We Tried It: A Luxury 'Glamping' Service — Complete with a Camp Butler!
The all-inclusive tent rental service means you'll never really have to rough it
What It Is: Camp’d Out, a luxury glamping brand that rents out fully-equipped camping tents
Who Tried It: Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter
Why We Tried It: I have never been camping in my life and decided “glamping” was the only way to give it a shot. Plus, the experience promised a personal butler for the night, and who doesn’t want that?
Level of Difficulty: 4
Although I was born and raised in Michigan—a very woodsy state filled with excellent camping sites—I have never pitched a tent and roughed it for a night. So when I was asked to give glamping in Joshua Tree a shot, I figured If I’m ever going to try camping, doing the “glamorous” version is the way to go.
Camp’d Out’s service provides complete set up and take down of a 16 x 16 x 9-foot, 100 percent waterproof canvas tent equipped with an inflatable queen mattress, Loomstead bedding, Happy Habitat eco throw, side table, lounge chairs, area rugs and LED Barebones lantern.
The tent can also include a coffee tray, kitchen set, front porch set-up, fire pit, cooler, plants, heaters, fans, outdoor lounge area and a camp butler upon request.
When I first arrived in Joshua Tree, reality set in that I would be sleeping outside for a night. But when I was shown my tent by our personal butler, I was immediately impressed with how spacious it was, which was perfect because of course I packed three bags for one night because I had no clue what to expect. (Before you make fun of me, I did use nearly everything I packed, which included A LOT of layers for the chilly night!)
Also, being a first time camper, I wanted to be prepared for anything. I packed bug spray and sprayed the entire tent entrance—an act accompanied by much laughter from my boyfriend, who was with me. I also brought cotton balls covered in peppermint oil and dropped them around the tent to keep bugs from getting on the bed even though the tent is super secure and fully zips up. Hey, I never said I was a true outdoorswoman.
The tent was also very tall so you don’t have to crouch while walking around inside. Although we were provided a blow-up mattress, it still felt sturdy and was inflated again by our butler just before bed to be safe.
Camp’d Out is headquartered in California, but the tents can be rented anywhere in the U.S. for one to three nights with a minimum fee of $1,500. An unfurnished tent can be rented for $450 while a furnished one costs $650 per tent. The rate includes pitching, styling, and packing down the tent, but does not include restrooms or showers—so you are still feeling the effects of camping with no access to such luxurious things. We had access to portable toilets, but no sinks to brush our teeth before bed. Instead, I took a tip from a fellow camper who said to use a water bottle and use the cap to scrape off my brush when I was done.
While on the glamping trip, we were treated to a sunset dinner by Moonrise Standard —another service you can add on to your package. Camp’d Out says they will work with local vendors to help coordinate more than just the tent rental as they encourage people to try the experience for retreats, festivals, birthdays, bachelor/ette parties and weddings.
Following dinner, we sat around a bon fire, ate s’mores and drank wine—the best part about camping in my opinion.
When it was time for bed, we walked back to the tent with our provided lantern and started the layering process (the desert drops down to the low 50s at night). I put on a pair of leggings, sweatpants, fuzzy socks, a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a jacket, and it was just the right amount of coverage. My bed was perfectly pumped up and I immediately passed out after a day in the sun.
The Verdict: Well, first off, I survived! I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone who has hiked and backpacked through mountains for days, but waking up in the morning was a success for me. When I opened my eyes and remembered I was in a tent, it felt oddly refreshing. The sun was shining in and I finally realized why people do this—to be one with nature felt really nice, especially coming from a big city like Los Angeles. It also helped that I was sleeping in a bed that was high off the ground with nice, soft sheets. Again, I don’t do bugs.
Although it’s a bit pricey, the experience would be something different and fun to do with friends (and more affordable if split several ways). And now that I’ve glamped, I do think it’d be hard to ever try camping old-school style.