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Glamping the latest rage among campers unwilling to rough it

How many of you plan to go camping this summer?

How many plan to go glamping?

Glamping, of course, is glamor camping, a pastime that’s catching on among those who want to enjoy the great outdoors, but without the dusty campgrounds, the hard ground to sleep on, the long stretches without showers and lugging of gear.

Even Justin Bieber plans to give glamping a try, as soon as he can break away from his busy schedule. The pop sensation is quoted in Monsters and Critics as saying, “You sleep on a bed. It’s a mattress bed! In a huge tent with TV and everything. You have electricity and stuff but you’re still in amongst the wildlife. It’s pretty cool.”

States Glampinghub.com: “Glamping is a growing global phenomenon that combines camping with the luxury and amenities of a home or hotel. Also called boutique camping, luxury camping, posh camping or comfy camping, glamping allows travelers to experience nature without the hassle of finding camp space, carrying their tents, and erecting and taking down their own tents.”

Lodgings vary from bell tents, yurts, tree houses to spacious tent cabins. They range in price from as little as $50 per night to thousands per night, depending on the degree of opulence.

One of the more posh glamping sites featured on the Glamping Hub website is the Four Seasons Golden Triangle in Thailand, where guests explore the wilderness on elephants. (Can you picture Bieber on so large a beast?)

“All-inclusive packages include not only the elephant trekking, but access to world-class spa and dining services,” Glamping Hub states. “And we can’t forget the tents themselves! More than 500 square feet of rich leather and dark hardwoods, plush bedding, and a washroom to die for with a rain shower and copper soaking tub. Top it all off with breathtaking views of the jungle, mountains or river from a custom-made wooden hot tub on your private balcony.”

Prices for the Golden Triangle are not listed, but this adventure clearly is for the well-to-do.

Glampsites are springing up on every continent and in all shapes and sizes. Several of the more modest variety, however, are located in the United States. In California, for example, the Big Sur Getaway features accommodations with prices beginning at $175 per night. Guess stay in vintage trailers that sleep two adults and up to two children and feature full baths, a galley kitchen and outdoor barbecue.

“Our place offers breathtaking mountain views, gorgeous sunsets, a distant ocean view and lots of peace and quiet,” the website states.

Goglamping.net lists dozens of unique glaming destinations, from the Loch Ness Glamping in Scotland, to the Galapagos Safari Camp at the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador, to the Serengeti Migration Camp in Africa.

The latter boasts “a perfect example of old-world style mixed with contemporary luxury” with elevated tents, hardwood floors, king-sized beds, armchairs and even hair dryers.

Understandably, glamping has its critics. The Wikialty website, for example, pokes fun at a pastime it implies is mostly for sissy stars who don’t really wish to escape the Hollywood lifestyle.

Under an “Equipment Needed” heading on the website are these items:

– People magazines

– TV with E! Network

– Onsite massage therapist

– Glam’ed-out mobile dog mansion.

Presumably, however, many of those who criticize glamping are at least somewhat envious because they they cannot afford to become a worldly glamper.

After all, who doesn’t like to travel in style? And is it really that much fun stretching out under the stars in a confining sleeping bag laid out on the dirt, next to a smoky fire?

Many might find it admirable that Bieber wants to get out and experience the wilderness, and glamping is just another means by which to accomplish that.

However, if there are too many creature comforts at a particular glampsite, a glamper might be less inclied to go out among the actual creatures. But to each his own.

— Glamping images are courtesy of Glampinghub.com and Goglamping.net

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