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Your Introduction to the world of Glamping

Glamping or "Glamour Camping" has become all the rage for those that don't love to camp

By Ron Johnson
 
Staring up at a mess of rip-stop nylon, stuff-it sacks and clanging metal you count five sleeping bags in varying states of dematerialization, a tent with a yet-to-be-fixed hole in the floor and another with dangerously bent poles, a disfigured camp stove with four cans of partially-used propane and a bin overflowing with miscellaneous contraptions from old firestarters to a campfire espresso machine stilled charred black from that one time it was used and that's just the first shelf. Turning away in disgust, you mutter to yourself, "That's it, we are so over." 
 
This is about the place where glamping, or glamour camping, comes in to rescue harried urban denizens from their nightmares. Glamping is the trendy term for something that has been around for years. Essentially, camping without all the well-known headaches and time-consuming chores and served with a side of luxury living. Whether it is staying at a Lord of the Rings-esque hovel in the hills outside of Montreal or a treehouse in the rainforests of British Columbia, glamping sites have sprung up straight across the country in the most majestic of natural settings offering up a new outdoor experience that allows users to simply pack a bag, show up and enjoy.  
 
Entre Cimes et Racines is one such glamping hotspot. Located north of Montreal in the Eastern Townships, the area offers rustic four-season cabins nestled lovingly into the hillside in a forest clearing. What makes them so special is the great lengths the design team clearly took in creating the spaces, some of which are straight out of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. One cabin, Le Troglo was inspired by the famous pint-sized hobbits, and is built right into the earth. We aren't talking pure luxury here, there are only dry toilets, and wood-stoves for heat and rustic, whimsical interiors, so it is a bit like camping. But there are also the salad spinners, biodegradable hand soap and locally built, wrought-iron chandeliers that mark a true glamping experience. Rate for Le Troglo is $125 per night. For more information go to http://entrecimesetracines.com, 1-866-297-0770.
 
Free Spirit Spheres are wildly inventive orbs strung up in the trees of the temperate rainforest of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The adults-only treehouses and suspended from a web of rope creating a magical environment for a special glamping experience. Inside, the spheres offer modern amenities including such things as beds, a mini-fridge, even built-in speakers. Similar to a car camping experience, the composting toilets are located in a central area at the bottom of the trees. The area is conveniently located near Mount Washington, Horne Lake Caves and other primo outdoor areas. Rates start at $135 per night, www.freespiritspheres.com, 250-951-9420.
 
WildExodus in Northern Ontario near Timmins offers up a resort-like experience to glampers at their site deep in the bush of Northern Ontario near the town of Timmins. Sure, you'll sleep in a tent, but his one is on a raised wooden floor with a hand-hewn, four-poster wooden bed with Egyptian linens and all the comforts of home. Like a resort, staff prepare three meals per day and cater to your every need including chopping your firewood for you.  That leaves more time for you to pursue a bevy of activities from fishing and hiking to the 3Rs of glamping: reading, relaxing and re-energizing. Rates from $138 per person, per day, www.wildexodus.com, 705-266-1555. 
 

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