Glamper GaGa

OhBoy, OhBoy, OhBoy … our little flock of MaryJanesFarm sister-hens have gone utterly nutz over glamping. No, really! In the last month four of us have bought vintage camping trailers … one just yesterday! I bought mine last winter and spent much of the season playing house in my new “cabin in a can”. Now, my farmgirl pals are crunching to get their campers road-ready. We’re a little late to get started, but we’re planning on camping as far into autumn as the weather will allow.

So, here we are in the middle of glamping season. But, all my sister-hens are close to being ready. Something sparked the glamper bug in us .. and then, one by one, we each had to have our own little glamper. And now, do – we – have – plans! We have a lot to get ready. Three of my farmgirls are remodeling their glampers — they’re working feverishly to get the trailers road worthy, fitted with all the neccessities and glamorized! Next weekend, three of us are going on a dry run, so to speak. We want to familiarize ourselves with our campers & such before we stray too far from home. The end goal: getting away from it all and enjoying some R & R in the great outdoors. But, first …

Yea, a lot of the prep-work and details. Having a glamper is like buying a mini house. There is actually quite a bit to getting everything ready so that you can actually GO. I realize there are many who could pull things together a lot quicker, as well as simplify the to-do and needs lists, but that just isn’t the glamping way. Its all in the details. Glamper gals are sentimental. They’re lovers of home … even when they’re on the road. They love taking home with them. Glamping isn’t just for us older hens either. Lots of young chicks love glamping too!

When I was a young lass with coffee colored hair, I loved roughing it and hiking. All I needed was a backpack and a sleeping bag … maybe a tent. I carried all that I needed. When horses were added to my camping resume’, it meant that my husband and I could go farther into the wilderness and stay longer. We took more food and more comforts. Combining my love of the outdoors with my lifelong love of horses was heavenly. More time passed, my interests deepened and grew wider just as my life did. Its not that I wanted fewer complications back when and now want I more “stuff”. No. I think it is a matter of broadening my horizons and finding more ways to enjoy my love of camping. I also feel a stronger pull in that direction too. Honestly, I never got to go camping as often as I wanted to. Life got in the way. Job. Location. Etc. Etc. But, that was then. Now, I can go and I’m going to GO … God willing. As it turns out, I won’t be going alone!

Neither are a lot of women all over the country! Sometimes, our husbands don’t share an interest in camping. Well, not camping like a girl. Its ok to pursue individual interests. My husband and I share interests, but he’s not a camper. Camping makes no sense to him unless there is a rifle and a hunting license involved.

I’m so thankful that MaryJane and groups like Sisters On The Fly gave us a new vision of ourselves in the great outdoors. Now we can “camp like a girl” and make no apologies for decorating our glampers with vintage treasures … lace & lariats, fishing rods & froofroo pillows, camp blankets & cabbage roses,  crochet & croquet. Who says you can’t take it with you ??!!

Ok, so, my farmgirl pals are fitting their campers at warp speed. All I have left to do is paint the outside. I dawdled because I couldn’t decide what to paint on it. Mural or no? Vintage stripes or polka dots? I’ve run the gamut and finally decided to simplify the deal. Just paint the darn thing … red around the bottom, white on top and add the sugar later. Sheesh. So, Jennie offered to help me paint and git ‘r done! Then, all I have left to do is get a spare tire. Jennie’s trailer (as some of you may remember) was purchased ready to roll.

Anita is about 3/4ths of the way done with her camper. Donna is about half-way there, and Michele took on a true ‘handyman special’. She attacked her camper this morning by mucking it out … filthy mattresses, bugs, dirt, rodent ‘residue’, years of crud. Now she can get down to doing the repair work. As a family project, her folks and her sisters & brothers built their log home. Michele knows her way around tools. She’s going to “flip” that 1961 Shasta and its going to be an awesome extreme make-over.

Soon, we’ll be ready to actually pull onto the highway together and caravan our way to a destination that any lover of pristine outdoor beauty would smile about. The meadow wildflowers, the creeks, the dancing aspen, the smell of a wet, wooded path … Oh Yea, we can smell it now.

Yea, but, back to the details of getting ready. Coffee. Must Have. Vintage enamelware percolator: Check. Electric coffeemaker: Check. Coffee: Three flavors. Giant mug: Check. Mugs for guests: Of course.

