5 Issues To Know Earlier than Glamping, if You are a Non-Camper


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Blame my hometown of a beachy south Florida suburb, my summer-camp-less upbringing, or my anxiety-riddled choice for being in command of my environment, however I’m decidedly not a “tenting kind.” Actually, I’ve by no means really been tenting; I merely get pleasure from scorching showers and scorching meals and don’t benefit from the concept of sharing house with critters. However, glamping, however, has at all times intrigued me with its promise of delivering the virtues of tenting alongside the creature comforts of a lodge. So once I had the possibility to provide it a strive at Below Canvas’s latest and tenth location, close to Bryce Canyon, in Utah, I used to be excited to be taught whether or not I could be a cheerful glamper (if not a cheerful camper).

In line with the model’s now well-established glamping model, the setup of the brand new Below Canvas Bryce Canyon consists of 47 safari-style lodging tents on elevated decks scattered throughout 750 acres of secluded mountain plains. The camp-glam tents are Instagram-worthy, with West Elm furnishings, like leather-based butterfly chairs and a mattress so plush and well-blanketed, it could possibly be in a five-star lodge.

The facilities had been clearly proper on par with my psychological picture of a glamping locale. However I noticed quickly after arriving with my boyfriend that, whereas our tent was fantastically ready for us, it was us who weren’t essentially prepared for it, being that he’s equally as camping-illiterate as I’m, and we’d achieved roughly zero analysis on glamping forward of our keep. Whereas tenting regulars could be shaking their heads, questioning what we’d have wanted to know earlier than glamping, the reality is, glamping nonetheless has tenting as its DNA. And although the properties labeled as glamping range extensively (extra on this beneath), a keep at lots of them will nonetheless profit from preparation, notably for folk who haven’t ever camped.

What really distinguishes glamping from tenting?

At its core, glamping differentiates itself from tenting by the truth that it doesn’t require you to supply or arrange a spot to sleep at evening. However the “glam” within the title tends to create plenty of misconceptions about what else glamping actually entails. “The portmanteau of glamour and tenting is what journeys folks up from the get-go,” says Mike Howard, co-author of the glamping guide, Comfortably Wild, and co-founder of journey web site HoneyTrek.com, alongside along with his spouse, Anne Howard. “‘Glamour’ could make folks assume it’s for the Beverly Hills set, when actually glamping is about making tenting extra fascinating and approachable for individuals who wouldn’t usually take an out of doors trip.”

“‘Glamour’ could make folks assume [glamping] is for the Beverly Hills set, when actually glamping is about making tenting extra fascinating and approachable.” —Mike Howard, co-founder of HoneyTrek.com

The proportion of “glam” to “camp” of any glamping web site is determined by the character of the property. “Glamping has at all times rewarded the distinctive, and subsequently, there are plenty of one-of-a-kind glamping operations on the market,” says Ruben Martinez, founding father of the American Glamping Affiliation. “Sure, there are the extremely high-end camps that you could solely go to by helicopter and which have a personal chef, which will likely be at a better worth level, however there are additionally numerous operations in distant locales with a handful of items which have a strong stage of consolation, that are accessible and inexpensive.”

That stated, all glamping locales usually embody three predominant components, in line with Martinez: distinctive standalone buildings (assume: tents, domes, yurts, treehouses, and even trailers), a sure stage of consolation, and, sure, shut proximity to mom nature. Whereas that component of consolation can flip a glamping unit into practically the equal of a lodge room on the most luxurious of properties, or would possibly contain further on-site facilities—just like the full-service restaurant within the foyer tent in any respect Below Canvas places—it’s usually not so excessive that you just overlook you’re actually there to commune with nature.

Certainly, “glamping has, through the years, confirmed to be the gateway to the outside,” says Martinez. And the accessible nature actions close to or on a glamping web site are as important to the definition of glamping because the tents or domes themselves. “Regardless of the misunderstanding that glamping takes you away from nature, it really will get you nearer to nature by supplying you with extra time to expertise the outside and have enjoyable,” says Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “Simply consider all of the miles you might hike, fish you might catch, meals you might make, and conversations you might have for those who didn’t must gear up, arrange, or clear up [as you would while camping].”

In that means, glamping is experience-based journey at its coronary heart, says Martinez: “Persons are not glamping to sit down all day of their safari tent or dome.” In flip, the make-up of a glamping construction is usually designed to be comfy sufficient so that you can get pleasure from nature-based experiences in full, however not so amenities-driven that it negates the fact of your environment. “These properties are sometimes in distant areas and are constructed to embrace the wilderness,” says Anne Howard, “so 24/7 electrical energy, air con or warmth, on-site meals, en-suite loos, and Wi-Fi usually are not givens.”

“In some ways, going again to the fundamentals is the enjoyment of glamping—however you’ll get pleasure from it extra when you find yourself ready for what’s coming.” —Howard

To not point out, the fantastic thing about most glamping places—the views, the silence, the pure options—additionally comes together with different components of the nice outdoor, like animals, bugs, and poor or restricted cell service, says Martinez. And largely, that’s the purpose: “In some ways, going again to the fundamentals is the enjoyment of glamping—however you’ll get pleasure from it extra when you find yourself ready for what’s coming,” says Mike Howard.

