Features / Camping vs. glamping

Glamping? That’s just silly, hiking expert Ben Gadd says

Glamping may seem like a good idea to some, but to a real camper it’s a “silly” idea.

Ben Gadd, naturalist, geologist and author of the Canadian Hiker’s and Backpacker’s Handbook, is an expert in helping ordinary people experience the wilderness.

He was a guide at Jasper National Park in Alberta for more than 30 years and glamping doesn’t impress him at all.

“I think glamping sounds quite silly, but fun,” said Gadd.

“It’s as if you’re taking the most extreme elements of city life, like high heels and glasses of wine, and you’re taking that into the situation where we lived as hunter-gatherers.

“It seems to me almost a spoof. I couldn’t take it seriously. I don’t know how it would have some sort of benefit to you.”

Asked why people from the cities go into the wilderness, Gadd says: “It’s because, I think, that’s where we come from.

“Our species grew up in the wilderness and, like any other organism, we search out the environment in which we’re most likely to prosper.

“Any creature knows that instinctively.”

If people want to try serious camping, the Alpine Club of Canada has a network of groups, events and mountain huts to help. Visit www.alpineclubofcanada.ca for information.

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