And, for special occasions, I’m going to take some of my antique china and silver for dining.

Dining. Yea, not just eating. The setting as a whole along with an aesthetic “tablescape” … that is the difference. My mother planted the idea of taking the time to set a pretty table. Then, years later, a movie in 1989 sealed it. I never recovered from a couple of scenes in Out Of Africawhen they were camping on a safari and their table was properly set with china, crystal and silver. The contrast of refinement in such a beautifully wild place … OHhhhh! So smitten with the whole movie was I that I even had an exact duplicate of one of Meryl Streep’s outfits made: a wide collared linen blouse and a khaki, split riding skirt. Out Of Africa made me fall in love with glamor camping/glamping. But, it was a dormant daydream and nameless until recently.

Wine bottle opener: Check. Bedding: Check. Flashlight, lantern, decorative camper lights: Check. Decorative items for inside and out: Check. [Even better if the decorative goodies are functional!] Coolers, ice chests, emergency essentials: Check. My favorite pillow in an antique, lacey pillowcase: Absolutely Check.

Now, what to wear when we go out to eat while glamping. Thats right, we don’t have to cook over a campfire every meal. There are lots of fun eateries along the way … a nice winery, for example . If I was 26 instead of 56, wardrobe choices would be all kinds of fun. I looked good in anything at that age (and without anything if you don’t mind me saying so ;o). But, that was then and this is now. Now is different. A lot different. Sensible shoes different. As much as I would like to look saucey cute … like this little cowgirl …

I’m here to confess that the view below is closer to the present truth …

For me, dressing up is jeans, comfy shoes, a pretty blouse and great baubles – – love jewelry!

When I was young, I didn’t have to make sure other things were taken care of before I left on “walkabout”. I just packed my gear in my 1962 VW Bug and away I went. Now is different. Among other things, I have to come up with someone who will water my garden. Husband? No. Just, no. Something or several things would perish in my absence. He has too many things on his plate to slow down and water like I water.

My chickens. Not his chickens. He thinks cellophane wrap and egg cartons are perfectly sensible options in regards to chickens. But, he’s willing to tend to them while I’m gone for a couple of days. I’ll load up the big feeder & waterer and have him shut them up at night. Admission: I have seperation anxiety. Terrible. How I fret before I leave. I so enjoy the gone part, but getting gone is sometimes hard. Forget sleeping the night before I leave. Do you suffer too?

Cats & dogs. This is an easy detail for my Beloved to mess up, but less so now that it is summer. ‘Mess’ being the key word. Put ’em all outside and be sure there is water. Let them in at night. Food, piddle before bedtime. I’ll take my old doggie, Dotty. She needs more attention, a heart pill – and she’s a good traveller.

Now the fun part. The glamping menu. Good food is somehow all the more tasty when prepared outside and if you’ve also spent the better part of the day outside. Delicious and camp-easy are very do-able. My farmgirl pals, each and every one, are good cooks. It’ll be great fun to see what everyone brings to share. One of the sweet treats that I’m going to make is in the current issue of MaryJanesFarm magazine. Raspberry Lemon Crisp — the recipe is at the very back of the issue. Evening dessert and just as good in the morning with coffee or a glass of milk. My two favorite fruits together — gotta be great.

I’ve accumulated many decorative goodies for my glamper and for dressing up the campsite. I’ll share photos with you later. One of the items is of special importance. The American flag. It isn’t really just for ‘decoration’. When Americans decorate their homes with the Stars & Stripes … or their motorcycle, their camp site, their car, their jean jacket, their bicycle, their RV, etc etc … they’re telling the rest of the world that they’re proud of our country and that they think a symbol of freedom is truly beautiful. And, most importantly, they’re grateful.

I’m so thankful to the men & women who are “camped” in far off nations, in danger’s way so that we, here at home, can camp for fun and in safety. I feel pangs of guilt enjoying myself while they put their lives on the line and their family life on hold. But, they say that is part of what they’re fighting for – the American way of life. So, I pray that someday they/we might all camp in safety, with our favorite friends & family … and that the weapons of war will finally and forever rust in peace. I hope, I pray and I believe.

