Glamping sounds so pretentious doesn’t it? The coupling of the words glamorous and camping which in and of themselves read like an oxymoron, solicits thoughts of high maintenance individuals. I don’t think I am difficult or hard to please (although Q may argue the point). I don’t mind digging in and getting my hands dirty in the proverbial sense of the word. And I enjoy camping, I really do. But glamping… well that just has a whole new appeal to me.
Maybe it stems from our first outdoor excursion together in our early years, but tent camping has sat slightly above “pulling out my toenails” on a list of things I’ve wanted to do. Young and passionate about the childhood memories that spirited us on, Q and I set out on our first camping trip during the infancy of our relationship. Proud as peacocks when we erected the tent in lightening speed we headed out to fish for that night’s dinner. But our feathers were soon ruffled when rain forced us to bail on our dinner catching plans and we returned to a tent soaked from above and below. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Q had to drive to the campground store and ask them to “nuke” our hotdogs. Enough was enough, we packed our shit and headed home.
Maybe it was the misery of failure, that we as Canadians had to abandon our camp, that we had to cede defeat.. to rain no less! Or maybe it was the freezing, drenched clothing we had to sit in for the three-hour ride home, but something cooled my desire to “tent” camp from that day forward. If anyone mentioned camping my first question was trailer or cabin? If the answer was “tent” my face betrayed my thought of “fuck that”! But if someone had mentioned glamping, in a yurt nonetheless, maybe, just maybe I would have been back in the bush, in a tent long before it actually took me to venture back out under a thin canopy and the stars.
Don’t get me wrong, you can glamp with a regular tent, but yurts take it to a whole new level. I know the very word yurt conjures up visions of Mongolian nomads, but these semi-permanent structures are becoming very popular amongst our many public and private parks across Canada.
So whats the draw to one of these yurts? Well imagine if you will a large tent, built upon a wooden platform. Typically outfitted with electricity and heat these structures are like hotel rooms in the wild where you BYOS (bring your own shit). Most are equipped with the staples of tables, chairs and beds. YES beds.. with real mattresses. See you’re starting to see the sophistication of it all…. You’re starting to understand my love for glamping… And many yurts nowadays come with a bbq complete with a full propane tank, picnic table and fire pit.
Now here is the best part about yurts and why they are so perfect for glamping. There is no setup, or take down. It’s raining? Who gives a shit? Temperature dropped to 0° – I don’t care, I can turn on the heat. These tents can handle sun, rain and even snow! Camping is no longer seasonal in Canada – if you are brave enough, you can head out to the snowy tundra and enjoy winter like never before!
But like regular tents, don’t cook inside the yurt. Carbon monoxide will kill you regardless of whether you are glamping or bush-whacking if you light a cookstove within the confines of canvassed walls. Same holds true for bears. Put all food in a bear container away from your camp or in your car. Don’t leave your midnight snack of Doritos in your bed or you might end up with a grizzly on your chest in the middle of the night.
So although tent camping and I have kissed and made up, I still prefer the heated comforts of home – even in the wild. A nice camp fire… A glass of wine (or marshmallow if you are like Q) and a nice warm bed to flop into at the end of the day – even in the rain. Glamping doesn’t sound so snobbish now, does it?
~True North Nomad
How do you glamp? What is your favourite comfort from home to have in the wild?
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