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?