Recently, it was reported by the Winnipeg Free Press that Justin Bieber was going 'glamping.' The star explained that, "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."
Is there a luxury side of camping growing in America today? After all, the opening ten minutes of Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" gives us an idea that glamping may have been around for awhile. A browse online reveals that Bieber's glamping is a reality after all.
For example, HotelChatter.com has a picture of the set up Bieber describes found at The Resort at Paws Up. At this Montana resort, you soon find that the term glamping is a registered trademark of this company and that they also offer a camping butler. In addition, MSN.com has several reviews of vacation destinations that have offered luxury camping packages for years.
Despite this, what about regular people that want to do some glamping on a budget? For the rest of us, there is hope.
1. How to get electricity in the woods
Bieber claims that the first step to glamping is electricity. Is this solely about solar power? Along with solar, some people take a gas-powered generator with them to power camping lights and computers. Despite the reliability, gas generators tend to be loud. Is there another solution? When considering electricity in a remote location, the first thing to think about is how much you will need.
If you are thinking about a few lights and recharging your cell phone, a deep cycle marine battery that is part of a power pack is your key. You plug them in at home and take them with you when you go camping. They are furnished with two and three prong outlets -- just like home. Although the $170 Duracell power pack model found on Amazon is a temptation, the truth is that it might run out sooner than expected.
On the other hand, the Xantrex Statpower XPower Powerpack 1500 for $439 is going to power you through the whole weekend -- and make you popular with neighbors if there is a storm. For the maximum in glamping electricity, consider renting a mobile unit like the kinds found at outdoor stage performances like Bonnaroo.
2. Sleep in the woods like a queen
Dragging a mattress into the woods sounds easy, but are there luxury points that you are missing? Besides the typical bed and bedding, not really. However, from experience, there is one thing I would recommend -- a mosquito net. Whether you have a thousand pounds of Deep Woods Off! or not, you will be glad you invested in something like the lace 4 post bed canopy mosquito net . Found at Ebay for $99, it is worth every penny and a glamping essential.
3. Bring your own water and take a hot shower
Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with showering outside of the house. Whether it was farming or home renovation related, I have found one piece of equipment that makes glamping a truly bearable. In general, it is easy to pack up your own water and put it on the trailer for your camping trip. The hard part is getting steaming hot water.
With the help of a propane tank, a shower tent, and a platform to stand on, you will have water to bathe in or wash dishes with if you buy the Triton Hot Water System. I owned one for two years and used it daily. Like me, you will be surprised that the cost is only $119 at Target.com. Hooking it up to the propane tank is easy and you only need to screw on a garden hose to feed water into the hot-water-on-demand system.
4. Relieving oneself successfully nature
Having a tent with a bed in it is all fun and games until someone needs to go to the loo. For the most luxurious toiletries for the great outdoors, you can get a portable outhouse. Found at OutdoorWorld.co.uk, there are a variety of chemicals, portable toilets, and privacy tents that you can buy online for about £129.99 ($203) or less.
If you do not want to bother with maintenance or cleanup, you can also buy or rent a trailer that has all the familiar qualities of home within a luxury portable toilet. Good examples can be found at Royal Flush Fresno or Scottie's Potties.
5. The all-in-one mini-glamping trailer
Popular in the 1950s, teardrop camping trailers are a way to have a bed, storage, and a place to cook rolled into one. You might not be able to fit a shower and a toilet in there, but you and a friend will not want for much else. Although they fell out of popularity for awhile, one company has decided that this quirky piece of camping history needed to be resurrected.
Coming the rescue of budget glampers is Vacations in a Can. In addition to being quaint and highly functional, Vacation in a Can's teardrop camper has the benefit of being self-contained. This means storms, bugs, snakes, and bears are no longer an issue once you close the door.
If the Vacation in a Can is not glampy enough for you, there is one final alternative. Founded in Australia, the Opera Tent pop-up camper unfolds on top of a trailer to reveal one of the most breath-taking luxury outdoor experiences imaginable. Although the idea is portability and compactness, the tent sleeps two, has a lighted hardwood floor, and is finished with teak and leather interiors for about £23,000 ($35,900).
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Maryam Louise is life-long participant of summer sports and recreation through her experiences living next to Lake Barkley on Land Between the Lakes in Western Kentucky. In her lifetime, she has also traveled to many of the world's nature reserves and parks in Iran, Switzerland, Yemen, Mexico, France, Germany, Canada, and the United States.