5 issues I’d’ve preferred to know earlier than I went glamping, as somebody who has by no means camped

Over the previous few years amid the pandemic, the rise in curiosity in socially distant journeys, coupled with the relative ease of glamping over tenting has allowed glamping to actually take off, notably amongst people who had by no means glamped or camped previously. “Our annual 2022 North American Tenting Report confirmed that 9.1 million households tried tenting for the primary time final yr, and of these first-time campers, 50 % skilled some kind of glamping, whether or not in cabins, treehouses, safari tents, yurts, airstream trailers, or lined wagons,” says O’Rourke.

As a newly minted member of this rising subset, I discovered myself shocked by a couple of core components of glamping that I merely hadn’t thought of previous to arriving at Below Canvas Bryce Canyon. Under, discover the important thing issues that I’d’ve preferred to know forward of diving into glamping, as a non-camper.

1. You must plan your daytime itinerary prematurely

Below Canvas Bryce Canyon is provided with lots of the facilities that place it firmly on the luxurious facet of glamping, together with not solely the cozy-chic tent decor, but additionally the collection of scorching breakfast and dinner gadgets cooked on-site (together with an un-skippable bison burger), the bottomless s’mores every night, and the smattering of free nighttime actions, like guided stargazing and kid-friendly arts and crafts.

Nevertheless it’s clear whenever you’re there that the purpose isn’t to spend an excessive amount of time at camp in the course of the day. The camp’s signature, like all Below Canvas places, is its proximity to a nationwide park—on this case, the otherworldly hoodoo-filled Bryce Canyon, which is nearly a 15-minute drive away.

Leaving camp and doing one thing outdoor is a key a part of glamping, which took my companion and me a second to acknowledge.

Although most campers would know, intuitively, that leaving camp and doing one thing outdoor is a key a part of glamping, this took my companion and me a second to acknowledge. And since we hadn’t processed this actuality prematurely, we had no concept what sorts of actions, climbing or in any other case, we needed to do at Bryce Canyon whereas we had been there (face-palm). Against this, planning prematurely will help you profit from your time in nature.

Although we had been fortunate that Below Canvas Bryce Canyon has a collection of board video games and playing cards within the foyer tent, in addition to cornhole and garden video games outdoors, it’s additionally value packing these sorts of issues for those who’re glamping someplace with fewer facilities, says O’Rourke.

2. The elevation might have an enormous impact on the temperature…

As we weaved by way of and round mountains on our method to the camp, we might sense the temperature dropping to a level we hadn’t anticipated, largely as a result of we assumed that the desert locale we had been visiting can be scorching in August. What we hadn’t realized was that the excessive elevation of Bryce Canyon chills the air in the course of the day and much more considerably at evening. Which is all to say, the elevation of the place you may be visiting is a crucial factor to know earlier than glamping, so you’ll be able to pack layers accordingly.

3. …And you might not have nice management over the temperature in your glamping construction

Maybe the most important commonality throughout all types of glamping buildings is that they permit for max immersion in nature. In fact, that’s the purpose, nevertheless it additionally means they usually aren’t probably the most well-insulated from the temperature outdoors, and so they could not have air-conditioning or warmth. Within the case of Below Canvas Bryce Canyon, that actuality was a part of the country tenting allure: As a substitute of having the ability to simply click on on the warmth at evening, we needed to gentle a wood-burning range.

I’ll spare you the main points on how we struggled with this fundamental process, as I don’t suspect anybody who’s ever lit a hearth earlier than would have practically as a lot bother getting it going as we did. Even so, the warmth of a hearth—whether or not roaring or flickering—nonetheless does not enable you a lot management over the temperature in an area. (Equally, there’s an opportunity you’ll find yourself with a chilly bathe, as showers in cabins and tents could depend on propane tanks for warmth, which, in our expertise, don’t at all times warmth issues up so successfully.) And that’s a useful factor to know whilst you’re packing (enable me to emphasise the significance of layers as soon as extra).

4. The cloud cowl might influence your expertise

Whereas rain can put a damper on any type of journey, it’s notably problematic for glamping on condition that, like tenting, you’re principally outdoors. Because of this, it’s doubly essential to test the climate for rain and to know common rain tendencies for the place you’re visiting on the time whenever you’re going. (Working example: We had no concept that August is monsoon season within the Utah desert, and unsurprisingly, we had been duly unprepared.) “To maintain heat and dry, be sure you carry alongside rain boots, parkas, umbrellas, and loads of further socks,” says O’Rourke.

As a result of many glamping locales are situated a good way from cities, a part of their distant attraction is within the potential for unbelievable stargazing—and the Below Canvas location in Bryce Canyon is not any exception. Our tent was one of many property’s particular “Stargazer” tents with a transparent dome-like window over the mattress, permitting the radiance of the celebrities above to function a pure nightlight. However due to ample cloud cowl (once more, wet season), our visibility was in the end restricted. Because of this, it might be useful to know the common cloud cowl of a glamping locale throughout completely different seasons and plan your journey accordingly, notably if stargazing is excessive in your listing.

5. You probably gained’t have a closet or house to retailer valuables or meals (past your automobile)

One final thing to know earlier than glamping? Pack as evenly as you’ll be able to, whereas nonetheless tossing in these important layers. Tents, yurts, domes, and treehouses could not have precise doorways with locks, nor will they probably have house to hold issues up or lockable safes to safe any valuables.

Relying on the accessible meals choices on the place the place you’re glamping, you might not must carry a lot of any meals or drinks in any respect. However for those who do, you might be requested to maintain them in your automobile, somewhat than carry them to your glamping quarters, as we had been at Below Canvas, as a result of danger of their attracting some unwelcome critters.

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