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The Essential Glamping Accessories for Any Occasion: A Wildlife Guide’s Picks

with a few glamping accessories you can take camping to the next level

There’s camping and then there’s glamping (glamorous camping) and I’ve done my fair share of both. 

I’ve spent the past decade traveling the world photographing wildlife. I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping in the great outdoors (or very close to it), in hammocks, in tents, on the beach, in the jungle, in vehicles and on the ground. 

Camping out in nature is one of my favourite things to do, but I’m not one of those purists who thinks if you aren’t a bit uncomfortable, you’re not doing it right. 

Quite the contrary. I think you can have amazing experiences in nature while being just as (if not more) comfortable than you would be at home. This goes for everything from what you’re sleeping on to how you’re bathing to what you’re cooking with. 

Glamping is a pretty broad term. There are essentially what amount to 5-star resorts out there that call themselves glamping with extra luxury camping equipment and living space for a truly luxury camping experience.

That’s next level and that’s not what I’m talking about. 

I’m just talking about camping without giving up too many (or any) creature comforts–good food, comfortable sleep, regular bathing. That, to me, is glamping. 

With that in mind, below are my picks for essential glamping accessories for your next camping trip or outdoor adventure:


A Sleeping Cot: Lilypelle Folding Camping Cot

I always associate glamping with sleeping off the floor, a cot is essential glamping gear. 

You don’t need to sleep on the ground to have an authentic experience in nature. If it’s an option, I would always prefer a sleeping cot to an air mattress (and potentially even a memory foam sleeping mat). 

A sleeping cot is a portable, collapsible bed that recreates an actual bed better than any of the alternatives and makes it easy to get a good night sleep (making it number one of my glamping accessories list). 

The Lilypelle is easy to set up and break down: 

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It’s also got corner straps to make sure the mattress stays anchored to the frame while you sleep and doesn’t move around. 

Cons

  • The mattress won’t fit in the carry bag, so need to transport it separately. 

Still, nearly two-thirds of the thousands of global reviewers loved this enough to give it five stars. 


Portable generator: Jackery Portable Power Station

As much as I like to romanticize a life without any tech, I’ve accepted that I am beholden to it in certain ways, especially when I’m in the bush. 

As a wildlife photographer and guide, I have camera and flashlight batteries I need to charge and recharge and a phone that needs to stay charged. 

If you’re going out into the forest or somewhere off-grid in a vehicle, you can always use your vehicle’s battery, but you run the risk of draining it if you are charging too many things, too often (and depending on the size). 

A portable generator is a nice piece of glamping gear to bring with you and, if you’re camping with friends and family, you will definitely be a superstar. 

The Jackery Portable Power Station is one of those glamping accessories that makes it feel a bit like you’re cheating at camping, but it’s nice to have the ability to charge your electronics. You get a lot out of a single charge.

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Cons

  • The power display indicating your remaining power isn’t always accurate and requires periodic resetting (which takes 5 seconds) in order to get the right read. 

Still, more than 85 percent of thousands of global reviewers love this great little portable generator enough to give it 5 stars.


Portable Shower: Ivation Battery-Powered Portable Outdoor Shower

Yes, you can just wash up in the river or lake if the water is clean enough (make sure you’re using biodegradable soap). 

But being able to take an actual warm shower and stay warm is always nice, which is why a portable battery-powered outdoor shower is one of my favourite glamping accessories. 

Two things that I don’t negotiate on are: regular washing and being able to brush my teeth before going to bed, no matter where I am. The Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower is one of those glamping essentials you need if you want to go to bed at the end of the day feeling clean. 

Ivation’s battery-powered pump lets you turn any sink or bucket into an instant shower stream and you can either use the suction cup (to mount the head to a flat surface) or the S-style hook to hang it overhead. 

On full charge, you get one hour of continuous use out of it. 

At just 1.4 pounds, it’s easy to pack and definitely adds another level of comfort to any camping experience. 

Cons

  • The pump is almost too efficient. It sucks up water fast, so this isn’t meat for a leisurely shower. You have to get in and out (which you should be doing anyways). 

Still, nearly three-quarters of thousands of owners/reviewers around the world loved it enough to award it 5 stars.


