the blood flow in your system; thus, relieving your body of any form of soreness. The gentle stream of water from the bubble and hydrojets help massage your muscles to ease the stress. A relaxing bath in an outdoor spa can also help you lower your blood pressure, which is ultimately good for your heart.
2. It improves the quality of your sleep
Soaking in a hot tub before you go to sleep helps condition your body temperature to a comfortable degree which brings about the overall relaxing effect; hence, making you sleep better. This information is important when glamping, if you find it challenging to relax and sleep away from home. With better and deeper sleep, you’ll be able to have more energy to face the outdoor activities that your glamping itinerary had lined up for the day.
3. It can provide instant relief to arthritis
Contrary to popular belief, even those who are less than 65 years old can suffer from arthritis. According to statistics, over 3.9 million Aussies are experiencing some form of arthritis. Of these, about 52,000 people with ages 15 to 64 are deemed unable to work because of this illness. Arthritis is also named the leading cause of chronic pain and the second leading reason for early retirement and/or disability among workers in Australia. Fortunately, medical experts have already proven that soaking your ailing body in a hot tub can help decrease joint pain and stiffness. In addition, your body’s natural buoyancy in water helps lessen the stress your own weight gives your aching joints.
Outdoor spa essentials: What you need to do when glamping
If you are planning to give outdoor spa a try during glamping, then check out some of the must-do’s for an enjoyable soak in your portable spa.
1. Take a shower first before soaking in an inflatable spa
For hygienic purposes, you should always shower first before getting inside your portable hot tub. This is to minimise any dirt and grime that you accumulated while glamping. It is also essential to rid your body of any makeup, lotions (i.e. sunblock), or creams before soaking in a tub. This will lessen the likelihood of water contamination that can cause slight to severe skin allergies. It will also help expand the product life of your inflatable spa, as it will be less likely to have a sludge build-up in its system. Just remember to wash your body thoroughly with soap and water to minimise any potential risks.
2. Limit your soaking to 20 minutes
Whilst it is far tempting to spend an entire evening soaking in your portable hot tub, it is not advisable to do so. The recommended maximum time that you should spend inside a tub is 20 minutes. According to experts, the benefits of immersing your body in hot water do not increase even if you soak for more than 20 minutes. You’ll probably just get some pruny skin by the end of it. Likewise, soaking for long hours can lead to dehydration, so it is much better to limit your soaking to the optimum 20 minutes. If you so enjoy the hot tub, cool your body for a few minutes, then re-enter the tub for another 20 minutes.
3. Limit your alcohol intake when you’re in a tub
Drinking a glass of wine whilst soaking your tired muscles in a portable tub seems like an inviting idea, as it combines two activities that relax you. Technically, hot tubs and alcohol should never be mixed. After all, hot tubs have the tendency to dehydrate your body. Drinking alcohol does not help hydrate your body; rather, it has the opposite effect. Another reason you should refrain from drinking whilst in a tub is that a glass of wine can easily become two. Remember that excessive drinking of alcohol can lead to drowsiness, which can potentially lead to drowning. If you really must have an alcoholic beverage in a bath, then you can try drinking your wine during the intervals of the 20-minute soaking mentioned earlier.
4. Don’t soak in a tub wearing corrective lenses (or contacts)
This guideline seems like common sense, but you’ll be surprised by the large number of people who don’t even know this one nugget of wisdom. With the water’s warmth, they’ll end up fogging anyway. Plus, wearing contact lenses in a bath might lead to some awful eye infections. There really is no reason for you to wear them whilst enjoying an outdoor bath, so you might as well just leave those lenses inside your glamping tent.
5. Never soak in a tub with an open wound
As careful as you may be, accidents can happen whilst glamping. If an accident happens to lead to an open wound, rash, or infection in the process, then you should skip on soaking in a bath because warm water is a perfect environment for germs. It would also be unsanitary to have your wound infect the water which also touches other parts of your body.
6. Don’t play whilst you’re in a tub
Casual playing and teasing might seem fun at first glance, but you should avoid doing so, especially if there are kids involved. Horseplaying can lead to somebody getting seriously injured (i.e. slipping, hitting their head, etc.). Remind the kids against diving or jumping into an inflatable spa, as this could be an accident waiting to happen.
Top ways to enjoy your inflatable spa
There are several ways to amplify your inflatable spa experience a bit more. Here are some that you can do to spice things up a bit.
1. Choose your glamp site carefully
Australia has some of the best glamping sites in the world – all of which offer picture perfect backdrops for your outdoor spa activities. You can try glamping near the breathtaking Scenic Rim beside the river rapids, or set up your inflatable spa beside the Uluru monolith. Every glamping site offers a special visual treat, so you might as well choose one that you’ll never get tired of looking at whilst you soak your worries away in an inflatable spa.
2. Prepare a drink that is right for the season
Who says that alcoholic beverages are the only acceptable drink whilst enjoying your portable spa? If you scheduled your glamping in autumn, you might be dying for a cup of pumpkin spice or a hot apple cider. If your glamping takes place in the middle of summer, you might want some freshly-squeezed juice or lemonade for company. Bear in mind that like alcoholic beverages, caffeinated drinks can also dehydrate your body. You should drink them either before or after you’ve had a refreshing bath.
3. Invest in a heavy-duty cooler (or an espresso machine).
As the water bath is already warm, you would likely crave for a cold drink. In such case, you’ll need a heavy-duty cooler (probably one that comes with its own cart or stand) to store and keep your beverages cold to your satisfaction. If you had chosen to glamp during winter, you might want to swap your heavy-duty cooler with something more sensible like a portable coffee machine. As portable spas don’t have their own beverage holders, you might also want to bring an outdoor drink holder for convenience.
4. Choose unbreakable dishes, drink containers, and utensils
For safety reasons, you should never use glass or porcelain containers and dishware anywhere near your inflatable spa. You’ll never know when you might get into an accident with those. After all, there’s a high probability that you’ll be barefoot whilst you wander in and out of your portable spa. Broken glass is almost invisible underwater and can only increase the probability of an injury. If you don’t like using plastic spoon and fork, you might want to bring some foldable cutlery as substitute.
The right equipment for glamping
Choose Outbax. We offer a wide range of high-quality camping and outdoor gear such as inflatable spa that would easily transform an ordinary camping experience into full-on glamping. With Outbax, every camping trip will be memorable and enjoyable for you and your family. Browse through our products today!