How old do you have to be hear new terms like glamping (glamorous camping) and automatically default to something that the “kids are doing”? 31 years old, at least. Because when my girlfriend first started talking to me about this new camping concept, I already wrote her off as being on the internet for far too long. But we packed our bags and headed to Under Canvas Grand Canyon (which just opened this year for it’s first full season). And I have to say, after visiting Under Canvas’ take on this new model, I was totally hooked.
As an avid traditional camper, my mind-set concerning camping was a one-way street. But, as all great and innovative things in life, it takes a little out-of-the-box thinking for improvement. Like me, when you hear someone describe glamping to you, you may automatically consider it a fusion of camping and a hotel stay. And, in one sense it is. But at its core, this is camping.
What makes glamping great is not that it’s a devolution of the hotel concept, but rather an evolution of camping. So, it’s not about what’s taken away but what’s added., You get running water (sink and shower), a flushing toilet, enough lamps to light up your tent and battery packs to charge your electronics. Plus there’s a wood-burning stove to keep you warm at night. And, just like hotel room service, your batteries (and towels) are replaced every day. You get a preset campsite and a safari style-tent located on acres upon acres of isolated land , a real bed and an unbeatable view. The views are great because all the tents are set to face either the sunset or sunrise. Under Canvas has been very intentional in making this a real camping experience.
The real beauty of glamping is that you get time saved from camp setup and gear unpacking/packing.This allows you to focus on why you’re camping in the first place: the hikes, family time and enjoying the outdoors. It also allows you to camp at destinations you might not otherwise be able to haul your gear to. So, if you have family members, children or a spouse that you’re wanting to transition into outdoor life, glamping provides that opportunity in the most unique way: there’s no learning curve. And the lobby tent of the campground has cool perks like game night, cooked meals, live music, and most importantly, s’mores!
Like I said, my experience with Under Canvas was one that solidified my glamping experience. Apart from what is, or should be, a proper glamp, their service to us campers was one that made me want to visit all of their “glampgrounds”. When I first arrived in my tent, there was a personalized card signed by all the staff welcoming and introducing me to their camp. On my last morning, there was coffee service brought directly to my door. I also have to apologize for my morning grumpiness, thanks for understanding and just leaving it on my porch table.
Whether you’re a regular camper or newbie, glamping is something you have to try at least once. There was honestly nothing added to this experience that made me feel like I wasn’t still out camping. I actually enjoyed my weekend more because I had time to appreciate what makes camping, camping. Let the glamp handle the logistics while you handle the adventure!
Mike Brown is a Sierra Designs’ Aspiring Artist. A Houston-native artist, photographer, and videographer, he’s been living the #vanlife traveling cross-country while capturing America’s iconic landscapes. Known as Nomad Pixels, his art embodies the strenuous self-journey he’s embarked – off the beaten path, non-traditional, with an adventure always at hand.