By Josh Hodder
Glamping is a new fad sweeping the globe for outdoor enthusiasts that want a little bit extra, one that is taking over the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
Travel restrictions in Newfoundland have prevented people from vacationing. Some have looked to vacation from home in the form of “glamping.”
Glamping is a new trend that mixes glamour with camping. Generally, glamp sites are set up as an above-ground platform with a tent over the top of it. These sites include necessities like a bed and a stove with cookware. There are several glamping sites set up around the province, such as at Humber River or Gros Morne National Park.
Ashley Hann is the owner and operator of the Humber River Off Grid Tours. Hann was one of the first to set up glamping tents for the public over five years ago.
“When I went camping as a kid, you had a little tent that you stuck in the ground and slept there,” said Hann. “With glamping, you can go camping without the hassle, without the packing, and just come in and go camping. All you have to bring is yourself and your food.”
Hann was first encouraged to open a glamping site by friends that she had met in the tourism industry, who shared she was living in a great location for tourism. “At the time, glamping was very new to the province, so I wanted to try that,” Hann said. “When I started, there were only one or two sites on the island. Now, they are popping up everywhere.”
With such a level of comfort added, is it possible that glamping takes away from the traditional camping experience? The traditional experience of camping is having to work with what you have. With such luxuries at the camper’s disposal, the experience no longer feels like “roughing it.”
TA Loeffler is a professor of outdoor recreation and education at Memorial University and a well experienced adventurer. “I spend as much time outside as possible,” said Loeffler. “Some years I probably camp about 150 nights!”
Loeffler is no stranger to the concept of glamping, and she thinks it is a completely authentic experience.
‘Eye of the beholder’
“I would say that camping is in the eye of the beholder,” Loeffler said. “You can still hear nature and see nature. If glamping helps to get someone outside in nature and enjoying a time away from home, I’m all for it.”
Don Clarke, a director of sales and communications at Outfitters, has noticed a rise is business in his store. “Business has been very steady. With the start of COVID, it just made the opportunity for new people to get outdoors and camp increase. Outdoor activities are social distancing and isolation at their finest,” shared Clarke, adding, “At its core, you’re getting outside and disconnecting from your everyday life. You’re still reconnecting with nature and your environment.”
With two glamping tents set up and a rise in popularity, Hann is excited for the future. “It’s the exact same thing as camping, you just have more comfort,” Hann said. “You’re still roasting s’mores, you’re still in the wilderness, and you’re still getting all the scenery of the outdoors. It’s just in a more comfortable space.”