November 18, 2020

How to Glamp Like a Pro with Wildhaven Sonoma

By Emily Merrell

I’ve officially glamped four times. Each time, I’ve learned more and more about my expectations and needs to better prepare myself for successful glamping. For the glamping newbies, I’ve wrangled my friends Ken Barber and Brian Lawerence, co-founders of Wildhaven Sonoma (the coolest glamping site in Healdsburg), to answer all of our pressing glamping 101 questions and what its like to glamp at Wildhaven Sonoma. Happy glamping! 

Home away from home. Courtesy of Wildhaven Sonoma.
Home away from home. Courtesy of Wildhaven Sonoma.

SDS: What should you take glamping? What’s provided and what do you need to bring? 

KEN BARBER & BRIAN LAWRENCE: Although we like to tell our guests to “just pack a toothbrush and we’ll take care of the rest,” we do have a recommended packing list to help you get the most out of your stay. Glamping can take so many forms, so here’s how Wildhaven Sonoma does it.  

Let’s start with what we provide. Inside your tent you will have a queen-size bed with linens, towles, a clothing rack and mirror, a heater, large rug and two bedside lamps on nightstands with plugs to charge laptops and USB devices like your phone. Outside your tent you have patio furniture on the covered front porch, plus most tents have fire pits and picnic tables.

On the property, we provide bathrooms and hot showers. Our store sells firewood, ice, beer and wine, non-alcoholic drinks, meats, cheese, crackers and other items for a wine-country picnic.

So, what’s left for you to bring is hand sanitizer, a face mask, slippers and PJs for lounging, toiletries for the shower, warm layers for cool nights, ear plugs for lighter sleepers (although we provide two sets for each tent), a flashlight/headlamp/lantern/phone app for nighttime strolls, innertubes, sandals/camp chair/beach towel for river fun and a cooler for drinks (we have ice). If cooking, bring any silverware/pots/pans, trash bags and paper towels. If you bring valuables, please lock them safely in your vehicles and not in your tent (which do not have locks). Please bring a leash for your dog.

Above and beyond these items, we want you to have some fun. Bring s’mores ingredients, board games, a frisbee, twinkly lights to decorate the inside of your tent, a yoga mat for your front porch and running shoes to use on a beautiful nearby road.

SDS: What food should I pack for glamping? How should I pack it? Will there be a fridge? 

KB & BL: If you grill on your firepit, you can bring foil, a skillet, or any pot/pan that can go over a fire and place it on the big grill covering. If you use our gas BBQs, some people bring skewers while some place the meat right on the grill. The BBQs also have side burners like a home electric stove, so you can bring a pot/pan and cook that way (i.e. boil water or sautee). These are also an easy way to boil water for coffee.

You’ll want to pack marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers to make s’mores! I’d also buy skewers at the store, or even order longer sticks on Amazon so you can ensure your marshmallow won’t fall off. If you want to try something new, grill a half a peach or a pineapple slice, or pre-make garlic bread and toast it in foil over the fire. Bring a cooler with ice from home as the tents do not have a fridge. 

You park at your tent, so don’t worry if you bring bulky or heavy stuff.

Ken Barber, co-founder of Wildhaven Sonoma. Courtesy of Wildhaven Sonoma.
Ken Barber, co-founder of Wildhaven Sonoma. Courtesy of Wildhaven Sonoma.

SDS: What is the bathroom situation while glamping? 

KB & BL: The common bathroom building is cleaned often. Masks are required. We also added seven outdoor sinks with hot water for people who don’t want to enter the building for simple washing tasks. We have six hot showers in individual stalls with changing areas, so you enter from the outside and are not sharing air with other guests at the same time. Also, have two outdoor showers in a pretty setting on the bluff over the river.

SDS: Is there electricity when glamping? 

KB & BL: Yup! Two lights in your cabin with USB ports and regular plug ports are available as well. We just ask that you don’t bring high voltage items like hair dryers.

SDS: Will there be food provided when glamping or available for purchase? 

Glamping at Wildhaven Sonoma. Courtesy of Wildhaven Sonoma.
Glamping at Wildhaven Sonoma. Courtesy of Wildhaven Sonoma.

KB & BL: You will want to bring your own food for meals or do take-out from nearby Healdsburg (10 mins.) We also will have a store open by late October that sells simple snacks for wine country picnics.

SDS: Is glamping safe? 

KB & BL: Yes! Your tent is made with high-quality waterproof materials, and is situated off the ground with doors and windows that zip up. We don’t have any dangerous animals on the property. We have plenty of staff available 24/7 (many live on the property) to keep the property as safe as possible and answer any questions you have. Our team is constantly cleaning and sanitizing any high-touch communal areas. We sanitize your tent cabin before you arrive, but do not enter during your stay to enhance guest safety.
Still have questions about what glamping is all about? Check out the virtual tour and the FAQ page. Wildhaven Sonoma’s Instagram page also has insider peeks of these tents.

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