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How To Create An Outdoor Guest Room For The Holidays

3 min read 0 Comments

image via @tinyhavenliving

image via @tinyhavenliving

It’s that joyful time of year when families and friends squeeze into homes to celebrate the holidays together, one piled on top of the other, cat underfoot, dog doing circles around the cat, and an abundance of festive decor covering every inch of the walls, windows, floors, and surfaces.

Except for this year.

This year, we hope you can joyfully celebrate by keeping your Pandemic Pod close, and keeping your other loved ones at a safe, social distance in order to promote health and wellness during and after the holidays.


An all-season canvas bell tent requires minimal yard or property space (about 400 square feet) and only takes about 20 minutes to set up. Move in some comfy furniture, put up the festive fairy lights (naturally) and voila! You’ve got yourself a pop-up (or semi-permanent) guest room with 212 square feet of socially-distant holiday housing space.

The Fernweh canvas bell tent can comfortably fit 2 queen sized beds, or up to 8 sleeping bags, depending on the size of the quaranteam you’ll be hosting. And because these tents are all-season, all-weather, your holiday guests will be cozy whether celebrating in sunny Southern California, or ho-ho-ho’ing with the high winds of the high desert, or frolicking in the frozen temps of New England.


5m bell tent

Each tent is treated for flame retardancy to meet CPAI-84 standards, so your guests (and you!) will have peace of mind.

Bring in electrical or solar power through the rear covered and zippered cord entry and your guests will be able to plug in, light up, and stay cozy. Plus, there’s a ceiling stove jack for adding a wood burning stove, which means not only will your guests be comfortably warm, they might not ever want to leave!  Check out this tent stoveoption for your canvas tent.

tent stove jack
canvas tent stove
winter camping

Separate Spaces, Smiling Faces

Your guests will be comfortably set up in their holiday guest house, so there will be fewer shared spaces to clean and disinfect. Share festive times together outdoors around a campfire, or bundle up and go on a neighborhood walk to look at lights, and then retreat to safe, separate spaces for almost everything else.

camping wifi

Everything else BUT the kitchen sink

Because these are unique times, it’s recommended that guests have their own space in which to prepare and enjoy meals. You can create a functional, practical outdoor camp kitchen near your outdoor holiday guest house with minimal effort, so that your holiday guests can brew their coffee in the morning, make their meals throughout the day, and munch on sugar cookies and egg nog at night without requiring access to the main house.

oregon glamping
holiday camping
holiday glamping

Outhouse vs In-house

You may want to make indoor bath and shower facilities available to your outdoor holiday guests, particularly if you’re in freezing temps or sloggy, soggy, super wet conditions. Just be sure guests mask up and wash up when they come inside. However, if you’re thinking of making your holiday guest house a little more permanent, like this Hipcamp retreat at Cuyama Oaks did, you can set up an outdoor restroom with a composting toilet, and even an outdoor solar shower, so that your guests can be truly self-contained.

diy outhouse
outdoor bathroom
compost toilet for camping
canvas holiday tent

A Holiday Home

This guest house configuration includes two twin sized beds (one on each side), plus a queen sized bed (in the middle), to comfortably fit a family of four. The 10’ center pole provides ample head room, and includes 2 hooks for hanging coats, hats, or gear.

This guest room was created by Airbnb superhosts, @tnts_bnbs.

Keeps the Kids Outside!


We put it up in the backyard to create an extension to our home to help with family visiting. The kids literally never left the tent - giving us time to take conference calls, visit with one another, and help to keep the house clean :-). This canvas tent is a beautifully awesome addition to our backyard.

-Jamie S.

Wide open spaces

We know the current conditions aren’t ideal; it’s hard to imagine the holidays without the overlapping of bodies and sidestepping of furry friends underfoot. But just because what once was is not currently what is, doesn’t mean something new and beautiful can’t be created. We know it can, because we’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it, and we know others who have done the same. If you’re wanting to create a holiday guest house so that you can be with your favorite people in the wide open spaces of social distancing, we would love to help. We wish you and yours the happiest of holidays, and a very peaceful new year!

image credit @douggieb
Brandy Lamb
Brandy Lamb

Father of two aspiring glampers, husband to one inspirational wife, and Co-Founder of Life inTents. Continuiously striving to help make camping more comfortable.

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