The Glampeur’s Guide to Sex Outdoors

Tips for Nighttime Camping Fun

Text by Lizzy Scully, photos by Steve Fassbinder

Researching the term “glamping” the other day, I discovered one of the most popular “glamour camping”-specific websites advertising $6000 tents. Wow. That’s a hefty price tag for a sexy adventure abode. According to Wikipedia, glamping “describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with traditional camping.” Right on. Sounds fun, but unless you’re the one percent, that sort of trip can break the bank. But not to worry; you can still enjoy rockin’ glampeur sex. All it takes is flat ground, some key comfort items and a few organizational skills, plus some sweet spots to camp and explore.

For the most part, I gave up on “sleeping pads” years ago. There are benefits to them, of course—insulation from the cold ground, padding to (sort of) lessen the impact of hard dirt or gravel ground on your back and hips. And I use the thickest, lightest air mattress possible when I go deeper into backcountry. However, in general, call me soft, I’m accustomed to my queen-size Tempurpedic mattress and the nighttime inspiration it invites. There’s nothing less fun than trying to get intimate with your lover on separate mattress pads that slide apart on your tent floor. As well, I see no reason why I can’t be nearly as comfortable as I am at home while car camping (or even tent camping near the parking lot, for that matter). Instead of passing out solo in your sleeping bag, check out these tips and tricks; I guarantee they will improve your night under the stars with your sweetie. 

Lizzy Scully waits for her morning coffee while enjoying sun rise from her Mazda 4 Minivan bed in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

Instead of spending $10,000 for a one-time, one-week stay at a fancy eco lodge in Puerto Rico, extend your midnight camp lovemaking over many years for that same amount. I invested in the perfect low-budget camping rig—a 2016 Mazda 5 Minivan. It cost me $9000, true, but it double as my camping rig and takes me to work. Of course, if I had $40K I would have invested in a Eurovan Camper or Sprinter Van, but that dream will have to wait. For now, my little “Mazzy” gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway and has four seats in the back that all fold down to make a perfectly flat bed that fits my boyfriend’s six-foot frame (with his head between the seats). Mazzy has taken me and various friends and animals from the East Coast to the West Coast and back numerous times. I’ve put 100K on her in five years and only recently had to pay for serious work (now that she’s hit 167K miles). Since I bought my Mazda I have rarely slept in hotels, and camping feels far more luxurious.

My first step after purchasing Mazzy was to deck her out for the ultimate bedtime comfort. I hit the craft store, where I bought a four-inch piece of foam ($75), which I cut to fit the van, rigged accordion style with plenty of duct tape, and voila, transformed my back seat into a bed. I bought soft cotton, single bed sheets at the thrift shop (the fuschia ones cost just $5!), a great big comforter (extra one I had at the house) and two new down pillows ($50). I added an egg carton mattress ($30-$50) as a welcome afterthought and have slept extra comfortably ever since. The beauty of this mattress system is that it works just as easily with a roomy tent, which you can find anywhere from $280 to $500. (Check out for great reviews on family-style tents). You can even use your van/mattress set up if you need an extra place for guests to sleep at home.

Now, from my perspective, one of the best things about glamping is the intimate setting you can create for you and your sweetie. To intensify date nights in the campground I have tinted windows (curtains work just as well, but I’m not much of a seamstress). And I leave a container of Green Goo Sandalwood & Cinnamon Sensual Body Butter in one of the backseat cup holders and a tall glass-jar-enclosed cantle and matches in the other. Usually before bed we brew up a cup of hot tea each to warm up before we cuddle. I prefer calming teas, such as either Numi or Yogi brands of Lemon Ginger or Rooibos Chai, always brewed in our reusable mugs so they stay steamy hot for awhile.

Other key items I always include in my sleeping kit are:

  1. Massage oil, of course. (Try Green Goo's 50z Rose & Lavender Body & Massage Oil.)
  2. A pair of slippers or flip flops (I use the Evolv Slack Sandal; they are affordable at $20, stubbornly thick enough to prevent toe stubbing and thorn punctures when you’re stumbling around at night for a pee, and they have sticky rubber to keep you from losing your footing if you happen to be camping and walking on rocky terrain). Leave them just outside the door of your van, or on the foot steps if the weather is bad;
  3. A water bottle, preferably BPH free, as I think water tastes better without that plastic flavor, and if you’re getting a lot of exercise, you need to drink a lot of water (try the Green Goo Water Bottle by MIIR-23oz);
  4. A lip balm for luxurious feeling lips, of course. I am addicted to the stuff. (Try kiss-on Sensual Lip Balm; it feels just like its name). Mmmm, kiss on;
  5. I make sure to stash a big package of unscented baby wipes (any grocery store brand will do $3, although I highly recommend Yes To's Cucumber Soothing Facial Towelettes or Burts Bees Facial Wipes at your local whole foods store for under $5). I leave these in the glove box for wiping my face and those key private parts you want to keep clean to facilitate romantic nights with your lover;
  6. A towel that can be stashed behind the driver's seat.
  7. Finally, be sure to keep a small trash bin lined with a plastic bag nearby to collect all garbage. Seems like a silly thing to have on the camping “luxury” list, but trust me, there’s nothing worse than finding random, used items strewn about in your car. Being sanitary and as fresh as possible will enhance your late night romps.

What are some of your favorite nighttime glamping tips and tricks? Share them on our Facebook page. And stay tuned for the next installment of The Glampeur’s Guide. We’ll go into detail about what you need to cook a gourmet meal Glampeur style.