Are you looking to get in touch with Mother Nature this summer but the idea of actually having to be in, well, nature, turns you off faster than your computer when the clock hits 5:01 PM? A new trend in camping might have you running for the hills.
For those who kind of enjoy the outdoors but aren’t dedicated enough to try roughin’ it by camping out in the wilderness, there is a perfect alternative: “glamping.” Also known as luxury or glamified camping, glamping is perfect for the girl who wants to channel her inner Wilderness Girl without having to leave her makeup bag at home.
A fairly new trend in the world of eco-tourism and outdoor adventures, glamping’s origins stem back to Africa and Thailand, and glamping sites with pre-pitched tents, stylish tepees and yurts that look like they came straight off the Urban Outfitters’ assembly line are popping up everywhere as more people find themselves engaging in this new outdoor experience. Glamping allows guests to enjoy traditional camping but without the tedious tasks of setting up equipment and having to fend for themselves in terms of food. Each glamping site is different, but the majority of them provide lavishly-furnished accommodation with meals and other additional luxuries such as hot tubs, depending on the location.
David Troya, the founder of Glamping Hub, looks for three key elements when identifying a glamp-site: one, a unique structure. Two, immediate access to the outdoors. And three, the comforts of a hotel. Lots of couples (especially newlyweds) tend to go glamping, along with corporate companies who view it as a good medium for teambuilding. Glamping has also become popular for groups of girlfriends who want to get away (nut not that away), as well as bachelorette parties. There are glamping sites all over the world that offer a range of experiences at various price levels, from $50-a-night tent adventures in San Francisco to $2500-a-night African safaris in Kenya.
Mille Etoiles, a 14-yurt glamping campsite located in France that overlooks the Ardeche River gorge, provides luxury tents that are furnished with four-poster beds, oriental rugs and antique accessories in order to provide guests with the “Edwardian safari tent” experience. Many of these glamping sites, including Canvas Chic (which was founded in 2006 in London) are eco-friendly, utilizing everything from rainwater to organically-grown food to solared-powered lanterns in order to provide guests with the ultimate camping experience while at the same time helping out the environment.
Paws Up, a ranch-style glamping resort that offers horseback riding and mountain biking among other activities includes king-size beds, private master baths and even a personal butler. The nightly rate is $695 but also includes three prepared meals a day. The general manager at the resort refers to the experience as “nature on a silver plate,” allowing those who would normally not feel comfortable going out in the wild to connect with nature in an entirely different way.
Glamping seems like a cool, re-appropriated form of camping. It definitely seems to have been made with the “girlfriend of the outdoor enthusiast” in mind, which will allow couples that would previously have never gone camping together to be able to come to a decent compromise. While this is no Bear Grylls-type experience, guys can save that trip for when they go camping with the boys and meanwhile enjoy a lighter form of outdoor adventure with the ladies in their lives. — Kamala Kirk