When I was 22, I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, unsure how I’d fit into the culture. As soon as the first candles were lit at the table where flowers sat in the middle, and the expectation had been made clear that nightly dinners were opportunities to slow way down, I was hooked.
We didn’t have to rush anywhere. We didn’t have to slam down our food. We just had to be together.
To me, that’s camping. It’s not bracing yourself for the cold for the sake of adventure. It’s not having to deal with not showering for days because you’re outdoors. It’s not sacrificing comfort for the sake of living. It’s a yes, and.
Camping is allowed to be both adventure and calm. It’s allowed to be both outdoorsy but hygienic. It’s allowed to be comfortable and experiential.
I share this because years ago, I fell into the trap of not believing it could be both. Wanting to make my husband happy, I went camping and tried hard to love it. I didn’t enjoy sleeping on the ground. I didn’t love peeing in the woods. I didn’t love the dark. I didn’t love peeing in the dark. I loved being among the pine trees, breathing in the fresh air, and taking in the stillness of the campfire flames, but the rest of it? No, thank you.
There had to be a better way for us to both get outside and enjoy that adventure, but for me to not get burnt out on discomfort.
Enter: The RV life.
The RV life is a beautiful combination of coziness and camping.
When we first bought our RV, I fell immediately in love. This. Was. It. This was the fresh air opportunity with the comfort of a blow dryer and bed I was looking for. It was the ability to bring light to the dark night, feel safer in the four walls, block out the cold, wind, and bugs I dreaded, and still appreciate being outside.
For many, RVing isn’t camping. But for many others, RVing is the key to camp cozy and bringing hygge to the outdoors again.
Bringing hygge to the world of camping
Hygge is a word I felt during my years living in Denmark. I lived the feeling through long dinners around the table, trips into the snowy forest to cut down trees, lunches with my teammates, glasses of wine at the outdoor cafes with friends, and walking among the lighted paths of Tivoli. I say I felt it because it’s a word that can’t be directly translated into English. The closest word we have for this feeling is cozy, which doesn’t fully encompass all of the elements of the hygge feel.
Inside The Little Book of Hygge, the author, Meik Wiking, spends pages unpacking what this concept looks like. Perhaps my favorite part of the story that relates to the RV lifestyle is this:
It happened on a Christmas Day spent with friends in a woodsy cabin. After a hike in the snow, the friends sat around the fireplace wearing sweaters and woolen socks, listening to the crackle of the fire, and enjoying mulled wine. One friend asked, “Could this be any more hygge?” Everyone nodded when one woman replied, “Yes, if a storm were raging outside.”
Hygge is the feeling of being comfortable, no matter the weather or environment.
Another expression the Danes use is, there’s no such thing as bad weather.
That’s certainly true but there is discomfort in this world. Sleeping on the ground in frigid temperatures or waking up to bugs crawling all over your tent is certainly not “hyggeligt.”
However, having the RV around you to protect you from those elements while simultaneously (and perhaps, even magically) bringing you to numerous destinations where you can inhale mountain air or saltwater, take in sunrises and sunsets, and hear elk bugling while seeing deer roam through your campsite, is the way to camp cozy.
I began Cruisin’ + Campfires to bring this hygge vibe to the camping world. Here, I will be sharing more details about what it means to camp cozy, how to feel more at ease on the open road, and how to appreciate nature without burning yourself out on discomfort. The merch I offer is a byproduct of my experiences in learning this approach to the RV lifestyle.
I hope you’ll put your name on the email list to be notified each week of cozy camping ideas from the blog here and private tips, playlists, and recommendations I share only with my subscribers. And I hope that you’ll browse the quickly growing shop to find an item or two for your RV as a reminder that being in nature can be comfortable. Being outside can be enjoyable. And you can camp cozy.