Why people suck, reason #337

Listening to: “Kalamazoo” – Ben Folds

Let’s just call a spade a spade here, huh? Or in this case, let’s not call it a spade if it’s not a spade. So here’s your lesson for the day: NOT CAMPING does not equal CAMPING.

According to the ever-incisive, journalistically daring, in-no-way-lame Boston Globe’s latest trend-wank piece, the glamping craze is sweeping the country like a plague of boils. Yes, glamping–“glamorous camping.” The latest insipid portmanteau to worm its way into the lexicon, possibly even worse than such botulism-inducing “words” as staycation, infotainment, and Newgrass.

The idea of glamping is that you go camping and experience the great outdoors, except without actually camping or experiencing the great outdoors. Not uncommon are “camping butlers,” WiFi stations, and s’more delivery services. Cause you know, s’mores are incredibly difficult to make oneself:

“Lori Karger of Weston may be the ultimate luxury camper. In April she and her husband, Stewart, spent a night in a two-story air-conditioned, beautifully appointed treehouse at the year-old Winvian resort in Litchfield Hills, Conn. Winvian sits on a private 113-acre estate with a a Frenchtrained chef and 18 themed cottages designed by different architects. Several of the cottages evoke the fantasy of being on a wilderness camping trip.

These include a $1,700-per-night “camping cottage” with trees painted on the walls and a ceiling painted like a night sky, and the $1,950-per-night “charter oak cottage,” with an actual charter oak poking up in the living room. All cottages, including the treehouse, have fireplaces, jacuzzi bathtubs, Italian linens, espresso coffee systems, radiant floor heating, and pop-up plasma TVs.”

THAT’S NOT CAMPING, you flaming, flaming bags of douche. That’s a fucking luxury hotel room with a fucking tree in it.

4 thoughts on “Why people suck, reason #337

  1. I completely understand where you are coming from. However, with the declining numbers of the public venturing outdoors there is a need for business to take on the responsibility of stewardship for the wilderness around them. Government no longer has the funds or the public support required to maintain park land. We have witnessed this all over Canada and the US, but for us especially in Strathcona Park.

    What do we specifically do to help the wilderness? Currently we are involved in restoring 6km of salmon bearing river that was decimated by logging and mining activities. We call this the Environmental Legacy program- and we couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for ‘glamping’. We require the higher level of revenue per guest in order to provide for the wilderness around us.

    As for the product at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, if there wasn’t a market for us- we would be out of business. Our market is about the same as it was 100 years ago when the Rockerfellers developed the great camps. British campaigns traveled the world and developed furniture specifically to retain a level of comfort and luxury they were used to. There is little difference today compared to those days 100 years ago- and the relative price is about as high then as it is now- only more porters were required in those times, some numbering 25 porters per person.

    What you should know: Parks are only maintained given rates of usage, the less and less those areas are used the more likely they will be turned into areas of resource extraction. In the last decade there has been a substantial reduction in the numbers of travelers venturing into the wilderness- be it to camp, or hike, or kayak, or horseback ride, or fish. This is a problem in North America. In order to retain the wilderness for the use of our grandchildren we must take it upon ourselves to ensure nothing happens to it- which may require convincing others to partake in the beauty of the wilderness around them. You see its not that glamping is about paving over the forest- it’s about retaining it for everyone, even those that choose to camp.

    Myself, as a person who enjoys the outdoors -I’d suggest a view of the website for the wilderness tourism association of BC (wilderness-tourism.bc.ca) and the good work they are doing protecting these areas the public are now forgetting about. The WTA has been a model for associations across Canada- standing up against the government against topics as important as ‘salmon farming and replacing resource extraction with tourism.

    We value the future of the wilderness and wildlife around us- we don’t just talk about it. We live it, we breath it, and yes (as you cringe) we glamp in it.

  2. Hi Ron,

    With all due respect to your business, there are plenty of people who, while they can afford your services, find the product you offer to be completely unnecessary.

    Most of the people who have summited the planet’s highest peaks have been wealthy gentlemen and women with cash to burn, just like your clients. However, these people chose to spend it on something that would teach them something about themselves and give them a sense of accomplishment — something you can’t find in a luxury hotel room. They became heroes — something you can’t become by getting a pedicure. They saw things that only a select few humans have been able to see and then survive seeing — and that’s something you can’t say about a trip to a “glamping” resort, where all you need are the resources to write a check.

    Again, with all due respect for the services you provide for those seeking relaxation, “real camping” is for those who are seeking more than that. If you believe that unmediated natural beauty, solitude and simplicity are inconveniences that should be avoided, I feel very sorry for you. You are missing something precious.

    Generally, I say, to each his own. However, when many people believe what you believe – that nature is scary and uncomfortable and must be tamed – the result is that another forest or coastal stretch or summit is paved over and a swimming pool and a badminton court goes on top, and that solitude and beauty is lost to the rest of us. And that’s simply unfair.

    This is why people like us campers feel such moral outrage at people who “glamp” — because while we don’t wish to force anyone to camp who’d rather be indoors, it’s clear that there’s plenty of indoors to go around for everyone, and every day there is less and less of the alternative for us.

  3. I am by no means a person of means, but even if I was, I don’t think I’d be hopping on the glamping wagon.

    For me, a big part of going to the wilderness is roughing it–sleeping on the ground, being cold, eating from a can–all that. It’s about leaving civilization behind, striking out sans guides, and ditching the creature comforts. I don’t see these things as negatives–they’re all a part of it, and make it all the more rewarding. I feel like all this carefully packaged and manicured nature, kept at arm’s length, makes it not nature anymore.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like creature comforts as much as the next gal–but if I was out for that kind of vacay, I’d go to a city. If I want to go to the woods, I want all the roughing-itness there entailed.

  4. Glamping is the new craze, and I am definitely part of it. I have to agree- camping is not glamping, and it isn’t intended to be. Glamping was created for those that would like to get out of the city and try a new experiencein a remote location, without all of the negatives associated with camping. For these travelers, why would they want to bother with – sleeping on the ground? Being cold at night? Eating dinner from a can? And, if they could have luxury spa treatments, and fully guided activities- why not? These are amenities I have grown to accept as ‘bare minimum’.
    I live at a glamping destination- Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, and publish the blog http://www.wildretreatblog.com. Have a look, it is the best representation of what ‘glamping’ is all about- and I, who would rarely camp, believe glamping is something most people would do- if they could afford it. If you normally stay in luxury hotels, travel to 5 star destinations around the world, and expect only the best the world has to offer- you will probably never consider camping, but you may go glamping.

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