Camping and Glamping are becoming popular ways to explore amazing locations in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. With easy access to most places of interest due to improved road conditions and public transport, camping offers adventures and an alternative way of enjoying the beauty of some great scenic locations in Northern Pakistan. In the past, most camping-related activities were a group organized by adventure clubs and societies.
The trend for camping and outdoors has picked up in recent years with several solo travellers exploring remote locations of the country on their own. Travelling in a small group is always a good idea as some of the locations are very isolated and not easily accessible the rescue services in case of emergency.
Camping & Glamping Guide for Northern Pakistan
Here are some useful recommendations by our team if you are planning to organize a camping trip this summer:
- Do your trip research online and find maps ( terrain maps) and local guides to help you plan your trip.
- Tour operators can organize your transport and tour guides or trekkers if you plan to explore the remote area.
- You must have suitable camping gear as the weather can change drastically even in the middle of summer.
- You should know how to pick a safe camping site and set up a tent.
- Carry cooking equipment and utensils for a camping trip
- Must carry a basic first-aid kit.
- Must have satellite communication devices for remote locations.
- If unfamiliar with the location, it is highly recommended to hire a local guide for the trip.
How to plan a glamping trip in Northern Pakistan
If you are planning to travel with your family or friends and have your own transport, Glamping can be an amazing way of enjoying an outdoor holiday in the beautiful mountain ranges of Pakistan.
With a massive influx of tourists in Northern Pakistan in June, July and August, accommodation becomes scarce and people are forced to sleep in their cars if there is no accommodation available. This can be a major cause of discomfort and spoil your holiday fun.
Glamping is a great alternative as there is plenty of open, public and private land available for camping and glamping. Most of the private 3-4 Hotels and motels are located in scenic locations along the river and have plenty of open spaces that can be rented for camping. This approach can ensure safety and you will have access to public amenities and restaurants if you plan not to cook.
Setting up a camp with a comfortable interior, inflatable mattress and indoor games is a great way of enjoying family time together from the busy city life. Cooking in a camp and setting a fire is another great activity that will brighten up your glamping experience. Here is some useful consideration for setting up a glamping experience.
Things to do to maximize your Glamping Experience in Northern Pakistan
- Pick a location that is on high ground. Make sure you know the direction of the sunrise and sunset to get shade when required and enjoy the beautiful sunrise in the morning.
- You can find a place to set up a campfire for cooking purposes
- Water and waste disposal places are nearby
- You are carrying port dunny (toilet) or know how to use open spaces for toilet etc.
Some interesting Camping and Glamping activities
- Appropriate Clothing for the weather. Waterproof jackets and thermals are a must and the temperature can drop substantially.
- Rechargeable Batteries for light.
- Mosquito Nets if required. Insect Repellant.
- Hiking boots, T-shirts and pants with side pockets
Setting up a Tent for Camping
The tent is the most important part of your glamping or camping experience. Inflatable mattresses are also available along with portable tents for 3-4 people. Some large tents can also be set up with your 4-wheel drive providing easy support and a high roof. Whatever, your camping style, a tent should be pegged properly to withstand wind and rain. An underlayer will ensure that the water cannot penetrate the tent in case of rain.
You would need:
- Inflatable mattresses
- Comfy cushions
- Indoor Camping Light. Make sure it’s a battery light for safety.
- Toilet paper
Cooking during your camping trip can be great fun. Here is a useful list of things to pack when heading out of the mountains:
- Cast iron cooking pot and frying pan
- A metal grill or mesh to go over the fire
- metal supports for the fireplace or to place your cooking pots
- Metals cups and camping utensils
- Cleaning equipment including tea towels, gloves, washing liquid, and a bucket for water.
- Tin Foil for roasting potatoes over the fire.
- Tin food including soup, beans, and vegetables. Tin Packed food is also a great idea.
Some great cooking ideas on the campfire
- Meat steak dishes with a bit of fat can easily be grilled on the fire and can be consumed with rice or bread.
- Wrap the potatoes in foil and chuck them in the fire to roast.
- Grilling seafood including fish over fire is quite easy. Make sure you have a grilling metal mesh to hold the food. A metal place or roasting tray can come in handy.
- Any dish including Karahi, curries, and vegetables can be easily cooked in a metal pot over the fire.
- BBQ on open flame is always a great option for meat lovers.
- Make sure to pack some snacks, sweets, and tea bags for a nice cuppa tea after dinner.
How to keep yourself occupied at a campsite
1. Indoor games for children is a great idea for enjoyable family time. Carry portable, chess or ludo, or cards. Avoid the use of hand-held devices as one of the purposes of getting out in nature is to disengage from all technology.
Where are some of the best places for camping in Northern Pakistan?
The options to explore in Northern Pakistan are unlimited. If you’re planning on camping, read Camping in Naran on our website. This is a useful resource for hikers and trekkers who want to explore remote locations on foot.
We have included some of the most popular walking tracks in that article. Generally, if you are based in Punjab, Galiyat Area offers very easy access from Murree or Abbottabad.
There are plenty of places along the Silk Road from Abottabad to Balakot and all the way to Naran. Your personal security and peace of mind should be the first priority when planning a trip. Camping at remote places with family is not recommended. Registered hotels and businesses offer a safe and comfortable environment for glamping.
There are plenty of locations along Karakoram Highway from Abottabad onwards. YOu can always take a side road to discover interesting locations and villages. Safety and Trespassing, however, should be on your mind when planning a trip.
Some resorts and private property owners are offering a place for rent overnight. Search for these locations online. Local tour operators based in Naran and Kaghan and Hoteliers can give you plenty of useful information and organize a camping or glamping trip.
Some tour operators themselves have started organizing hiking and glamping trips which mostly target the under-30 age group solo audience.
Here are some options to explore if you are planning a trip yourself:
If you are driving to Naran and Kaghan, Siri Paya near Shogran is a great place to camp 8 km from Shogran. This location is accessible by an unmetalled road and an 8km drive on a Jeep.
Lalazar is another amazing location at a distance of 5 km from Naran. This place is also accessible by foot (should be in good health) from the main bazaar in Naran. The best is to rent a jeep and organize a camping trip from a local operator in the city.
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