It was a dark and stormy night, but Dark 'n' Stormies weren't on our minds. Camp cocktails would come later. We nosed our car down dirt roads, our path illuminated by our headlights. Finally, after eluding us for nearly four hours, Narrowsburg, New York, was within our grasp. Our GPS wasn’t cooperating, but that was probably because we were “out there,” an exciting—if anxiety inducing—development signaling that our dreams of glamping (glamorous camping) just might come true.
If outdoorsiness can be measured on a five-point scale, with 1 representing those who consider microwaved s’mores to be roughing it and 5 representing folks who have hiked the PCT and worn the same pair of Smartwool socks for weeks on end, we Russells clock in at about a 3. We’re active and adventurous, and love spending time in nature. We enjoy hiking, biking and skiing, and we thrill at the mention of technical fabrics. Making a campfire with a single match is something we find deeply satisfying, and we delight in the smoky campfire smell that permeates our clothes for days after we’ve spent time sitting around one. And while we know how to make a leaf hut and tie bowline knots, we thrive on the presence of flush toilets and the low hum of hot-water heaters. And beds.
If you scoff at the idea that glamping is camping, we certainly agree with you. Yet we love it just the same! Glamping provides a sense of comfort and security that camping does not. However, it’s also a bridge to nature, and being around green things makes us feel happy and peaceful. Thus, when choosing where to go for weekend getaways, we often choose to glamp.
Here are four reasons why now is the perfect time to plan a glamping getaway for 2019—with observations from a recent stay we enjoyed at Le Petite Cabine in Narrowsburg, New York.
Glamping accommodations can range from seriously luxe cabins and tents to little more than an elevated car-camping experience. Either way, glampers reap the rewards of time spent in nature with at least a few modern amenities within arm’s reach. We mentioned flush toilets, right?
Falling somewhere between a five-star outdoor suite and the best car camping site ever, Le Petite Cabine featured a functioning kitchen and gas heaters in each room that could be used on really cold nights—fortunately we didn’t need them during our stay. The living room was cozy and had a large leather couch, reading chair, fireplace and TV from the 1980s. Before we arrived, Anie, the owner of the cabin, built a fire in the fireplace and opened the flue—a nice touch for two weary passengers who had just driven four hours. With no stops.
Amenities—Not the Bare Necessities
Every glamping experience is different. But the very definition of glamping hints at the promise of escaping the busyness of daily life while savoring a few indulgences, too. At Le Petite Cabine, those amenities consisted of firewood and kindling at the ready, three existing firepits for our use, both an indoor and outdoor shower, beautiful antique decor, and heavy vintage flannel blankets and bear skins (!) for staying super cozy.
We were pleased to discover that, in addition to the AeroPress we had brought along, our cabin came stocked with a stovetop espresso maker. The kitchen was also well-equipped with good, sharp knives and heavy cast-iron pans. This made it extremely easy to get caffeinated and cook a hearty breakfast before heading out on a hike.
An Escape From Urban Life
Whether your getaway involves a quick ferry voyage, a relaxing train ride or an epic road trip, glamping provides an opportunity to escape the everyday. Breathing in the fresh air, delighting in the sounds of wildlife, and putting down our phones are three of the things we most look forward to when we have the chance to glamp.
After a good night’s sleep, we were roused by chirping birds and sunlight sparkling through the trees. As we set about making chilaquiles on our outdoor firepit for breakfast one morning, we both remarked how nice and meditative it was to do something as simple as cooking with no distractions, no sound of cars, no rush.
The chilaquiles were delicious—piping hot and slightly smoky. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about eating on a wooden chair and drinking coffee from a tin mug, with zero devices or speakers in sight. Our cabin accommodations allowed us to leave the dishes in the sink and head out for the day with only a small bag, leaving the rest behind for later.
Hiking—And Then Getting Cozy
If you love the outdoors, chances are you’re passionate about an activity like camping, hiking, trail running or cycling. One of our favorite things about glamping is the chance to stretch our legs on an adventurous hike, and then return to our cozy accommodations where we can curl up with a good book by the fire.
That’s just what we did this past October. After breakfast, we took Anie’s suggestion to follow a Narrowsburg hiking trail. Let us tell you, that trail was more than we had bargained for. Rough terrain and a sense of complete and utter isolation left us feeling grateful we had a cabin to return to. When we returned to our digs, we made another fire and sipped some premade Old-Fashioneds that we had picked up at a wine store in town.
That night, we did the typical camping activities—we made s’mores, gazed up at the stars and even told scary stories. But because we were glamping, we also had the added bonus of a TV and set of DVDs to entertain ourselves with when the fire started to dwindle. Despite the dated equipment, we had a great time falling asleep while watching "Wall Street" on a concave 12-inch screen.
We always welcome a little time away from the city. The only regret following our two-night glamping getaway in Narrowsburg is that we didn’t have more time to chill out in the woods. The good news is that Le Petite Cabine, and many other glamping accommodations with heating, are well-suited for winter camping. And, if you can’t stand the cold, spring is coming. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to plan your glamping getaway for 2019.
All photos by Elana Jacobs and Ethan Russell.