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October 20th, 2018

Clamping Down On Glamping

Have you heard of glamping? Apparently it means glam camping, which in turns means glamorous camping, which in turn means camping in luxury and style.

This continued shortening of words and terms is the topic of a whole other blog. I'll just say here that by the beginning of the next decade someone will have shortened "glamping" to "gl":

"Hy, cm gl w/us, s cl!"

(Translation: "I'm too lazy to type vowels".)

As I understand it, glamping is bringing modern luxury to the back-to-nature movement, and yes, it's just as ridiculous as it sounds. Unless you're doing it--then it's cool. Haul a tent in a backpack? I don't think so. No, you drive your SUV up to a yurt equipped with not only electricity, but a hot tub that will be filled on request by your butler.

Oh, a yurt is kind of a round, semi-permanent tent. And boy, am I shortening that explanation.

Or, rather than heading for a cabin or cottage, you could bring your glampiness with you. For this you'll need an RV of some kind, something about the size of, say, your actual home. Unless your home is a bit too small. You can camp in a trailer that would be too big for the typical mobile home park, or one with an engine that you drive around the same way a helmsman pilots an aircraft carrier. That way you have room for the hot tub, not to mention the big screen TV and the generator necessary to power both. And don't forget your satellite dish! You'll need your recliner, duh.

My first camping experience? A blanket draped over the clothesline out back. The grass was kind of itchy, but soft enough for a ten year old.

 

A fire, a pan ... keep it simple.

 

 

I'm thinking that a balance between the two might be more reasonable.

I mean, if you're taking your whole house with you on vacation, why not stay home? No matter what you see on the commercials, you're not going to open your front door and stand there looking out over the Grand Canyon with a coffee cup in your hand. You're going to be in a campground with a bunch of other camping vehicles. You'll have to unhook that little SUV you're towing to get to the canyon anyway, so why not save gas and just drive the SUV?

Hey, you can watch the big game on the big screen from your hot tub at home. Well, I can't, but I could watch Doctor Who on my medium screen from my couch.

When my wife and I first went camping it was with a two man tent and a couple of sleeping bags, which is still pretty close to the other end of the spectrum from glamping. I've discovered two things since:

First, my back had become too old to sleep on bare ground.

Second, a two man tent is fine for two, but doesn't work for two plus an eighty-five pound dog. 

"You want me to sleep in THAT?"

 

But camping shouldn't include everything, including the kitchen sink. My wife was a long-time Girl Scout, and would be embarrassed to go camping with anything resembling a kitchen sink. On the other hand, I had no desire to go all survivalist, wandering into the wilderness with nothing but a survival knife and an extra pair of socks. (Although the socks are nice.)

Our compromise:

An eight man tent, assuming the eight men are average sized and kind of jammed in side by side, like a line of sardines. In our case that leaves room for a double sized inflatable mattress, a small folding table, and a folding chair (I need the chair to get around in the morning--see above about my old back.) ... with floor space left over for the dog. A little extra floor space, because every hour or so he likes to get up, do a quick patrol, then lay back down in a different spot. That's fine at home, but in a tent it's about a three foot patrol.

 

"Who's watching the back door? Where IS the back door?"

 

For two people who grew up poor, and whose idea of luxurious camping was having a floor on the tent, that's pretty luxurious. Especially since we added two extras:

One, a car-top carrier. It turns out a lot of our camping gear used to go in the back seat, which is now fully occupied by dog.

"No, I'm not sharing this with two folding chairs and a cooler."

 

Two, a fifty foot electric cord and a power strip. Yes, at my insistence we gave in on the luxury of electricity, at least when we can get a campsite with power. No, no hot tubs, but we power two phones, a camera, a Kindle (bedtime reading), and my laptop.

Yes, my laptop, leave me alone. I get some of my best writing done on a picnic table by the fire. That's the life.

 And that's the closest I get to glamping.

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