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There is nothing quite like falling asleep under the stars and a Madison-based luxury camping and events company is making roughing it a breeze with glamorous camping, or glamping.
Campyard aims to make the great outdoors an accessible and luxurious experience everyone can enjoy. Owners Tom Cranley and Jess Catherine drive to desired locations and set up lavish, fully-furnished tents for weddings, events and weekend getaways.
“Just bringing you closer to nature and the sounds of birds in the morning, the smell of wet grass and leaves, the access to nature during the day and night … without losing the comfort of home,” says Cranley. "It’s where outdoors meets luxury."
The tents are 25 square feet, and reach 9 feet at their highest point. Made with 100% organic cotton canvas, they feature 360 degrees of mesh ventilation and a vinyl base to keep rainwater out.
Catherine, who does most of the interior design and creates many of the luxurious details, covers the vinyl tent base with rustic cowhide and sheepskin area rugs. Queen or king size beds are draped with cotton duvets, glowing lanterns are perched on tree stump tables and homey lounging chairs invite campers to unwind.
Cranley says people just have to show up and then Campyard will do the rest, including breaking down the site.
“You tell us when and where, we bring the tents to you, we set it up, we furnish them and we provide lighting and a power source for charging phones – even if you’re off the grid," Cranley says.
Campyard also provides an array of amenities to make cooking, dining and relaxing a little more extravagant. Campers can enjoy a vintage record player, a mini bar, a pour-over coffee set, a gas cooking stove and books like, “How to Stay Alive in the Woods."
Heather McCartney, a former Campyard customer, decided to surprise her husband with a special date night after seeing a post on Instagram of a Campyard tent. She says didn’t tell him where they were headed, but he was surprised when he saw the set up in Blue Mound State Park
McCarthy says her favorite feature was the natural tree stump tables where the two of them played cards to pass the time.
“It was just really comfortable with beautiful white bedding, and very cozy," McCarthy says.Cranley and Catherine also rent out a restored 1967 Beemer vintage camper trailer that comes equipped with a bed, dining area and kitchenette. They worked together to refurbish the trailer after finding it up north where it had been used as a hunting shack.
“It was painted a drab, flat brown – pretty much with just gobs of caulk on every seam to make sure it stayed watertight. It was a lot of elbow grease to restore it,” Cranley says.
According to Cranley, Campyard was the first to market a luxury camping service in the Midwest, which he speculates is because the area poses challenges like unpredictable weather, a short season, and pesky mosquitos.
“There are a lot of people who are kept away from a national, state or county park, or even their backyard camping because of the lack of comfort, or because of the initial inventory that you have to purchase. You don’t have to go out and buy anything [with Campyard], and that’s a big plus if you’re wanting to camp just once or twice a year,” Cranley says.
Campyard is entering its second season this summer, and hopes to do more event rentals. Last year they partnered with The CrossFit Games, and have also worked with corporations like Zendesk and Epic.
For overnight stays, campers can book tents for a minimum of two nights. Wedding and event rentals can reserve tents for one to three days at a flat rate fee. For more information, pricing and details visit Campyard's website.
“It’s bringing in a larger section of society that otherwise wouldn’t be camping," Cranley says. "Getting people out in the woods or out on top of a hilltop and listening to owls at night it is very not only therapeutic, but also important for the overall health of a society.”
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