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The woods aren’t meant for glamour

Just this week I discovered the existence of “glamping” courtesy of an article published in the Asheville Citizen Times.

“What’s glamping?” you may be asking yourself like I did when I first saw the headline. Well, it’s short for “glamorous camping” and it is basically a more luxurious way of spending time out in the woods. The Citizen Times article highlighted a new “glamping” site located in Pisgah National Forest.

From what I gather, the tents at these sites are provided, so you don’t have to worry about setting them up. “The 12-by-16-foot weatherproof, canvas tents are perched on platforms with large, porthole-like zippered windows with bug netting to let air flow through,” states the article, adding that there’s a comfy queen-sized mattress inside complete with all the bedding (additional cots and air mattress also provided). Glampers also get an electrical hookup, a cooler, and an onsite camp host “who greets campers with a load of ice and firewood upon arrival.”

The glampsite also has the typical things you’d probably expect at any other campground too such as a picnic table and a grill and a separate place for a hot shower.

All of this for the price of $120 per night. That’s like the same price as spending the night at a hotel, though in comparison the hotel has a lot less bugs crawling around (probably).

This, however, is just one glampsite example. Apparently, there are plenty of other glampsites operated by other companies that offer different kinds of tents, treehouses, yurts, and other accommodations.

According to the article, the family interviewed loved the experience, appreciating the ability to pack lighter (no tents and sleeping bags and such) and enjoying more privacy than a typical campground. They said they definitely would come back to go glamping again.

I have to admit the “glamping” idea sounds like a decent concept. It’s perfect for people who don’t like “roughing it” and are not skilled at setting up tents that will stay upright even on a slightly breezy day.

But in my biased opinion, it’s not truly camping with all the fancy amenities “glampsites” provide. In fact, just based on my own personal experience, you can’t really call it camping without at least one near-death experience! (I’m joking, of course. Please stay safe when you’re out in the woods. Especially if you decide to canoe down a river after a heavy rain.)

The one time I went camping was in high school with my dad, uncles, my brother, and several cousins. We traveled to a campsite on the banks of the James River in Virginia and spent the weekend up there. We did have it better than most campers I suspect, because the campsite did provide a place with hot showers and also a grill to cook with. (I will, however, not comment here on the quality of said cooking.)

Unlike glamping though, we had to bring and set up our own tent. And we still had to deal with the unrelenting summer heat/humidity, area wildlife, the noise from the train tracks on the other side of the riverbank, and worst of all: the snoring! Not even glamping would have saved us from that.

Needless to say, we haven’t been camping since. And I’m perfectly okay with that decision!

Anyway, people should go have fun in nature however they want to, whether that means sleeping on the ground and foraging for food or sleeping on a queen-sized mattress and having your firewood handed directly to you.

But just don’t call the latter camping or glamping or whatever. The woods are full of dirt and rocks and bugs and more. They aren’t meant for glamour!

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.