  1. Brenda says:

    Love this! We had a pop up camper (old) when my girls were grade and middle school ages. I bought it from someones yard. Canvas had to be sewn in places and hubs had to do some undercarriage work on it. But my favorite part was painting the old cupboards, covering the cushions and making new curtains to hang in it. Back then it was red and blue plaids. That old camper finally went caputs and hubs made it into a hauling trailer. I have been ogling the glampers and pinning away! I have not found one for myself yet, but I have hubs and a few friends keeping their eyes open. I recently bought a vehicle that I am pretty sure could pull one, so here I am dreaming. Have you read the book that the movie Out of Africa was derived from? I did, was a good book. The movie, I think I have watched it a couple dozen times. Love it!


    Brenda,  Only 2 of the 5 campers in our little flock were advertised for sale. The other 3 were spotted and asked about. Since I began really looking for these little trailers, I discovered they are EVERYwhere … sitting behind people’s homes, in out of the way lots, in alleys etc. So, if you spy one and it looks like it is worth looking into…STOP and ask or ask a neighbor who the residents are and call them. The worst they can do is say NO. In our ittybitty town of 800, my galpal and I found over 12 to investigate. These are ALL vintage campers and, yes, some of them are not for sale … but 3 of them were! Good luck finding your dream glamper :o)   shery

  2. Dolly says:

    I found my camper as a drive-by, in the rain. It had a 4-sale sign. I bought it that day. It needs a little work, like I have to see if the gas works, the electricity does. I have to practice and find out if my vehicle will pull it. I am so challenged in coming up with ideas for it, help! I am excited tho. Anybody in Minnesota want to get together to camp? Dolly


    Dolly, Maybe you could use the MaryJanesFarm sisterhood connection site to get in touch with other farmgirls in your area?? Maybe you’d find someone to go glamping with!  Shery

  3. bonnie ellis says:

    Shery: I’m ready to go, ho ho, ho ho. Can’t go with you but I’m glamping with the River Valley Farmgirls in Minnesota. It will be great fun. I just LOVE the pictures in your blog and you are such a great writer too. Can’t wait to see Mary Janes Glamping book. Have a great time!

  4. Taryn Pyle says:

    Please post a picture of the before and after. I want to do this so badly, but so afraid to take a chance on my remodelling capabilities!


    Will Do!! Taryn,  my friend, Jennie, came over this morning and we attacked the camper with paint. White is done, first coat of red is done, have the trim left to do. It already looks AWESOME! Jennie said that "she" now has a real glamping personality — instead of just being a tired looking old camper in need of paint. WoooHooooo!!  SHery

  5. Paula says:

    Brenda: I am so excited for you and your friends! I have been a Sister on the fly for five years now and have a 2010 Airstream "Coop de Villa" and a 1969 Dreamer and her name is "Henny Penny"….just sold my 1968 Shasta Compact "The Queen Bee"…as you can see, it becomes an addiction! Can you guess my theme for my two campers? Love me some chickens! Don’t have any, but feed my obsession with glamping and decorating…can’t wait to see some pictures! Hugs!

  6. Elaine says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts, but this one is so special to me. I am lusting (yes ma’am) after a vintage travel trailer so I can fix it up and follow y’all down the road. I can’t wait to see the photos of your "new" little glamper. And thank you for the last line, "and that the weapons of war will finally and forever rust in peace. I hope, I pray and I believe." Freedom is not free as we all know, and our best sons and daughters pay the price for us all. I wish them peace tonight and every day and night until the "rusting" begins. Enjoy your weekend! Elaine

  7. Diann says:

    Ya know, I’m reading this and thinkin’, Hey, I’ve got that 27′ 1972 Nomad sitting outside lookin’ homely as all get out!……hmmmmmm…..what to do, what to do! It could truly be a rolling mansion! Dang it, now along with this old house, I’ll be dreamin’ of all the wondermus things I can do with it. I’m already thinking "Sassy Sister" may have to be her name. My oh my, the hubby is going to gasp! But he just got his dream jeep, a 1946 Willy’s flat fender jeep, all original, which by the way, I named Willow. Yes, it’s true, all my vehicles have names. Anyway! Thanks for the inspiration! Keep those tires full and the gas tank full and glamp on!


