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Chad Love: The "Glamping" Trend

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September 02, 2008

Chad Love: The "Glamping" Trend

By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

Chad Love has written for People Magazine, but he tired of stalking B-list celebrities and decided to spend more time hunting, fishing and reporting here on the absurdity of a culture that's lost touch with the land.

The Los Angeles Times recently published this story on the rapidly growing trend of "glamping."

While it may sound like a painful intestinal condition, glamping is short for "glamorous camping." And if you think that term sounds like it was coined by a travel writer whose idea of roughing it means he didn't receive the full-body exfoliant following his spa treatment, then you're probably right.

There will be no Beanie Weenies, Coleman lanterns, and toilet paper rolls on a stick here. The glampground will not be occupied by unshaven louts who wear off-brand polyester-blend clothing and reek of woodsmoke and fishslime.

Instead you will find butlers to start your fire, maids to change your linens, and chefs to whip up gourmet backwoods fare. You will have guides drive you to the scenic spots so you don't have to get your new outdoor duds soiled, guides point out and identify local wildlife, and guides who will do their damndest to make sure you look the part of the characters in a certain Robert Redford flyfishing movie. Without that whole getting wet or holding the fish thing.

Is this the future of camping in America? Possibly, if this report from the Nature Conservancy is any indication of future trends. It seems that as "glamping" is rising in popularity, overall outdoor recreation is at an all-time low.

As fewer and fewer ordinary people choose to spend time outside and visitation to our national parks continues to decline, will public-land camping eventually be privatized and offered only to those who can afford it?

Comments (7)

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from Sage Sam wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Well as a realtively younger fella, all I can take from the two above posts is "DON'T get married."I've got to agree with "johnl" that hunting/fishing/plain enjoying the outdoors has become increasingly affluence-based. Now we have "hunters" spotting and stalking their trophies in 10 acre enclosures. Fishing clubs with $10K memberships and gear that costs more than I make in a year.Out my way there is a basin that is a popular 4-wheeling and dirt biking spot. All you see in the area is 30-ffot travel trailers with satellite TV dishes strewn about while riders "commune" with nature.It is downright disturbing and depressing when you're one of the few people you know whose idea of camping is laying a sleeping bag down under a pinyon and cooking backstraps over an open fire.Unfortunately, our public lands have long been privatized, just more so recently. We have oil and gas companies controlling hundereds of thousands of acre of land, land which either is closed to hunting or devoid of all wildlife. Hell, most of the west is leased for oil and gas. My recommendation is if you want to sleep under the stars in the Rockies, better come quick.I agree with "johnl" on another point, it is time for some new elected officials, pronto.

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from paul Wilke wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Jack;You have my sympathy, I went from a small tent in the boondocks to a large tent in the boondocks.Then (2cd wife) to a large tent in a campsite, with electricity, water, shower and toilet and with a door mat and electric fan at the tent. Meals at nearby restaurants.Now "we" are looking at a small Airstream.I'm beginning to implement "guys only" hunting and fishing trips, wife to visit mom or sister.Hope that works.

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from jack wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I have camped since Boy Scout days. I dated (and married) a woman who enjoys camping as well. Of course, when we married, I agreed to forgo primitive camping and upgrade to public sites that had at least cold water and a privy with a roof and a door.Alas, every year or so she managed to incrementally "improve" our camping experience. Next thing you know we are going to private sites with electricity, hot water, showers and an "outpost" (aka tourist trap used by camp operators to hoover currency from your wallet)I slept in a camper for the first time 2 years ago (after nearly 40 years of open bags or tents.)I did not like it. I suggested our next trip be to one of the old places in a real forest, not a camper community - "You know, the way we used to camp." She made a face. I have the feeling it's going to be a solo trip.I don't begrudge others their camping preferences. To each his own. As for me, I choose bathing in a stream, cooking over a wood fire, and sleeping under the stars.

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from Richard Grimes, Troy NC wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

This is because the majority of fathers (and I am not talking about the people in this blog) do not teach their children the "old ways" anymore. I can see this happening. Damn Skippy, I can see it. 10 year olds that do not know how to build a fire, or clean a fish.My kids thank me often for the skills that I have passed along to them.Now this - Rich boys camp for the girly men!Greatttttttttttttttttttttt.Richard G.

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from johnl wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Does anyone else see any connection with this topic and last week's discussions about "high fence" hunting, and/or private property rights?Will the "glampers" allow us unwashed masses to share, or could we insist upon it?Can I cook my free-range dogs over their butler-tended campfires (since the oxygen needed for the fire belongs to us all), and heaven-forbid, what if I go to wash in the crick (governed by state riparian rights laws and contracts) while they are enjoying the world class scenery?Seriously though, if/when privatization of "public" lands begins, then we'll need a new dictionary definition of oxymoron.And some new elected officials.

