The art of Glamping is more than silk sheets placed inside your sleeping bag

Last week I was on lots of television reminding campers to get out there before the season was over and also to show off a number of high-tech items that are selling well in the world of camping this year. The interviews went well but I was somewhat overwhelmed by the host’s interests in the new term “Glamping.” This is a fashionable form of glamorous camping done with style, where silk sheets are spread out inside your sleeping bag and an act of trudging through muck is promoted as chic. It’s Club Med done in the boonies, and it’s all the rave for celebrities across England and the US. But is it camping or not? Well, surprise or not, I claimed it was – on Global News, Breakfast TV, A Moring Ottawa and Daytime Ottawa. And boy, did I get emails from avid campers upset that saying sleeping in a posh tent and having truffles placed on your backpack in the morning was a true act of camping out.

Why did I help promote the act of “glamping?” Because I learned long ago that its best to grab hold of any type of camping fad and use it as a way to introduce non-camper types into the real act of sleeping in the wilderness. Let’s be honest. A good majority of glampers would have never given true camping a decent try if it wasn’t for trying it out first in (what they preceived to be) real comfort. Even of 1% of them try out the real thing later on, then its worth recommending it on TV.

Besides, look at all the cool camp gear I was able to show on TV. It was a blast! Because all those items I had to try out before showing them off – and that was a lot of fun!

1. BGAN phone and internet – a portable office, about the size of a laptop and weighs less than 2 pounds. It can be set up in minutes, no matter where you are. BGAN will deliver up to 492kbps so you can check e-mails, make phone calls, and send streaming video, simultaneously.

2. Vital stove – burns just about everything and boils water in 2 minutes ($75)

3. Therm-a-rest down comforter with bed sheets and pillow – wow – it’s a way for your sleeping system to be together as one so you’ll never slide off your sleeping pad during the night ($170)

4. Energizer lithium batteries and charger (charger looks really cool) and the portable power charger for i-pod – sounds simple but this is the best way to keep your GPS, Digital camera and i-pod powered on trip. I use them all the time because of their light weight and long life – but also because they work in cold temp. ($30)

5. Flex 3 MRS Cooking Pot set – just bought this a couple weeks ago and absolutely love it. Light weight and folds together perfectly ($100)

6. Energizer Portable i-pod charger and Energizer cell phone charger – small pocket size chargers for personal i-pod and cell phones which gives hours of extra song play and extended use of the cell phone.

7. Energizer flashlights – one for campground use and other for interior. Long lasting LED lights with added red light for night vision

8. Platypus new water system idea that saves you the hassle of pumping the filter – works on gravity – $60

9. Eureka’s new hammock tent – only hammock tent that let lets you sleep without sagging. It’s a new idea and they can’t keep enough on the store shelves. ($200)

10. Canadian Flag canoe — Nova Craft — special order canoe design, from Tie-die to plade. $2000

11. Carbon Fiber paddle — light weight and tough as nails – $200

12. Outdoor Research compression sacs – bulk is your enemy, not weight, and these help out considerably – very light-weight, squeezes out air but is completely waterproof ($10-$30)

13. Nemo GoGo air-pole tent — Get this, instead of using poles to support its mouth, an air-filled beam creates structure and stability, and cuts down on weight.