Glamping: glamorous camping, ?prompted in part by celebrity-studded festivals like Glastonbury, where the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller make trudging through mud look chic?.
I don?t go camping very often, partly because I was forced to do it as a child. Whilst all my friends were enjoying Florida and Disneyland each summer, I was bundled into the back of our Peugeot and whisked off to Brittany to experience the great outdoors. Watching my parents desperately trying to prevent our tent and belongings from being swept away during torential downpours has put me off camping for all these years.
However, tour companies and resorts are now offering a new type of yurt holiday which, with nothing to do with Bear Grylls, is somewhat turning my interests back to enduring outdoor holidays. The standards for camping have been taken to a much higher level – nowadays you may find your tent complete with Persian carpets, wooden floors, crisps white sheets, down duvets, saunas, hot tubs, tent service and electricity. It?s not your average communal showering, gas cooking camping style holiday by any means, but one you can find in almost every corner of the world now.
You don?t need to venture half way across the world though to enjoy the luxuries of glamping when we have plenty of opportunities on our very doorstep. With our nation?s increased environmental awareness and a recession close on the horizon, it seems that Britain?s passion for this type of vacation is on the rise once more. Many of you may be camping this summer, whether at a festival in Europe, a weekend at St Ouen?s or simply a night under the stars in your own back garden. And if Kate Moss can do it without looking completely dishevelled, surely there is some hope for us mere mortals?
Fortunately camping gear has improved, and there?s a whole host of items out there to satisfy our every camping need. While a basic tent may keep you sheltered from freak storms, it does not offer protection from the cold, damp, noise and light. If you?re the type of person to leave home with no less than a kitchen sink, good camping gear will be essential. Luckily it is now not only functional, but attractive, fun and stylish. British designer Cath Kidston, has been developing collections of various ultra-feminine floral teepees, windbreakers, ponchos and bedding for several years now. Her trademark feminine floral prints and splashes of colour brighten up the dull days as well as providing a striking landmark in busy campsites. Just make sure everyone else hasn?t had the same idea. Designer tents are in ample supply, and Ted Baker has created his own line of blow up mattresses, sleeping bags and tents (reportedly complete with cuckoo clock and Chesterfield chair). Last year PUMA teamed up with Marcel Wanders to create the appropriately titled ?I hate Camping? range for those city dwelling folk who want to enjoy the outdoors but still look stylish. And the latest camping accomdation this season is the blackout tent from Ministry of Sound. Bearing in mind you may have had a late night and don?t want to be woken by natural light, they have designed it with an extra dense fabric, leaving you with a nice red glow. It also comes in a pop up version from Millets if you can?t face fighting those poles. But if you really don?t want to mess around with tents at all www.myhab.com provides a ready assembled and recycled living compartment at the summer festivals. For £240, it will be erected when you arrive and dismantled when you leave, with luxury toilet and shower facilities included. They may not look like much, but they are dry with foam bedding and lockable security boxes.
If you are jumping aboard the glamping bandwagon this summer, you won?t be leaving home without at least one home comfort. We?ve picked a few essentials to make your camping experience less basic.