Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

August 31, 2013

Camping vs. 'glamping'


Hendricks County Flyer

---- — As I write this, I am gearing up for a big holiday weekend. As you read it, I am likely somewhere in the woods, bathed in sweat and bug spray.

With any luck, there is a s’more in my future.

Ah, camping; a.k.a., going into the woods to do all of the same chores you have to do at home, but doing them in an unsanitary environment and with fewer conveniences. Sleeping on the ground in a leaky tent; freezing while trying to start a fire; using the bathroom in a hole in the woods; bathing in a creek; cooking beans in a can over an open fire …

Nah, I’m just messing with you. That’s what camping was like in the old west. This here is modern times, partner. I sleep in a camper with a queen-sized bed, running water, air conditioning and for the record, a fully flushable toilet. We cook our meals on a gas grill or an electric smoker and put the leftovers in the refrigerator. We have wifi.

That’s how we rough it in the woods.

However, we are one of the poorer campers at our preferred campground. We have an older camper that doesn’t sport many of the amenities enjoyed by the other brave souls roughing it in the woods over the holiday weekend.

For instance, we don’t have recliners, flat screen televisions or a fully functioning outdoor kitchen. One awesome camper actually has a projection television and he built a huge viewing screen in the woods. We’re good friends with him now. But then, so is everyone else in the campground.

We’re currently without hot water in our camper, so we actually do have to walk a few feet to the shower house to wash up. Last time we went camping, we forgot to take s’more ingredients, so that was pretty tough. And we seriously have to walk 100 feet up the road just to watch the projection television, so unlike most of the others, we are really going savage out there.

Flipping channels the other day — as I so often do because, as we all know, there are 150 channels and everyone of them is a horror channel showing things like Honey Boo Boo, or Miley Cyrus or reruns of “The Brady Bunch” — I discovered just how badly we are roughing it.

The new trend, according to cable television, is not camping; apparently it is “glamping.” That’s “glamour,” meaning luxurious, sparkly and expensive, and “camping” meaning near a tree, combined. Clever, right?

One such glamping resort offers a rustic wine bar, organic garden, wood-fired sauna, sculpture garden, heated spring-water shower and prepared meals. What? No cabana boys to fan you while you nap on a hand-woven hemp hammock feeding you s’mores?

If that’s not enough, you could always pick up a top-of-the-line camper complete with a terrace and a bar. The eleMMent palazzo motor home is a 430-square-foot vehicle that also features a huge, luxurious master bedroom, a 40-inch television, a lounge that emerges with a push of a button and under-floor heating. All this could be yours for just $3.1 million. Now that’s camping.

Me? There are no wine bars or luxurious master bedrooms where I am. But with any luck, I remembered the s’mores this time. If so, I will survive roughing it in the woods once again.

— Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book “What’s the Point?” available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.