Summer ‘Glamping’ with Lupus

Summer ‘Glamping’ with Lupus


Summer in our family means a lot of fun and a lot of sun. We’re nomadic by nature already, and traveling and camping are a big part of our lives. So, when school lets out, we pack our bags and spend the summer traveling.

The boys take a trip to see their dad and his family for a month, and I get some much-needed downtime. Then, when they get back, we are on the road again for our summer “glamping” (camping + glamor) and fishing trips.

Having lupus means I have to be extremely careful when it comes to overdoing it or spending too much time in the sun. My body can’t handle sleeping on the ground or extreme temperature changes, so we’ve had to make a few little changes to how we camp.

But, where am I gonna sleep?

One of my biggest hurdles when it comes to camping is “Where do I sleep?” The ground is hard and can be pretty darn cold in the middle of the night. These two things are enough to cause a flare-up in my body and leave me down and out for the rest of the trip.

Our solution, of course, was a blow-up mattress. But in a money-saving pinch, you can get the inflatable pool toys at the dollar store and make those your little mattress. They are smaller and easier to blow up. Throw a sheet on it and you’re good to go. Then, they can be stacked on top of each other when not in use, or used as swim toys at the closest body of water.

Eating on the GO, GO, GO

Eating healthy is an essential part of having lupus. Whenever my eating habits start to slip, I notice that I have more inflammation and require more sleep. But when you’re on the go, what can you do? You have to find ways to slow it down and take care of yourself.

If there’s one thing I have learned since being diagnosed with lupus, it is that you can’t rush recovery. Having lupus means you’re constantly in recovery from crisis mode. Food is what gives your body the clean energy it needs to heal. Whenever we are “glamping,” we make sure to cook breakfast and then make lunch all at the same time. This way we are ready to go off on an adventure and don’t have to be back until late in the day.

Lupus is all the adventure I need …

So. Not. True. While taking a vacation can be stressful, the purpose is to relieve stress. Lupus has a way of taking your life and making it feel less whole. As if we are broken, damaged, or incomplete. But that’s just not true. Everyone needs a break from the everyday life we live. Glamping can be a super-easy and fun way to get you and the family out of the house and looking for a true adventure. Whether you spend the day fishing, hiking, or just reading a book in the shade, glamping forces us to come out of our shells.


Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.


  1. Kathy says:

    I made the mistake of camping in Oregon last summer and sleeping in a sleeping bag only..Well it went down in the 50’s overnight the first night and not only did I think I was going to freeze to death but the next day I thought I was going to die. I had so looked forward to the trip and it was an absolute disaster, next time camper, cabin or at least a heated mattress!!!!!!

  2. Oldster says:

    Buy a folding aluminum cot. There are low cots (only 6-8″ high) that even work in small tents. They not only get you off the ground for a better night’s sleep but during the day can provide extra seating and/or off-ground storage.

    Kathy, always bring a queen bed sized fleece blanket. On cold nights putting the blanket on or in the sleeping bag can make all the difference in the world. On warm nights the blanket may be all you need. Sometimes sleeping bags are too warm.

    • Meies Matz says:

      I agree on both counts – the cot and the blanket. REI makes a trifold cot that also has a thick pad, and uses binding (like a hammock) on the frame that cradles you and takes pressure off of joints. The extra blanket and sleeping bag sheet (all cotton) kept me nice and toasty. These two extras and pre-made home cooked salads & veggie to go with proteins made my recent trip to the Cove Palisades State Park in Oregon an amazingly good time.

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