Glamp with Champ
Upscale Camping Can be Even Cozier with a Canine
Glamping—it’s a word we’ve all heard at this point, most likely, and probably one that evokes at least some mental image of luxerustic canvas wall tents and Pendleton blankets. Over the last 10 years, this comfort upgrade to the great outdoors has proliferated around the country. Humans clearly love it. But how do dogs like glamping? We put this question to the test last month. And Brickle and Fruitycake were up for the challenge!
Glamping comes with less commitment than RV camping. You don’t have to pack as much, because many of your supplies will be included in your accommodation. Also, less time setting up camp means more time for fun. And when you have dogs in tow, sometimes glamping can be a nice break from the conventional camping routine, with less work.
The term is admittedly broad. Examples can include bell tents, safari tents, yurts and luxury cabins. When you and your dog are glamping, you will still have a connection to nature and the outdoors. But you may also have a real bed, bathroom facilities and pillows. We decided to give Brickle and Fruitycake two different glamping experiences.
At this resort on over 5,000 acres, you have your choice of six safari-style tents situated among rolling hills and woodlands. Each are furnished with places to sit, places to eat, and even places to charge your phone. It was summer time, so our elderly dog Brickle must have air conditioning. The safari tent had that amenity. It also came with a small refrigerator, one of the most comfortable beds that I have ever slept in, a coffee maker and a porch to enjoy it on. I loved that I could hear the sounds of the outdoors before I went to sleep and I could look at the bright stars. But I also loved that our dogs were safe with us inside the double- zipped tent in the air conditioning.
What I look for most with camping is that once we are comfortable, we don’t have to leave. We make sure that we have our supplies, and we also make sure that the property has trails or areas to walk our dogs. There were endless trails here and we loved to take breaks by the river.
This resort provided dog bowls and dog treats for the boys. There is a faucet and outdoor shower if they get dirty paws. (And let me tell you, they did.) You will need to bring your dog(s) bedding, dog towels and leash.
After our first experience with glamping, we decided to try another option. We headed to a dude ranch in Georgia as well. Here, they have primitive style cabins with a bed, but no bathroom.
The cabins are pet-friendly: That was our first question, of course. And we liked that for this glamping experience in a rustic cabin, that there were no distractions like TV to take time away from being with our dogs. Instead, we woke up with the sun and to the sounds of cows and horses running free. There were horse ride options, and also a huge, fully fenced in area for the dogs to mingle with other dogs and guests. After we made the dogs their breakfast, we headed inside the main house where the people were served a complete, home-cooked breakfast.
For those that want to step back in time, the property’s most primitive cabin should be your choice. It’s a historic replica of what Westerners would call a “line shack”: a cabin for cowboys wintering over on a remote part of a huge ranch. Constructed of wood from an 1832 structure, it sits on the pasture line. Shuttered windows open up to rolling pasture and stock grazing. Their horses have been known to stop by to check out new guests. There is a handmade cedar double bed, handmade table and benches and a wood stove. There is no power, so guests use candles and lamps. Full bath is in the Butler-Cape House, about a three-minute walk.
Some may say that glamping is “cheating” when it comes to camping. I say that there is room for both roughing it and experiencing a more comfortable form of enjoying the great outdoors. For senior dogs like our Peanut Butter Brickle, glamping is a great option. He can take breaks in climate-controlled areas while still getting exercise and visiting new places. For dogs like our Fruitycake who are just starting to socialize with other dogs, a glamping accommodation can provide more privacy and a space to get away if needed.
Just like when you are traveling anywhere, you should always ask for the pet policies upfront. Follow the rules so that other travelers with dogs can have the privilege of having options to get away.
What Supplies Are Needed For Glamping With Your Dog?
Think about what makes your dog comfortable at ease while at home. A familiar dog bed, a favorite toy or two and a blanket can be extremely comforting to a dog in a new environment. But don’t forget to bring your dog’s food and treats in sealed containers. Always pack extra water. Traveling full-time for almost a decade has taught up to never trust a new water supply. So we bring our own!
Of course, your dog should have a collar with ID tags, a leash and don’t forget those dog bags. Even if the accommodations include dog bowls, you may want to bring extra. Keep vaccination records on hand when requested.
Glamping with your dog can be a wonderful way to embrace your adventurous side and your luxurious side at the same time. We love that there are less rules when glamping compared with staying at hotels, and there is generally so much more to do and experience.
Every trip should have a story to tell afterwards. And glamping can be the first chapter to a lifelong friendship to traveling with your dogs.