I came across the word glamping the other day and thought it looked interesting, so, being the word nerd that I am, I did a bit of research. Wikipedia says that glamping is a combination of glamour and camping. Well… That’s an oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one! The only camping I’ve done didn’t have any amenities or glamour associated with it at all. Primitive tenting didn’t thrill me much, and even when we graduated to a camper, having to sleep on the kitchen table that doubled as a bed left a bit to be desired as well. My interest in camping was very short-lived. Lately, glamping seems to be growing in popularity, which shows that there are more than a few of us who aren’t that interested in really roughing it. We appreciate nature as much as anyone, but we just like to be comfy while enjoying the scenery!

If you love getting get close to nature, but not THAT close, if you enjoy sleeping under a starry sky, but not on the cold, hard ground, if you enjoy getting away from it all but you still want some of the comforts of home, then glamping might be perfect for you. And there are so many options when you start thinking outside the tent.

There are the round, portable canvas yurts, some with sun domes, wood floors, bunk beds, and ceiling fans inside, along with hammocks and fire rings and outhouses (Uh-oh…) outside. The beds have fine linens instead of musty sleeping bags, and some have sinks with cold running water. Yurts are designed to be eco-friendly and blend with nature, but it makes me wonder if canvas is a bear-proof material!

Glamping huts look like primitive human dwellings from ages ago. They are built with local materials like trees and plants, but inside are equipped like a five star hotel. NOW we’re talking! Or, you could rent a solitary dome home away from home and really immerse yourself in nature as you enjoy a wood fired hot tub along with a stunning panoramic view. Some of the dome homes have huge bay windows and observatory domes that are perfect for stargazing from the comfort of your bed. When we went camping, we were pulled up nose to nose with hundreds of others who were also trying to get away from it all. The only view we had was the hitch of our neighbor’s camper!

How about some of these unusual glamping ideas? Restored ancient caves (No, thanks. Too claustrophobic!), ice hotels, train cars, covered wagons, glass towers, tepees and Navajo Hogans, each with a touch of luxury, but many still having a ‘Path to the Bath’ so as not to leave much of a carbon footprint. I’m all for going green, but I have to draw the line here!

We once stayed in a restored Quaker grain elevator that resembled a huge silo. There were pictures in the lobby and down the halls of the guy that you see on the oatmeal box. Our round room was well equipped with all the necessities, and we really enjoyed reading about the history of the silo that was our home for the night.

Another popular option is glamping in treehouses. I guess the attraction could be that it takes us back to our childhood where we’d climb trees and get a bird’s eye view of our world. Some children were lucky enough to have an actual treehouse to hide out in, but all I had was a good imagination when I climbed a very short apple tree and sat among its branches pretending it was a tiny treehouse. I was sure nobody could see me as I sat munching on the small but very sweet apples that I could reach. I learned very quickly to watch out for the worm holes that meant the apple was occupied. Good times!

Glamping in treehouses is much more, well, glamorous. There are multi-level houses with decks all around, fully equipped yurts anchored in the boughs of a tree and even well-glamped canvas tents that have to be accessed by a swinging footbridge! The variety is endless, but they all have one thing in common: multiple steps or ladders to get there! I even saw some treehouses having spiral staircases! Just think how much fun it would be carrying all your supplies for the weekend up those steps! On a positive note, most of these fancy treehouse DO have toilets, although I wonder where it eventually goes when you flush!

Another glamping option is farm houses or barns. We once stayed in the hayloft of a very fine barn! It had a huge window that gave a wonderful view of the pasture with a beautiful pond, and a hammock strung between two ancient maple trees. I don’t know about you, but I find that getting into a hammock can be tricky, so I always approach with caution!

Downstairs where the animal stalls must have been, the entertainment included a pool table and a foosball game on the cement floor, along with a television and a shelf full of DVD’s, games and books. We had a breakfast of warm blueberry muffins and fruit the next morning, compliments of the innkeepers in the farmhouse. It was glamping at its best, but at the time we had never heard of the term!

I know there are hardy souls who still prefer hardcore primitive camping, but for the rest of us, adding a bit of glamour and some important creature comforts while enjoying Mother Nature sounds much more appealing! Happy glamping!

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