Finer dining in nature
By Leslie A. Goodreid
Glamping – or glamorous camping-brings up images of wading through the muck in your Louboutins to get another tin of beluga caviar. Although some sites cater to every decadent whim, most are geared towards comfort in the wilderness. Glamping is about getting in touch with nature, without nature getting in touch with you.
The origin of glamping dates back to the Turkish Ottoman Empire, with sultans reclining in sumptuous yurts. It later resurfaced with lavish African safaris in the 1900’s. The modern reboot was kickstarted by actress Sienna Miller and model Kate Moss, romping in the mud at rock concerts in couture wellies and Panama hats.
Before long, the festival scene was teeming with brightly coloured camping gear, as music fans embraced the celebrity lifestyle. The trend mainstreamed as vacationers, concerned about their carbon footprints and the risks of overseas travel, revisited camping-with a dash of poshness.
The camping industry in Canada was shrinking in the early part of the 21st century. It got a needed boost from glamping as it made its way across the Atlantic. Resort-themed glamping sites began to pop up with safari-style canvas tents, tree-forts, floating cabins, Mongolian-style yurts, and teepees.
Out of this was born Outpost Co, a remote camp on Ontario’s Lake Obabika, in one of the oldest red and white pine forests in the world.
Guests fly out of the Toronto Island airport to the unplugged camp by seaplane, where they’re treated to an opulent heritage experience that includes sleeping in traditional hand-crafted tents, with comfortable beds and the finest trappings. Nights are spent around a communal teepee with a fire pit and a library, while the days belong to exploring the pristine environment.
“This is the way the coureur des bois, and the voyageurs would have paddled these waters, with the Ojibwe and the Iroquois,” says Outpost owner, Constantin von Flotow, proudly pointing out how he sourced the site’s specifications from museums. “We’re using the same materials. We’re just doing it in the 21st century with a few added benefits and comforts…mainly the wine and the great food.”
Where Outpost caters to the inner explorer, Long Point Eco-Adventures is geared toward both thrill and chill seekers.
It overlooks Lake Erie and Turkey Point Marsh, and promises a wilderness immersion with all the creature comforts, including king-sized beds, hardwood floors, indoor plumbing, and electricity. The glamping site also boasts an observatory, winery, and includes Zodiac boat tours, mountain bike trails, zip lining, and kayak fishing tours.
“You can wander across the road to our winery, have an awesome gourmet dinner, and get a couple of bottles to bring back…and take a glass to the big, communal campfire,” says manager Payden Shrugg, boasting of the site’s renowned hospitality.
Outpost Co. is your glamping concierge and will charter a private amphibian aircraft from either YYZ direct or Billy Bishop island airport Toronto to their marina.
You can find out about the rich variety of glamping experiences in Ontario and abroad at glampinghub.com