Glamping, camping, trekking, sleeping under the stars—you name it, I’ve done it. Raised on the Canada’s West Coast, learning the art of outdoor living was instilled at a young age. There’s only one problem: I despise getting dirt under my fingernails. You’d think this would be a wilderness deal breaker, but thanks to glamping, I can still savor nature without the grit and grime.
Curious if you’re a glamour-camping candidate? Here are a few insights:
1 – Determine your luxury level
Just like hotels, glamping accommodations range from budget to luxe. Having sampled many categories of comfort in the Great Outdoors, I’m a fan of the most glitzy—think: On-demand wine at Wilson Island or elephant trekking at the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle—but there’s a time and a place for a simple campsite yurt. Sure, five-star glamping has perks such as gourmet fare, in-tent showers and feather-down beds, but don’t dismiss the most basic level: You + a heated yurt + your own gourmet cooking in the countryside.
2 – Pack for the outdoors
Glamping newbies often view the experience through a posh versus practical lens. Word to the wise: Nature is nature, whether you’re in an enclosed safari tent with a view over the Masai Mara, or in a dome deep in the woods. Leave the stilettos in the city, even if your tented accommodations are A-list, you’re still outside and need to pack warm and sensible wear for the wilderness.
3 – Essentials = happiness
There are a few items I bring regardless of the coordinates or the topography of my glamp-site. Sunscreen, bug spray, a rain jacket and a hat top the list. My other tried-and-true glamping gem: Wipes (they aren’t just for tots)! Whether you want to disinfect your hands, clean a surface, remove your makeup or administer an impromptu ‘nature shower’ (when there’s no water source in sight), wipes are the glamping clean-all. Don’t leave home without them.
4 – Come prepared
One of my first forays into basic glamping was at a state-run campsite in Oregon. My waterproof canvas yurt had a tiny heater and three mattresses. A bathroom with coin-operated showers was 20 steps away. Here, guests are expected to bring their own, well, everything – including sheets, shampoo and a barbecue. One night, a rainstorm broke out. No problem; I had a sturdy roof over my head. What I didn’t account for was the noise of the wind, rain and branches creating a surround sound pounding-effect. Now, I don’t leave home without ear plugs.
5 – Unplug
Because glamping pairs some of the conveniences of home with the hinterland, there’s a tendency to treat the experience like you’re at a hotel with WiFi access. Resist and connect to a different power source.