Privacy tent: WolfWise 6.6FT Portable Pop Up Shower

There’s nothing like camping with people in close quarters to really get to know someone. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice privacy when you’re camping if you don’t want to. 

A privacy tent–for showers, changing, going to the bathroom–is a great piece of glamping gear that will make everyone feel more comfortable doing intimate human things while living in the bush. 

The WolfWise 6.6FT Portable Pop-Up Shower weighs under 2.55kg and gives you 6 feet 6 inches of vertical space.

It pops right up and is really simple to break down and stuff back in its carry bag: 

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Cons

  • A little bit difficult to fold up

Still, nearly three-quarters of the thousands of global reviewers and owners love it enough to give it 5 stars.


Campervan Chest Fridge: DOMETIC CFX3 55-Liter Portable Refrigerator and Freezer with ICE MAKER

Another one of those glamping accessories that really takes outdoor life to the next level are portable fridges. 

I’m not talking about an Igloo cooler here. I’m talking about a full-on, 12V-powered fridge that you can take into the bush with you and that will keep your food and beverages cold all day long. 

The DOMETIC CFX3 55-Liter Portable Refrigerator and Freezer with ICE MAKER is a phenomenal piece of glamping gear or life-on-the-road gear that makes storing food and cooking so much easier. 

Check out my review of the best van life fridges to see a review of a larger list of similar options out there. 

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Cons

  • It doesn’t have dual zone storage. What this means is that you either have to use it as a freezer or a fridge, not both at the same time. 

Still, this bad boy has an above 80 per cent five-star rating for a reason.


Laterns: Lighting Ever Rechargeable Camping Lantern

The intention with most glamping accessories is to make life outdoors similar to life at home but still immersive. Overdoing it defeats the purpose and kills your immersion in nature, but having a reliable source of light that isn’t a flashlight or firelight is always nice. 

One or two Lighting Ever Rechargeable Camping Lanterns are a good way to make hanging out at night more enjoyable, showering easier, cooking at night easier and safer and reading a book in your tent more hands-free. 

I like Lighting Ever’s lamps because they are dimmable and have both warm and cool light, so you don’t have to deal with blinding “doctors’ office” lights. 

Cons

  • Not amazing battery life. But, if you have a portable charger or generator with you, won’t be an issue. 

Over three-quarters of tens of thousands of global reviewers love this camp lantern (and one of the essential glamping accessories) enough to give it 5 stars.


Camp Awning: Slumberjack SJK Roadhouse Tarp

If you are vehicle camping, a camp awning is another of my favourite glamping accessories because it makes cooking and lounging around outside much less weather-dependent. 

If you are going to want to cook outdoors, especially in inclement weather, whether campfire cooking or with a stove, then cover is an essential part of your glamping setup. It’s also nice to relax in a camping chair underneath a nice camp awning. 

The Slumberjack SJK Roadhouse Tarp is a 10 x 8.5-foot water-resistant, super durable tarp that makes for an excellent piece of cover while out in the bush. 

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Cons

  • It’s not really made for cars. Kind of needs a truck, van or larger SUV to use this to its full potential. 

Still, more than 75 percent of hundreds of global owners and reviewers like this tarp enough to give it five stars.


Camp Stove: Camp Chef Everest Double Burner

A camp stove is a camping luxury I will always say yes to if it’s an option. Making food on a traditional campfire is fun, but sometimes you just want to cook, eat, and head to bed. 

You don’t have to compromise on your camping meals–whether glamping or traditional camping–to have an authentic outdoor experience. 

The Camp Chef is an affordable camp stove from a premium outdoor cookware company. It’s made with solid stainless steel, a nickel-coated grate, and both the inlet and the knob are robust, which is important because they tend to be the first things to wear out on a stove. 

Great side panels, and a combined 40,000BTUs across two burners make this a really nice camping and cooking accessory. 

I would consider good quality camp stoves like this “glamping accessories” because they are much more versatile than a small single-burner camp stove or hanging cookware that you have to leave over a fire. 

You can actually cook full-on gourmet meals in the bush with one of these and they are capable of heating up heavier-duty stuff like cast iron cookware. 

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Portable Fan: AMACOOl Portable Camping Fan with LED Lantern

A common occurrence: you set up your tent, you’re surrounded by beautiful scenery, you finish setting up your camp, you get into your tent to make sure it’s comfortable, and it’s a sauna. 

