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Glamping – A Worldwide Phenomenon

Saturday 19 August 2017 @ 11:14

So … if you were to drop ‘glamping’ into a French conversation, for example, would the word get lost in translation?

Probably not!

The French refer to glamping as ‘le glamping’, and the French linguistic nuances would make the word sound even more sophisticated!

‘Le glamping’ means the same thing to our Gallic neighbours as it does to us here in Blighty.

Yet ‘glamping’ must have started somewhere … somehow …

If you research the ‘history’ of glamping, then there are suggestions that it’s been with us in one form or another since the 1100s, when Genghis Kahn and his followers roamed the globe from their native Mongolia.

Mongolian tribes would live in yurts or gurs, providing a semi-permanent shelter they could take with them on their nomadic journeys.

Then, in the 19th century, when well heeled Europeans and Americans visited Africa, they wanted luxury with their camping, which came in the form of safari tents. These were often furnished with double beds, rugs, antiques and other luxuries.

And if we go back even further, early man (and woman) needed shelter against the elements. If cave dwelling wasn’t possible, then animal hides covering a timber or bone framework gave cover in its simplest form. So maybe this was the start of camping, rather than glamping!

While most articles say that glamping (an etymological amalgam of glamorous and camping) was first coined in 2007, the argument is that it’s very much a borrowed concept, and has been with us for centuries.

So we’ve already discussed yurts and safari tents: add to this list Romany caravans; airstream trailers; tree houses and Wigwam® Cabins.

And this list will continue to grow, as enterprising individuals come up with ‘new’ designs, reinventing an age-old concept.

Yet what draws it all together is the idea that while there will always be those of us who are ardent, hard core campers and have all the kit and caboodle, there will equally be those who want the best of both worlds: to enjoy the great outdoors yet retaining some element of luxury while on a well-earned holiday.

So let’s consider the positives of posh camping …

  • Easy access to the great outdoors (with warm, dry clothes)
  • Campfire fun (cooking, enjoying a glass of wine, or just watching those hypnotic flames)
  • Knowing that even it if pours down, you won’t get wet
  • Peace and quiet
  • Quality time with loved ones
  • Fresh air – but on your own terms
  • A comfy bed that won’t deflate in the middle of the night
  • The sound of rain on the roof (rather than the feel of rain through that leaky tent)
  • Lots of basics provided
  • Privacy
  • Or, comradeship, depending on your mood

Various glamping accommodation providers will claim theirs is the best form of glamping, and in a way, each of them is correct.

Yet affordable, year round glamping made from sustainable materials is just that bit different, and Wigwam® Holidays was very much at the forefront of this form of glamping back in 1989.

A student by the name of Charles Gulland came up with the notion of the timber tent – a refreshing take of how to enjoy peaceful outdoor breaks time and again. And not a tent peg in sight!

So while the phrase glamping is now ten years of age; while forms of glamping have been with us for hundreds - maybe thousands - of years; and while it’s now one of the most recognisable forms of vacation, glamping is a phrase which many cultures understand and have even influenced over the years.

Glamping is set to continue as we become ever more aware of our wonderful outdoors and spend quality, unplugged time with those who are important to us.

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