So you just omit the ‘c’ from camping, insert a ‘gl’ in its place, erect some tepees (posh tents) and yurts (posh sheds) and other obscure vessels that people think are cute to sleep in (eg an old bus) chuck them in that spare field I haven’t got, bung a few composting toilets in the corner, provide fire pits and twinkly lights and bobs your uncle you can charge a small fortune for the privilege. This is 5 star camping, but is it missing the point? When the home comforts are gone it’s all about a daily battle of survival and posh camping misses the point.
Or does it? Actually I can totally see the appeal, these yurts look amazing inside with the log burner in the corner to keep you toasty and actually push come to shove I would rather sleep ensconced in Egyptian bedlinen on a proper bed than on a thin layer of foam wrapped like a caterpillar in a polyester sleeping bag. A lot of parents have embraced the whole glamping thing, posting pics on Instagram of Olivia and Sebastian paddling in streams by day and cremating marshmallows by night, my kids would love this too.
Aren’t we all great giving the kids this get “back to nature” experience? Sebastian discovered yesterday that if you sever a worms head from its body with a camping utensil the body still moves, and hipster daddy has been going all caveman like chopping wood for the fire pit. Yummy mummy hates the composting toilet, frankly she finds the whole thing disgusting, but she daren’t admit that the final straw was discovering that there isn’t even a socket in the yurt to plug her hair straighteners into but then you don’t need it because there is nowhere to wash other then the ‘woodland rain shower’ and she hasn’t been able to bring herself to use that yet, still she smiles through gritted teeth and nods enthusiastically when hipster daddy proudly struts back to the yurt lugging a wild boar that he’s just slaughtered in the woods. The vegans meditating outside their pod were not impressed. Most women needn’t worry though because they aren’t expected to cook when camping, this is a real fire, and just like the barbie in the backyard this is a man’s job. Do Dominos deliver to this neck of the woods?
But seriously what is it with this avalanche of posh camping sites? Wifi, log burning stoves and posh shops on site selling quinoa burgers. Answer? It’s trendy and it insulates the middle classes from the reality of true survival camping. Mr family blog gets very excited by wifi, now he can sit in our yurt and play star wars commander whilst he pretends to check his emails “this works for me!” he says… and I would tend to agree, it does take some of the raw edges off basic camping and it’s very pretty but it doesn’t change the fact that basically you are sleeping in a muddy field sharing communal toilets (although some yurts do boast ensuite facilities).
But campingis fun for kids. I totally see the appeal for them, they get tons of fresh air and freedom. For adults I’m not so sure… We all have to go to bed at the same time because it’s all about communal sleeping in the yurt/tent/pod/treehouse and if you try and stay up outside it’s blooming cold and the kids don’t sleep anyway “because it’s different” and they “can hear us”. Everybody is ravenous all of the time (because of all that fresh air) so lots of food needs to be prepared and minus my American fridge freezer and only a fire to cook on everything takes twice as long and is much harder work. But hey, I tell myself, this is so much fun!!
And if after reading this I have inspired you to give glamping a go, my final nugget of wisdom to impart would be to relax and let your standards slip for a bit whilst you are there. When I’m camping I soon get over any inhibitions I might have had previously about being spotted strolling around publicly in my pjs with my hair sticking up all over the place because hey, everyone does it so just embrace it man …
And first thing in the morning is rubbish. Everything is covered in dew so it’s damp everywhere and yet the kids are screaming for their breakfast but somehow I have to find and assemble everything whilst frantically rubbing down chairs and tables with a camping towel (wonderful inventions, who knew that a large microfibre cloth could ‘polish’ you dry?) these things are essential pieces of kit, along with numerous other bits that you will accumulate if you do it regularly, I will be covering my essential ‘don’t leave home without’ in another post, for now I just hope I have whet your appetite to get out there and experience the great outdoors,