February 24, 2015 by Joe Kukura

Add some glamor to your camping by glamping—an up-and-coming camping trend that adds some flair and extravagance to setting up camp in the great outdoors. Glamping is “roughing it” without the rough edges, adding creature comforts and retro charms to your camping experience. Glampers often camp out in 1940s to 1970s-era vintage trailers and teardrop campers, though some are known to erect large tents complete with house furniture or to build extravagant bedding arrangements in the back of pickup trucks. And Lake County, California, campgrounds will participate in a regional glamping event on International Glamping Weekend, June 6-7, 2015.

A sense of humor and a strong visual style are always on display at a good glampsite. These are the kind of folks whose list of camping essentials also includes Christmas lights, garden gnomes and pink flamingos.

Lake County, located just north of San Francisco and just west of Sacramento, plays the ideal host for International Glamping Weekend or a glamping getaway any time of year. “We have year-round camping availability,” Shady Acres Campground manager Lisa Wilson says of the area. “The folks on the East Coast and in the Midwest are so jealous of California campers.”

While many glampers prefer camping in refurbished vintage trailers, others create great little glamping camps out of trucks, vans and tents. “Even if you just have a tent or a truck bed, whatever you have you can glamp it up with the decorations that you bring and the attitude that you bring,” Wilson says. “Lots of folks are still looking for their vintage trailer and they still can go glamping.”

Glamping culture is built on a love for the kitschy décor of the 1950s and ’60s, an era when family-owned camping resorts grew in popularity and the heyday of what we now call vintage trailers. Lake County is a glamper’s paradise not just because of its many northern California campgrounds, but also its thrift shops and consignment stores full of hard-to-find vintage and retro treasures that will complement your glampsite.

“If you’re a glamper and you have this little gem of a trailer, you really want to personalize it,” Wilson says. “You pick a color, you pick a theme. It could be Western, it could be the beach, it could be vintage retro diner. There’s a whole range of personalization opportunities. By going out to the thrift shops, you find ‘finds’—old Coleman coolers or tartan plaid Thermoses or old linens or even some vintage trailer parts that you’ve been looking for.”

The natural charms of Lake County also help make for first-class glamping. Shady Acres offers waterfront camping right on the banks of Cache Creek, the only outlet of the oldest lake in North America, Clear Lake. Lake County has the cleanest air in the United States and state parks like Anderson Marsh State Historic Park and Clear Lake State Park, which offer exceptional birding, kayaking and hiking opportunities.

But it’s the human touch that puts the “glam” in glamping, and Lake County is growing into a real beacon for the glamping scene. “We’re developing a network of support for vintage trailer enthusiasts,” says Wilson. “We’re starting to identify the restorers and the craftspeople and the seamstresses and the metalworkers who can be part of an association to serve the vintage trailer restoration crowd. We plan on having [trailer] restoration workshops here, too.”

“I really want vintage trailer enthusiasts and glampers to think of coming here for their enjoyment, but also to further their hobby,” she says. With incomparable outdoor scenery and glamping experts in the area, your Lake County glamping or vintage camping trip can go off without a hitch.

The Lake Vintage Trailer and Glamping Open House will be held at Tatonka Land Mini Golf on March 7, 2015. Several properties around Lake County will be participating in the International Glamping Weekend June 6-7, 2015.