Glamping Man-cation: Guys Do it Differently

Ask a woman to go on a camping trip and her most likely response will be, “will I have to sleep on the ground?” Ask a guy the same question, and he will say, “when do we go?” The idea of glamping is more about the accommodation for women, and more about the activity for men. Tell her she’s going glamping, and she’ll be excited about deluxe accommodations and spa treatments in the splendor of the great outdoors. Tell him he’s glamping and, well, he might not want to call it glamping (but he’ll still want to go).

The mention of a “glamping mancation” to a red-blooded American male may make him wince. It isn’t that guys are against hanging out with friends on a camping trip and having a few extra creature comforts- that sounds like a great idea. Chances are the kinds of comforts that spring to mind are flat screen TVs, a mini fridge loaded with beer, and a king-sized grill or maybe a smoker for some barbecue. The real trouble comes from the word “glamping,” a combination of the words glamor and camping. No dude wants glamor associated with his camping.

If you peruse, here’s a description you will find on a typical listing:

Great for: Families, Couples, Honeymooners, Corporate Groups

Notice it doesn’t say, “guys on a fishing trip”? So with that in mind, here are some things that could drive a successful glamping mancation:

paws up resort exterior
• Guys won’t be as concerned with the accommodations like fussing over thread counts and turn down service. Guys will usually focus on the activity, as in what is offered at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, which includes fishing, sporting clays, and snowmobiling.

• Take the activity up a notch by offering something out of the ordinary, like bungee jumping or airboat rides at Westgate River Ranch in Florida, or a sports car/off road experience like the Driven Experience at Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado.

living airstream interior
• Speaking of driving, another way to get a guy to go on a glamping mancation is to say, “road trip!” The guys will love hitting the road with an airstream rental, like those offered by Living Airstream (Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Scottsdale, AZ).

Guys can do most things like fishing and canoeing on a regular camping trip. But what makes a camping trip a “glamping mancation” is enjoying great outdoor activities and having someone else prepare camp at the end of the day. Coming back after a long day of fishing to a place where the wood is chopped, the fire is made, the beer is on ice and the steak is already on the grill- now that ‘s luxury a man can appreciate, so he can attend to more important things like bragging about the day’s catch.

It’s an old cliché that guys don’t like to talk about their problems with each other, and likewise they don’t like to jabber about “glamping.” But that doesn’t mean they don’t like it. After a long day fishing, hunting, or bungee jumping with his pals, a guy can’t say no to chowing down on some great man food, then kicking back with an ice cold beer by the fire (and maybe sleeping on thousand thread count sheets. Just once. Shhhh!!)

Sleeping in the Trees at Glacier Under Canvas

“Mom, can I sleep in the treehouse tonight?”

Remember building a treehouse in the backyard with your dad? Did you dream of spending the night up in the tree watching stars twinkle through the leafy canopy? Whether your parent’s said yes or no to that request, the dream can come true again at Glacier Under Canvas.

Located in West Glacier, Montana, about an eight-minute car ride from spectacular Glacier National Park, Glacier Under Canvas offers an assortment of glamping choices, including treehouse accommodations. It’s an especially good choice for those flying into the area who would like to experience camping but can’t bring outdoor gear with them on the plane.

But this treehouse is not like the one in the backyard of the family home. It’s more like a luxurious tent in the trees with lots of comfy touches. You did grow up with housekeeping service, right?

under canvas

A wide, wooden staircase provides easy (and safe) access into the trees where a wooden platform with canvas walls and roof is home to your Glacier National Park adventures. From the king size bed, you’ll watch those stars playing peak-a-boo through the leafy canopy. And, when nature calls, there’s no walking down a perilous ladder in the dark of the night, because a toilet is located behind a canvas door flap in the treehouse.

Is spending the night in a treehouse dark and cold? That might have been the case in your childhood backyard but at Glacier Under Canvas, the treehouse has a woodstove for warmth and lanterns for light. And rather than the “no girl’s allowed” sign, your motto is “no bears allowed,” so leave the food in the car.


Wake up to the smell of coffee brewing in the concierge tent, there’s tea as well. After a shower in one of the bathhouse’s private bathrooms—hot running water, flushing toilets and spa products included—you’ll be saying, “Now this is camping as it should be.”

Although meal service isn’t available at Glacier Under Canvas, a hot breakfast is just a couple of miles away. But before leaving camp, don’t forget to pick up the devices that the concierge staff charged up for you overnight.


After breakfast, get ready for the day of adventure that the concierge team arranged just for you. Perhaps you’ll spend the morning hiking one of 700 trails in Glacier National Park or driving Going to the Sun Road up to Logan Pass and beyond. Or maybe you’d rather go horseback riding or whitewater rafting. And then there’s biking and even golf.

When the day ends, share adventures around the communal firepit with guests from around the world. After saying goodnight, return to the treehouse along solar-lit paths. Once you’re under the covers, claim a personal view of the Milky Way before slipping into a restful sleep that only an active day in the outdoors provides.