    Diann,  What’re you doin’ still sittin here, girl??!! Glam that vintage baby up!! A ’72 is vintage Enuff to have fun with. My girlfriend bought a 78 and it is as cute as a button. I like my cozy little glamper, BUT, a roomier version would be that much more wonderful…a little more room, a little more of everything. In truth, my favorite of the glampers are those that are about 20 feet long. Mine is 16′. Another 4 feet may not sound like much, but it is.   Shery

  8. Terces says:

    Hi Sheri,
    Once again so inspired by your sharing. It turns out that my husband and I have been living in a yurt with an outdoor kitchen, outdoor tub and composting toilet for almost 4 years now, awaiting the trials and tribulations of the requirements of obtaining a building permit! So I feel and smell your story of glamping. That has been my life. I am a bit afraid of moving indoors, I have come to so love the morning coffee around a campfire and even the cold winters (not near as cold as yours) and rain while living out of doors.
    Have a wonderful time with your cowgirl friends.
    I look forward to some pictures of those fixed up vintage trailers!


    You are a special breed, Terces.  To live so close to the outside world for the time that you have, well, not many have the mustard to do it. Me included. More power to you.  Shery

  9. Jan says:

    Hi Shery, Oh what fun your going to have!! I have loved the glamping idea since I saw it in a MaryJane magazine a few years ago. I would love to find one of those little campers, but sure haven’t seen many around here. My neighbor got one last year, she spent most of the summer painting it and restoring it. Looks great now! I will continue to look.
    I get a bit anxious before a trip too. Once on my way, I am fine. It’s all that getting ready I guess.
    You girls have fun and I can’t wait for those pictures.

  10. Susie says:

    Hi Shery, Sounds like your going to have a grand time glamping. I too loved the movie Out Of Africa. The scene you were talking about picinicing with the crsytal, silver and fine linens reminds of a time long ago when my husband I worked for this fishing resort on the central coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. Actually it was on Quadra Island just across from Vancouver Island. One of the things we liked to do with some of the long time guests was to take them on a picinic to yet another island a little further south. We would fish along the way for salmon. Once we caught one we would head to this little island and lay out the picinic. Fresh caught salmon, cooked crab salads, baguette and wine. We’d find a nice thick log and lay out the white linen table cloth, silver ware ,crystal wine glasses and ceramic plates. We’d cook the salmon over a fire on the beach,snacked on the crab until the salmon was done. It was magical!

    The guests loved it.



    WOW, I would have loved it too!  shery

  11. Joan says:

    I am breathless – excited – hep’d up just waiting to read and see all about your trip. Sure wish ‘glamping’ would have been in my days of camping – just prepping the camper etc, is so much fun – hmmmm may have to think about doing a little ‘glamper’ for me even though using it is not a possibility – thanks for letting me enjoy your wonderful times. Safe travels and God Bless.

    Hi Joan,  There are many glampers that will never see a lot of road time…including my own, in all honesty. Just the long months of winter here make that a reality. Then add the fact that getting away on vacation means that MOST of the time you’re busy with everyday life. SO, my little glamper will also be our ‘guest cabin’ and a cozy little place for my farmgirl pals & I to have a glass of wine of whatever when they visit. Its like a grownup’s playhouse and anyone who ever had a treehouse or a playhouse as a kid has WONderful memories from that time. Reinvigorating our inner wild involves our inner child too :o)  in my opinion. Never lose that sense of wonder and hunger for FUN!    shery


  12. Debbie says:

    This is just fantastic Shery! Glamping fever is taking hold everywhere! I got my sis in law all excited about it and now we are on the hunt for one to share to start with then who knows? Can’t wait to watch your glamping adventures unfold! I I hear you have a " special" trip planned for the fall too! Yahoo!
    Love and Happy Glamping!
    Beachfarmgirl Deb

  13. Kim says:

    Dolly, I am in Minnesota! My camper isn’t finished yet, but maybe with someone to camp with, I’d get my butt in gear! Kim

  14. to quote Dr Seuss…
    "Oh the Places You’ll Go and the Things you will See"…
    I just got home late this afternoon after 3 fab-u-los days Glamping with 14 wonderful gal~pals over in Elk River, ID. You will got so hooked and just remember, when women gather together,,, food is like mana’… there is always so much and we have fun around the glampfire,,,not worrying about, hubbies, kids, pets, dirty dishes or paying bills… after all, it’s about the journey,,,not the destination!
    Happy trails…..


    THANKS Grace!  Soooo looking forward to enjoying all that you describe. LOVE the term glampfire!!   :o)  Shery

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