I HATE CAMPING. My mother hates camping, too, so we really didn't do it while I was growing up. The one exception was when I was 11, and my dad took me on a hardcore trip into the mountains outside of Fresno. It was the two of us, my dad's friend, his two sons, and their dog. I remember endless hiking, mixing boiled lake water with powdered packs of Kool-Aid, and eating the fish that we caught ourselves. If that sounds like a great memory-maker for a kid, there are a few other things I'll never forget, either...
It wasn't the first time I got my period. It was probably the third time. Needless to say there were no maxi pads in sight, so I stuffed a wadded-up t-shirt into my jean shorts and tried to make do. The only other female around was the dog, and her attentiveness to the situation was somewhat short of helpful. The boys were a bit younger than me and knew just enough about sex to torture me with their disgustingness. Nobody had ever showed me how to pee outside, so my socks suffered too. It was deadly hot. Meanwhile, it also became apparent how severely my skin reacts to mosquito bites—my face was deformed beyond recognition with giant hives, and I writhed at night with full-body itching. To this day, it remains one of the most miserable experiences of my life.
When we finally got back to my dad's friend's house, his wife crumbled in sympathy. I took the best bubble bath I've ever had, and vehemently refused to camp again for the next 16 years. I was even so traumatized by the experience that for years after moving to Portland I wouldn't even go to the river.
It took two years for my now-husband to talk me into trying it again, but oh do I have requirements. We're bringing an air mattress and pillows, or no deal. And there's a two-night maximum (partly because I can usually go that long without having to poop). Don't get me wrong: I love nature, and hiking, and especially wildlife, but day trips are more my jam. You know what else I love? Sanitation.
The more comfortable the amenities, the higher the likelihood I'll tolerate an extended excursion into the wilderness—don't judge me, and I won't judge you, oh rugged ones. And while I'd argue that what I do isn't glamping proper (partly because it's such a terrible word), I'd certainly rather go more glamp than camp. If you feel the same way, here are a few suggestions to glamp your way through the summer:
Some would say that glamping by definition doesn't involve a tent—I feel that. But I also think you probably haven't considered the gorgeous, dramatic macramé tent that Emily Katz of Modern Macramé made (with matching macramé cot) for last year's Content show at the Ace Hotel. Sure, it's not exactly functional, but it's highly photographable. 'Cuz if you didn't brag about it on Instagram, it didn't happen. modernmacrame.com
If you like Airbnb, you'll love Glamping Hub. It functions basically the same: You choose your destination (it's not worldwide yet, but it covers all of these United States) and your dates, plus you can filter it by glamping type: barns, cabins, luxury tents, treehouses, yurts, teepees, and even igloos, domes, and caves! There are tons of gorgeous places to stay all over Oregon; grab a glass of chardonnay, a laptop, and start fantasizing. glampinghub.com
Japanese camping supply specialists Snow Peak has their US flagship store in Portland, as well as the solution to two conflicting camping truths: Camping makes you really hungry, and carrying a crap-ton of heavy food and cookware while you're hiking sucks ass. Snow Peak has a huge range of titanium dishware, pots, and pans that are beautifully designed and feather light—the super-compact inflatable mattresses are worth considering, too. Snow Peak, 410 NW 14th, snowpeak.com
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