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'Glamping,' to be all the rage this summer

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'Glamping,' to be all the rage this summer

Postby ERIC » Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:13 pm

Gabrukiewicz: Glamor camping, 'glamping,' to be all the rage this summer

By Thom Gabrukiewicz // Redding.com
Sunday, March 23, 2008


The third day into a weeklong backpacking adventure, I awoke to the smell of fresh-squeezed orange juice and cinnamon-infused French toast, with real maple syrup. And bacon, sizzling crispy goodness.

My boots lay in the tent's vestibule, freshly brushed and sanitized.

I rang the little brass bell, on the little bit of polished pine, and asked my porter for tea; Earl Grey, hot. Milk and a slice of lemon.

I lay my head back onto the goose-down pillow, its luxurious softness made even more decedent by the 1,500-thread-count Egyptian cotton pillowcase. "I must be dreaming" I say to the wind whispering through the pines.

As it turns out, I am. Usually in the backcountry, I am awakened by the first light of the dawn with the overwhelming urge to relieve myself and the buzz-saw snoring of my compatriots as a soundtrack.

There's backpacking, there's camping and now there's glamping. As in glamour camping. A wilderness camp setting with deluxe comforts as steamy-hot showers, plush-top king beds, triple-sheeted linens and gourmet cuisine.

"The whole concept appeals to the Baby Boomers who still want an outdoor adventure, but clean sheets and a good meal and a fine class of cabernet at the end of the day," said Catherine Boire, spokeswoman for the Sequoia High Sierra Camp, a five-star camping experience within the Sequoia National Forest that will open for its third season June 13. "It has all the advantages, the amenities of a hotel, but it's in the backcountry."

There's 36 private tent cabins, each is about 330 square feet, a modern bathhouse and an on-site executive chef.

The camp is located at 8,200 feet in elevation and there's two options for people to get there: A 12-mile moderately strenuous hike on the Twin Lakes Trail in the Giant Sequoia National Monument or a 1-mile walk from a parking area.

"There's not the option to drive directly to the camp," Boire said. "Everybody starts out on a trail, whether it's a mile with a daypack with just your clothing on your back, or the 12-mile hike that's strenuous, but is just beautiful."

And while you're there, there's plenty of opportunity to mesh with nature. There's several multi-mile dayhikes, including a 3-miler to the top of Mitchell Peak and offers views of Kings River Canyon and the Monarch Divide; and there's fly fishing in creeks and lakes.

Glamping isn't cheap. The 2008 overnight rate for Sequoia High Sierra Camp is $250 a night per person. That includes all accommodations and three meals a day.

"But you know, we're running 40 percent higher the number of reservations than last year," Boire said. "I think people are looking for that outdoor experience, but don't want to venture all that far."

For more information, call (866) 654-2877 or visit http://www.sequoiahighsierracamp.com.

Thom Gabrukiewicz's Outside column appears every Sunday in the Record Searchlight. He can be reached at 225-8230 or tgabrukiewicz@Redding.com.
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Re: 'Glamping,' to be all the rage this summer

Postby markskor » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:15 pm

From three recently-posted vignettes:
In SEKI - "But you know, we're running 40 percent higher the number of reservations than last year,"… $250 a night per person. That includes all accommodations and three meals a day.

Moreover, in YNP - “The National Park Service started with emergency repairs that included widening the canyon road to accommodate larger vehicles…plans would lead to commercialization of the park and turn it into road for people driving recreational vehicles and visitors arriving in tour buses… a $441 million planned overhaul.”

Finally - “Are tent campers in the minority in these areas?”

Something here disturbs me, maybe some sort of creepy trend?
Realizing that these are our parks, belonging to us, why does every new venture smack of commercialism and greed?

Regarding the Seki enterprise, I hesitantly accepted this (posted last year too) as a way for the wilderness challenged to see for themselves why we go out…So be it. It is not on NPS land, and the owners state that they are responsible to all current codes regarding sanitation/ wilderness ethics/ environmental conditions. $250 a night seems a bit steep for a tent and food, but if they can make it work, more power to them. I would like to see more on this 40% increase…(if they had 100 last year, and 140 this year – damn statistics.)

I hope there is there enough interest to sustain the venture, or will it die after only a few years and have it cleaned up by …our taxes? I do hope it works but …I admit that I will not soon use it…(well, maybe… some day.)

What disturbs me most about all three of these snippets is the general trend toward only catering to the RV, Baby Boomer, big-bucks crowd. Where are the provisions for additional spaces for the tent campers? We pay taxes too.

I do not own an RV. Every time I camp close to one of these monstrosities, all I hear is generators, TV’s, and video games emanating from within. “Widening roads, bigger RV campsites", less camping…catered meals…and those sheets…where will it lead? What happens to the little guy…a tent and a smile…phased out?
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Re: 'Glamping,' to be all the rage this summer

Postby SteveB » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:11 pm

Thom Gabrukiewicz wrote:My boots lay in the tent's vestibule, freshly brushed and sanitized.


OK, that's just wrong on SOOOO many levels... :unibrow:
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Re: 'Glamping,' to be all the rage this summer

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:35 pm

markskor wrote:What disturbs me most about all three of these snippets is the general trend toward only catering to the RV, Baby Boomer, big-bucks crowd. Where are the provisions for additional spaces for the tent campers? We pay taxes too.

I do not own an RV. Every time I camp close to one of these monstrosities, all I hear is generators, TV’s, and video games emanating from within. “Widening roads, bigger RV campsites", less camping…catered meals…and those sheets…where will it lead? What happens to the little guy…a tent and a smile…phased out?


Yes this disturbs me too. If these folks were only restricted to their luxury camping resorts and places like Mono Village (RV dust bowl) I suppose I wouldn't mind so much but when roads and facilities are modified to cater these folks it does tend to get my hackles up. Of course I still get bothered when some giant RV with 30 cars stuck behind it repeatedly ignores turnout after turnout after turnout. My temper is much better than when I was younger, though, because I've conceded that there are so many ill mannered road slugs on the Sierra highways that I will never get by them all. Better just to chill out with some good CDs on the stereo. Anyhow I guess my take is that to a certain extent everyone is entitled to their own thing, but when their own thing directly interferes with my Sierran enjoyment I start getting irritated.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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