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We’re going to be honest with you. It’s hard to say “glamping” without the ironic quotes. It’s a frivolous word that evokes the squeamishness about bugs and outdoor toilets that Coloradans tend to disdain. After all, real campers set out to conquer the outdoors. Glamping in Colorado, on the other hand, is for those who don’t have what it takes to take on the wilderness.

We think that’s a pretty limited perspective, though. In fact, when you really think about it, glamping presents an enormous opportunity to enjoy a natural setting to its fullest. You get to fast forward directly to an authentic backcountry setting, skipping the monotonous toil of lugging gear, being cold and wet, having a broken tent post, feeding yourself. How great is that?

Glamping is also a great way to create a secluded venue for a special party or event. If you’ve ever dreamed of getting married on safari or hosting a 10-year college reunion beneath the stars, it opens up a whole new realm of possibility.

Here’s how to get started on your own glamping experience.

The Difference Between Camping and Glamping

This is how camping works.

You spend hours packing your funky smelling gear in the car. It jostles and clinks as you bump your way up an unpaved road in the backcountry. You get lost several times trying to find the campground, so that by the time you arrive, it’s getting dark. Meanwhile, you’ve still got to prepare the site, pitch a tent, collect firewood, and cook a meal on your propane stove. Then all night long, you struggle to get comfortable, realizing that, in your haste and confusion, you set up the tent on a slope.

Meanwhile, here’s glamping.

The tent is already there, pitched and ready when you pull up at the end of the day. Sometimes the “tent” is really a yurt or rustic cabin, even a tipi. Sometimes there’s electricity, so you can charge your screens and see what you’re doing after dark. Depending on your host, there might even be internet. And there are a whole variety of extra perks, like a sauna, spa facilities, all-inclusive meal service, and comfortable futons or beds complete with linen service.

Here’s the key thing, though. These conveniences are in a truly rustic and remote setting so that you can commune directly with nature, just the same as you would on a camping trip. Nor do you have to worry about aggravating campground nuisances like late-night partiers or RVs charging their generators. Glamping sites are designed with luxury and relaxation in mind — far from the crowd.

Glamping at an Established Site

If you’d like to take your families or a few friends glamping this weekend, travel sites like Glamping Hub and Glamping Getaway make it easy to learn more about the options available in Colorado and browse some of the available options by location and amenities. Once you know what things will be provided by the hosts, you can pack accordingly. It’s a simple, and often cost effective, way to get away from it all.

Setting up Your Own Glamping Site for a Special Event

You don’t have to rely on an established site to experience glamping. With just a little ingenuity, you can scout a venue on your own and create a glamping experience that is truly personalized.

  • Scouting a Location

With millions of National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management acres at your disposal, you have no shortage of options for finding a spot that is both beautiful and remote. These agencies offer a number of small, primitive campgrounds that have toilets and fire rings but no electricity hookups. If you reserve far enough in advance, you may be able to snag the entire campground, or at least a few adjoining sites, for your event.

Another option is dispersed camping, or “boon-docking.” As long as you set up camp more than 150 feet from a water source, camp on a site that has been used in the past, use portable toilets, and pack out every single thing you brought, you can stick around for up to a week.

  • Getting There

Dispersed camping opens up hundreds of possibilities throughout the state of Colorado. Any location you can reach by four-wheel drive or a passenger car with high clearance becomes a potential venue for your glamping experience.

Because glamping is not about minimalism, you can pretty much rule out any site you need to hike in to. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean wilderness glamping is completely out. The creative option of renting pack llamas or going by horseback into the wilderness allows you to pack in all the supplies you need effortlessly, while you enjoy feeling like part of an explorer’s expedition along the way.

  • Assembling Your Supplies

Organizing your own glamping trip is the ultimate test of your party planning skills. Your goal is to make sure you create a venue where people can sleep in style, eat and drink like gourmands, and have both recreational and relaxation opportunities.

Glamping essentials include:

  • Safari-worthy canvas tents.
  • Premium air mattresses and real pillows.
  • Comfortable outdoor furniture like these inflatable chairs by Big Blo.
  • A portable generator.
  • A camping freezer for that ultimate luxury —  ice cream in the wilderness.
  • A chef worthy camping stove.
  • An on-demand portable hot water shower.
  • These must-have items are just the beginning. If it fits in the bed of a truck or the back of a minivan, you can take it glamping.

The Call of the Wild

If you’re the type who likes to go where no tourist has gone before — but at the same time, you’d like to have martinis chilling on a tray when you arrive — just give Pink Monkey a call. We’d be glad to handle the boring logistics for you. We’ll put together all the resources and supplies you need to create a spectacular glamping event in the Colorado location of your choice. After all, what could be better than going on safari?