August 09, 2022
For those who want a taste of the great outdoors without totally leaving indoor amenities behind, a new business is providing campers with a more comfortable and unique experience.
BaseCamp Glamping LLC aims to introduce people to a more glamorous side of camping by supplying things like movie setups, telescopes, cornhole and s'mores kits. It was founded in June by Brooke Pegula and Chris Roche, a couple from Scranton who moved to Philadelphia in 2014 for college.
The company began as many recent business ventures have, as an idea formed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pegula and Roche loved to experience the outdoors before the public health crisis forced them to remain isolated inside.
"We both enjoy being outside; we don't really like to sit around and do nothing," Pegula said. "And with COVID going on we kind of tried to escape as much as possible. At the time, I was living in a small apartment and he was living in a small studio. Every chance we could get we were trying to spend our time outside."
A TikTok video featuring a glamping business inspired the couple to pursue an idea that they previously thought was outlandish.
"We always kind of thought of doing it, and we're like, okay this can actually take off because it took off in the past for other people, so let's give it a shot," Pegula said.
The couple hopes to take their love for the outdoors and share it with others who may have previously thought camping a daunting experience – like Pegula herself once did.
"I know personally, when I first started camping and stuff, I wasn't super open to it myself, but I always loved the comfortable parts of it," Pegula said. "We would always bring a stove, comfy sleeping bags, things like that and I know sometimes people don't think of camping as that – they think of it as super roughing it."
Basecamp Glamping offers multiple packages that are available for booking, including backyard and campground options.
People who want to stay in the comfort of their own yard can have the team set up a 16-foot bell tent, plus air conditioning, chairs, string lighting and custom signs. Pegula said the backyard package is a good option for those with less experience, because they have easy access to their home if they need something or decide they don't want to stay in the tent.
Pegula reminisces on one family who felt strange booking a camping experience in their own yard, but soon changed their minds once they experienced it.
"They said they felt weird even doing it because it was in their backyard, and I told them it was the whole point, to ease them into it so they could be comfortable and just take in the whole experience," Pegula said. "They were honest and said they'd never been camping, their kids had never been camping, and they ended up posting on their Facebook the next day that it was a huge success and they loved it. It made us feel really good because when you think you have a good idea, you obviously want that positive feedback."
More adventurous glampers can book a campsite delivery to a nearby campground, with modified amenities based on the location.
"We have a few different spots that we've used," Pegula said. "One that we really liked was Atsion Family Campground. It's in New Jersey, which is a little bit of a hike, but they have super nice recreation areas and amenities ... But if someone isn't as particular about the resources that they have, we can pretty much set up at any campground that will allow us to."
On top of tent set-up, Basecamp Glamping offers add-ons for those celebrating special occasions or are simply looking to elevate the experience, including a romance package, a girls or guys night out package, and balloon arches.
Pegula and Roche are currently a two-person team with two tents available for rental. They hope to expand the company soon, as they both have full-time jobs which makes it difficult to accept as many bookings as they would like.
"It would be cool if we could get some employees, that way we can reach more people," Pegula said. "I knew running a business would be overwhelming, but it's definitely a lot. I give people so much credit who do it full-time, because this is part-time and I'm always thinking about it. But it's nice; it doesn't really feel like work ... This is fun and I'm making people happy, so I enjoy it."
Interested glampers can head to the company's Facebook, Instagram or website to learn more. Booking inquiries, which will help the team figure out how to best meet patrons' needs, can be accessed through a Google Form. Prices start at $350 for one night backyard delivery and setup, or $500 for two nights at a campground.
Basecamp Glamping hopes to extend its booking season through November, depending on the weather.
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