And this time, you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to sleep in the trees.


If you go:

Glacier Under Canvas is open from June 19 to September 25

Bedding can be provided for 2 extra people at an additional cost

Pets are allowed at $25 per pet


3rd Day at the Ranch at Rock Creek

When I woke up on Wednesday at the Ranch at Rock Creek, it was clear that old man winter wanted to make an appearance– not really a surprise in March– and there was light snow. We once again skipped the full breakfast because we didn’t want to overindulge before heading out to our trail ride. Instead we took advantage of the coffee service and muffins served in the bar at the Granite Lodge. Then I decided to try out the claw foot bath tub and found there was ample hot water to fill it. I very much enjoyed finishing my coffee while soaking in the tub.

We headed out to the stables where cowboy Joe, a former rodeo rider and Emily the cowgirl got us on our horses and made sure we were properly attired and got us situated on our horses. We were in capable hands with Joe and Emily. Zan hadn’t ridden a horse in years and Joe and Emily made sure she was comfortable and in command. Zan’s previous riding experience was English but she was riding western style in no time. Emily told us that my horse, Yukon, and Kemosabe, the horse Zan would be riding, were best friends which made us giggle.

Granite Lodge & Last morning breakfast photos-4V1C9959

Since it was just the three of us, once Joe and Emily got us situated, we got to ride and trot a bit as we rode along Rock Creek and up towards Trapper Cabin. I’ve never gone horseback riding during the winter and it was far more pleasant than I imagined. The dusting of snow wasn’t daunting to a group of horses who just spent the winter in Montana. Joe pointed out that the horses still had their shaggy winter coats and mentioned they’ll be more attractive in a few months after they’ve shed their winter coats.

I always enjoy cowboys and find they have some interesting stories. Cowboy Joe was no exception. He had some fun stories about life on the rodeo circuit and his sons. One of his sons is now a rodeo coach, and his youngest two are named Rodee Owen and Bronc Rider. Talk about committed to the cause! We had a great time on the 90 minute ride and the overall experience was very pleasant. The weather turned out to be was more atmospheric than annoying, and we had dressed in layers so it wasn’t really an issue.

Granite Lodge & Last morning breakfast photos-4V1C9995

Lunch back at the dining room and I was a creature of habit and ordered the Pintler Range Steak Salad with organic red kale. The chef had told us that Kale is something that grows well in Montana he was enjoying seeing the leafy green being embraced by the masses, it since it had once been primarily used as a garnish. I really enjoyed the sweet potatoes on the salad. They were lightly cooked and added a nice touch of earthiness to the dish.

After lunch we cleaned up and got ready for our afternoon’s adventure – a trip into downtown Philipsburg. John, our driver, picked us up at Cattail Cabin to drive us into downtown P-burg. The sun had come out a bit and it was starting to feel more like spring again.

Philipsburg & Ranch at Rock Creek Photos-4V1C0015

Philipsburg, Montana is an old mining town has a population of around 820. There is one stoplight in town. But there is also an incredible candy store, The Sweet Palace, which is located in a former hardware store. I was absolutely blown away by the selection of homemade fudge and artisanal chocolate goodness! After sampling a few different varieties, we decided on a brick of Salty Dog– hand made peanut butter fudge with caramel and peanuts. We also brought quite the assortment of candy. Seriously yum.

Philipsburg & Ranch at Rock Creek Photos-4V1C0051

Next we headed to The Philipsburg Brewing Company a few doors down. Located in an historic building that used to be a bank in a former life, the craft brewery opened in 2012 and has friendly staff and dogs are welcome. We got to sample several styles of beers which were kept nicely chilled because of the refrigerated cold copper rail that runs down the top of the bar. The locals were nice to chat with and the whole atmosphere was relaxed and inviting. John, our driver, thought we should also check out the White Front Bar across the street. The White Front Bar has a long history and an an epic jukebox (selections range from Roy Orbison to Naughty by Nature). One wall is covered with photographs of the locals. Gwen, who works behind the bar, let us pose with the bar’s jackalope. It was great visiting this local hole in the wall.Philipsburg & Ranch at Rock Creek Photos-4V1C0086

After a round of beer John drove us back to the ranch and we stopped a few times to enjoy the Montana scenery. We snacked on goodies from the Sweet Palace on the ride back and were in full-on sugar shock by the time we arrived back at Cattail Cabin. We were so full, we decided not to have a full-on dinner, but the staff brought us a tray to the cabin. After all the sweets the salad was welcome. It was made with organic red leaf lettuce, chevre, Marcona almonds and a muddled strawberry vinaigrette. For the main course there was a choice of Pacific Steelhead salmon or Muscovy Duck Breast. I went for the duck and really enjoyed the fiddlehead ferns and Hedgehog mushrooms served with it. As much as I wanted to resist desert, the homemade apple crisp served with nutmeg ice cream was spot on delightful, served in a personal sized skillet.

We went to bed happy and extremely full.