While I love camping, I think my biggest gripe is that sleeping in a tent in warm weather can be a very sweaty affair. Polyester and nylon are made to be wind and rain-resistant, not breathable,  and air mattresses are very often not the best at dispersing body heat. 

A portable camping fan is one of those glamping accessories that can completely change how you feel about camping in warm weather and hot climates. 

The AMACOOL Portable Camping Fan with LED Lantern gives you 40 hours of run time off a single charge (depending on the speed and light brightness) and has a few different mounting options. My favourite way to set up a camping fan is to hang it from the tent’s roof hook so that it’s pointing downwards. 

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I really like the fact that you can fully charge this fan and still run it off USB power (from your generator or a portable charger) and it won’t drain the battery–-it will continue to charge it slowly. 

Cons

  • Won’t last the entire night at the highest speed. Nothing that can’t be fixed with a portable charger or generator to plug into. 

More than three-quarters of over 10,000 global owners and reviewers love this portable camp fan enough to give it 5 stars.


Portable hot water tank for showering: Advanced Elements Summer Shower

If you really want to take your glamping experience to the next level, you should treat yourself to a portable hot water tank. 

It’s not a “tank” in the traditional sense, but rather a hanging thermos that will heat water up to 110F (43C) in under three hours in direct sunlight. 

It holds 5 gallons of water and comes with a temperature gauge to let you know when your water is warm. 

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Keep in mind that 5 gallons isn’t a lot of water. The average shower (10 minutes long) using a conventional showerhead requires around 20 gallons of water.

Cons

  • 5 gallons of water is pretty heavy (around 40lbs). Keep that in mind if you are planning on hoisting this bag up onto a tree branch or a shower tent hook. 

That said, a hot shower is one of the glamping essentials and nearly three-quarters of thousands of global owners and reviewers have given this camp shower 5 stars.


What Went Into My Glamping Gear Selection Proces

I’ve been camping my whole life, with a reasonable amount of glamping thrown in. I’ve been places where your shower is the river and your fan is whatever breeze mother nature feels like whipping up that evening. 

I’ve been places where you better bring extra camera and flashlight batteries if you want to use your equipment over the course of a few days and places where I’ve got a generator or solar panels supplying reliable energy. 

I think the goal of any camping experience, glamping or otherwise, should be to be as comfortable in nature as you can without sacrificing immersion. 

For instance, hot showers, a portable fridge to keep food cold, and a more convenient camp kitchen that makes it easier to prepare meals and have a hot cup of coffee turn camping into glamping without taking you out of the experience. 

For me, a big part of enjoying nature is feeling like I’m immersed in it. I don’t want my campsite to look like a suburban backyard. 

Luxury camping and luxury camping gear vs glamping

I think camping becomes glamping when there is no longer much (if any) discomfort involved. That was the metric by which I chose the glamping gear for my list.

These are all things I’ve used and, let’s face it, like to have (if possible) while sleeping “rough.”

I don’t think you necessarily need luxury camping gear to make a camping trip a glamping trip.

The stuff I’ve included on my list isn’t what I would call “luxury.” there is some “luxury glamping equipment” out there that I think is a bit overkill. 

A fire-pit sounds fancy, but I don’t see it as that different from a wood burning fire (i.e., a campfire).  

Additional common glam camping accessories for your camping trip 

Other reviews out there include stuff like a glamping tent, a glamping bed, a portable fire pit, a picnic table, a bell tent (with or without a screened porch), etc.

I don’t think an opulent glamping tent, a portable fire pit, a picnic table, a crazy bell tent with a screened porch etc. are must have glamping accessories to be able to say that you’re “glamping.”


Glamp When You Can, Camp When You Need To

Camping doesn’t need to be an acetic experience for you to feel like you’re living closer to nature. I haven’t recommended any speakers or home entertainment-type glamping gear on this list because I do think that kind of stuff is non-immersive. 

But glamping equipment like a good quality stove that you can make full meals on, a functioning fridge (not a cooler), a comfortable sleeping setup (which may or may not involve a fan) with a plush sleep bag, and a source of power are glamping accessories that don’t interfere with a legit closer-to-nature experience. 

Happy glamping!

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