Imagine waking up to the smell of a cinnamon-spiced double latte, rolling over in your silk-lined sleeping bag, and browsing through the latest issue of The New Yorker while organic gingerbread waffles with drunken strawberry and vanilla bean compote await you on a silk-linen tablecloth outside your tent. Who wouldn’t want that on their next camping trip?
It’s been labelled “glamping,” which is short for glamorous camping. Dating back to the African safaris, it is now more like Club Med in the boonies. Celebrities such as Kate Moss and Sienna Miller have popularized glamping in the U.K. and the U.S. and it’s now a hot commodity in Canada, which is why major media were eager to have me promote it.
Get Your Glamp On
Northeastern Ontario has a number of outfitters offering luxurious nights spent in the boreal woods. WildExodus in Timmins offers an all-inclusive upscale camping experience.
Misabi Adventure Company in Temagami is another option, providing an eco-friendly, comfortable getaway amongst the old-growth pine. Gourmet meals are served and Native traditions are highlighted.
Nature’s Harmony near Mattawa is a favourite of mine. They provide a very unique glamping experience with a fully-furnished Mongolian tent set deep in the woods, alongside the majestic Laurentian Mountains.
But is it Camping?
Is glamping camping? Well, I claimed it was on national television and radio and boy, did I stir the pot. Avid campers logged onto my blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. They were disappointed with me stating that sleeping in a posh tent and having truffles placed on your feather pillow in the morning was a true act of camping out.
So, why did I go out on a limb and promote wearing cashmere socks and using solar IPod chargers? It came down to simple mathematics. I want a percentage of glampers to one day try real camping, where there’s no one to portage your canoe or pluck the blackfly out of your Chardonnay. I learned long ago that it’s best to grab hold of any type of camping fad and use it to introduce non-campers to sleeping in the wilderness.
Let’s be honest, a good majority of glampers would never give real camping a try if it wasn’t for trying it in comfort. Let plaid jackets be replaced by pink Wellington boots – whatever turns them on, as long as they go outdoors.
Butlers are currently opening doors to glamping resorts in Australia, India, Mongolia, the United States and Canada. According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, glamping is gaining popularity. Canadian tourism representatives state that this glamping concept increased outdoor excursions in the past year by 12% overall*, with the largest interest being in B.C. at an increase of 22% and 11% in Ontario. That’s a lot of new “happy campers” enjoying the serenity of nature – even if they are having their sleeping bags fluffed by a maid while they’re doing so. If even a small percentage of these glampers, go out and get dirty someday, then imagine the wilderness areas we could save with an advocacy group that strong and mighty!