Get inspired to throw a backyard bash that combines the fun of camping with the haute comforts of home
1 of 13Sarah Sherman Samuel for Sunset Magazine
Our Malibu inspiration
When you say glamping, we flash back to the amazing Camp Sunset party we threw on a Malibu ranch. With everything from gourmet s’mores to camp crafts, we brought our camping field guide to life for our friends in L.A., with the help of Sterling Social.
Check out how you can host your own glamping party in your backyard, inspired by our event.
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Find a location
We found the perfect location at One Gun Ranch, located on the edge of a canyon with panoramic ocean and mountain vistas. The ranch has biodynamic gardens, a secret garden, two corrals, an Airstream trailer, and insane views. There’s even an adorable donkey named Waffle, who stole the show pretty quickly during our visit. Fun fact: The site is named after one of the members of Guns’N’Roses, who used to own the ranch.
One Gun also runs a store on the Malibu Pier, Ranch at the Pier. It offers unique products that embody the laid-back lifestyle that the ranch is all about, from U.S.A.-made T-shirts to DIY farm boxes. But you don’t need a ocean view to make glamping a reality.
Choose a corner of your yard with space for your glampers and seating—and a safe flame for s’mores—to create the same feel at home.
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Pitch a tent (or three!)
It’s not camping without a tent! Tipi Marqui Tents by Under Canvas provided a stylish shelter from the hot Malibu sun. You can rent these tents for an event, or stay in one at several National Parks for your own glamping experience.
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Create space to kick back
When it came to decor, Found Vintage Rentals knew just what we’d need to make those tipis extra-cozy. Mud cloth pillows and woven rugs made for a relaxed backdrop to enjoy lunch. Found’s selection of wooden side table, throws, and bronze hammered chairs created the perfect earthy yet glam look.
Recreate the look with outdoor rugs and picnic blankets, topped with your favorite throw pillows, making a comfortable space to kick back with your guests.
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Style your tabletops
Designating a space to eat is always important. Heather Taylor was one of our event’s hosts, so we couldn’t resist topping the tables with pieces from her line of home textiles, Heather Taylor Home. We added dishware from The Ark, including their Spartan plates and Bone Handled utensils, for a clean and natural look. Stick with natural tones and simple dishware while at home, to make it easy for your glampers to enjoy their meal together.
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Top with fresh florals
Bring the great outdoors onto tabletops and into tipis with Mason jar flower arrangements, like these from Joni Noe Style. You can take advantage of your own garden, mixing together blossoms and greenery in simple arrangements.
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Set the musical mood
No matter where your glamping party takes place, the right music is always a requirement. Will & Wyatt performed live Western Gypsy Folk music at Camp Sunset Malibu, using instruments such as acoustic guitars and ukuleles. If you’re sans a live duo, capture the same mood with playlists from your favorite music streaming service.
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Elevate your camping grub
Take camping food to the next level with a farm-to-table lunch at your glamping gathering. Auntie Em’s Kitchen & Catering, based in Eagle Rock, put together a menu including Heirloom Tomato and Cornmeal Galettes and Pearl Couscous with Roasted End of Summer Vegetables. Take advantage of the backyard approach by preparing some favorite dishes to share for your gathering, ideally with a mix of finger foods and heartier entrees, without having to worry about transport or needing a campfire.
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Staying hydrated can be hard, especially in the Malibu heat. Luckily, Pressed Juicery brought an amazing selection of their cold-pressed juices to enjoy—Ppop over to Pressed Juicery’s guide to living well, The Chalkboard, to see how wellness and stylish living go together.
Make sure to have a non-alcoholic choice, like pressed cold juice, for your glampers, especially if it’s hot out or if kids are on the guest list.
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West Side Wine Co.’s wine in a can provides an easy yet still-classy way to sip. The cans are perfect for guests to grab and enjoy at a party, or for you to pack in a cooler for a weekend of camping.
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The beauty of glamping is the ability to bring a glue gun, in our opinion. We decorated TOMScanvas backpacks with iron-on patches and feathers to personalize them. Craft something not only fun, but useful for your guests to walk away with—maybe that’s decorating a backpack, painting sneakers, or making terrariums together.
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S’mores go gourmet
But the ultimate glamping necessity? Gourmet s’mores. Valerie Confections brought us Durango cookies for our Camp Sunset glamp-out, a perfect match with freshly roasted marshmallows. At your backyard bash, set out cookies and marshmallows on durable trays by Rove and Swig near the campfire to make s’mores easy to make (and devour.)
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These Traveler by TOMS sunglasses served as a stylish yet functional party favor for our Malibu guests. With on-theme souvenirs like these shades and the crafty backpacks, your guests will be dreaming of camp every time they use them — and asking when the next glamping party will be.