My Upgrade to Glamping – The Aerobed and Portable Wooden Picnic Table

This new year I have decided to start upgrading my car camping gear to a finer level, to that of Glamping.  As you probably know, Glamping is short for Glamour Camping – the art of camping on a more luxurious level.  I have spent many a night on a tiny foam pad, in a mummy bag, in a tiny tent and will, no doubt, do so in the future.  However, if I do not have to carry all that on my body, in a backpack, why can’t I have some luxury ?  A thick, air-filled cloud of a pad, a wide cut two person sleeping bag, in a tall, spacious tent?  Can I wake up a little more relaxed, with my best gal, into beautiful scenery and have a relaxing gourmet meal ?  I think I can and this is how I’m going to do it !

To start I am going to replace my previous air-pad, which was more of a pool floaty, with an Aerobed Adventured Queen 9 “, made by Coleman.  Then, to provide a combination of camp chairs and a camp table, in an ingenious foldable unit, I will use the Portable Wooden Picnic Table by Filson.  After these two upgrades, next will come a canvas bell tent and Classic Chuck Box, also known as a Camp Kitchen.

My search for a new camp pad started with a few criteria.  I liked the airbed because it packs small but gives you good, cushy, space between you and the ground.  I also like the way it supports you as you sleep, like a big hug.  My second criteria was that I wanted an electric air pump that could work either plugged into a car or run cordless.  The Aerobed meets all of these.

Aerobed Adventured Queen 9

All packed up.

All packed up.

 The Aerobed is stored in the included bag, with a handy over the shoulder strap.

The few parts spread out.

The few parts spread out.

 With all the items spread out, we have the deflated mattress, pump, charger unit, 12-volt car accessory plug cord and the instruction sheet (which I laminated, to make it last longer).

Unfolding the mattress.

Unfolding the mattress.

To inflate, first open up the mattress with the Quick Release Valve, closed, facing you.

Pump A goes into stem B.

Pump A goes into stem B.

The Nicad powered air pump should be charged for 12 hours (24 hours the first time) and you are ready for launch!

If you forgot to charge it, or have run the batteries down, you can use the 12-volt car accessory plug cord when in the field.

Time for action.

Time for action.

The pump starts after you rotate it onto the valve.  It took only a minute and a half to fully inflate.  On a full charge I was able to inflate over four times.  Once fully inflated the mattress dimension is 9″ high by 60″ wide by 78″ long.

You can adjust the amount of air by pushing the button.

You can adjust the amount of air by pushing the button.

If you inflated to a higher pressure than you desire for comfort, just push on the button in the center of the valve to let out a little air.

A quick deflate.

A quick deflate.

When you are done, open the generous sized Quick Air Release Valve and down she goes!

We are now ready for a goods night’s rest.

Portable Wooden Picnic Table

I first saw the Portable Wooden Picnic Table, by Filson, on a Pinterest page and loved it on first sight!  The ingenious way it packs into itself, yet folds out to a pretty wood table for four is amazing.

Nice cover.

Nice cover.

The table comes with it’s own canvas zipped carrying case.  The handle you see is attached to the side of the table.

Cover off.

Cover off.

With the cover off you are looking at the top of the table which makes up the two sides of the case.

Opened.

Opened.

Release the two latches and open the sides.  Now you are looking at the bottom of the whole unit.

Feet extended.

Feet extended.

First extend the four legs and slide the plastic latch down.  Note that the leg closest in this picture shows the safety latch before moved into the locking position.

Ready to flip.

Ready to flip.

Next, you lift out each seat and latch another safety brace for each bench.

Safety pins.

Safety pins.

Then we flip the table and slide in the safety pin, one on each side of the table.  The pin is attached to the table with a small thread, which I plan to replace with something a little more substantial.

Ready to use.

Ready to use.

Now the table is ready to use!  Notice that there is a center hole for an umbrella, not included.  The table did have a few blemishes in the finish to the surface top, however, considering the relatively low cost, I can live with it (and will not doubt fix it in the future).  Also note that the table is limited to 800 lbs, but considering it only weights 21 lbs, I think that is quite an engineering accomplishment!

I am now two steps closer to my dream Glamp Camp…..

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