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from jstreet wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Is this the future of camping in America?I doubt it. I'd say it's more like bored, wealthy people wanting someone to kiss their fannies and they are willing to pay big money for it.They'll get bored soon enough and go find some other service sector of the economy to lift their noses @ while spending their money.It does remind me of when I was a kid and worked in a restaurant. When "Biff and Buffy" came in and started expecting their fannies kissed, without fail someone on the staff would spit in their food and serve it with a smile.While (with reflection) it was rude, tasteless and unnecessary, the staff found it be quite hilarious at the time.Jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Missy Moose wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Um, I would totally love to go on one of these. It sounds like a blast... reminiscent of the whole "British Raj" thing. Me with my anti-malarial gin & tonic. ;)Like anything else excessive, a steady diet would not be healthy, but as a fun change of pace? I'm all over it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from Sage Sam wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Well as a realtively younger fella, all I can take from the two above posts is "DON'T get married."I've got to agree with "johnl" that hunting/fishing/plain enjoying the outdoors has become increasingly affluence-based. Now we have "hunters" spotting and stalking their trophies in 10 acre enclosures. Fishing clubs with $10K memberships and gear that costs more than I make in a year.Out my way there is a basin that is a popular 4-wheeling and dirt biking spot. All you see in the area is 30-ffot travel trailers with satellite TV dishes strewn about while riders "commune" with nature.It is downright disturbing and depressing when you're one of the few people you know whose idea of camping is laying a sleeping bag down under a pinyon and cooking backstraps over an open fire.Unfortunately, our public lands have long been privatized, just more so recently. We have oil and gas companies controlling hundereds of thousands of acre of land, land which either is closed to hunting or devoid of all wildlife. Hell, most of the west is leased for oil and gas. My recommendation is if you want to sleep under the stars in the Rockies, better come quick.I agree with "johnl" on another point, it is time for some new elected officials, pronto.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from paul Wilke wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Jack;You have my sympathy, I went from a small tent in the boondocks to a large tent in the boondocks.Then (2cd wife) to a large tent in a campsite, with electricity, water, shower and toilet and with a door mat and electric fan at the tent. Meals at nearby restaurants.Now "we" are looking at a small Airstream.I'm beginning to implement "guys only" hunting and fishing trips, wife to visit mom or sister.Hope that works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jack wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I have camped since Boy Scout days. I dated (and married) a woman who enjoys camping as well. Of course, when we married, I agreed to forgo primitive camping and upgrade to public sites that had at least cold water and a privy with a roof and a door.Alas, every year or so she managed to incrementally "improve" our camping experience. Next thing you know we are going to private sites with electricity, hot water, showers and an "outpost" (aka tourist trap used by camp operators to hoover currency from your wallet)I slept in a camper for the first time 2 years ago (after nearly 40 years of open bags or tents.)I did not like it. I suggested our next trip be to one of the old places in a real forest, not a camper community - "You know, the way we used to camp." She made a face. I have the feeling it's going to be a solo trip.I don't begrudge others their camping preferences. To each his own. As for me, I choose bathing in a stream, cooking over a wood fire, and sleeping under the stars.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Grimes, Troy NC wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

This is because the majority of fathers (and I am not talking about the people in this blog) do not teach their children the "old ways" anymore. I can see this happening. Damn Skippy, I can see it. 10 year olds that do not know how to build a fire, or clean a fish.My kids thank me often for the skills that I have passed along to them.Now this - Rich boys camp for the girly men!Greatttttttttttttttttttttt.Richard G.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnl wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Does anyone else see any connection with this topic and last week's discussions about "high fence" hunting, and/or private property rights?Will the "glampers" allow us unwashed masses to share, or could we insist upon it?Can I cook my free-range dogs over their butler-tended campfires (since the oxygen needed for the fire belongs to us all), and heaven-forbid, what if I go to wash in the crick (governed by state riparian rights laws and contracts) while they are enjoying the world class scenery?Seriously though, if/when privatization of "public" lands begins, then we'll need a new dictionary definition of oxymoron.And some new elected officials.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jstreet wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Is this the future of camping in America?I doubt it. I'd say it's more like bored, wealthy people wanting someone to kiss their fannies and they are willing to pay big money for it.They'll get bored soon enough and go find some other service sector of the economy to lift their noses @ while spending their money.It does remind me of when I was a kid and worked in a restaurant. When "Biff and Buffy" came in and started expecting their fannies kissed, without fail someone on the staff would spit in their food and serve it with a smile.While (with reflection) it was rude, tasteless and unnecessary, the staff found it be quite hilarious at the time.Jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Missy Moose wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Um, I would totally love to go on one of these. It sounds like a blast... reminiscent of the whole "British Raj" thing. Me with my anti-malarial gin & tonic. ;)Like anything else excessive, a steady diet would not be healthy, but as a fun change of pace? I'm all over it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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