Going Green Somewhere Between Camping And Glamping

April 18, 2014

All this white has had me longing for green. During a recent trip to Oregon, the most beautiful palette of greens emerged. There’s such a range with any color, and I was ready to take in every single green tone I could find. Oregon did not disappoint,  and soon Minnesota will be right along with it.

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

As we approach our sleep-outside season in Minnesota, the planning begins. Camping may come as second nature to those of us who grew up playing in the outdoors, but for those travelers in need of modern amenities while spending time outside, “glamping” is an emerging trend.

There are pros and cons to camping and glamping. I love old-school camping, but I also really enjoyed staying in a yurt while in Oregon. For those of you who have never seen one, it’s basically a round tent with a high ceiling made out of canvas. Although I hadn’t stayed in one before, I remembered reading an article several years ago about a woman in New Mexico who wanted to live an unconventional life in a yurt. Her needs were simple: She wanted something economical for her and her dogs.

Yurt on the Oregon Coast

Yurt on the Oregon Coast

To sum it up, here are three of the best reasons to stay in a yurt:
1. It’s spacious. The yurt I stayed in had 10-foot ceilings and was 16 feet wide. You don’t feel closed-in or claustrophobic.
2. It’s the closest thing to living outdoors. Similar to a tent, but much more comfortable and safer. It’s elevated. You can walk around in it, you don’t have to worry about wet ground and are less likely to be visited by an animal.
3. They’re natural. As we’re becoming more and more focused on energy efficiency and going green, I can see yurts growing in popularity.

Yurts aren’t built with natural resources like wood or stone, don’t pollute and don’t take up a lot of space.

Isn’t that reason enough?

Before your next camping or glamping trip, check out these resources:

Wooden “cocoon” is suspended from the trees of Hooke Park, Dorset, England.

Wooden “cocoon” is suspended from the trees of Hooke Park, Dorset, England.

As a side note, I’ve been spending my spare time gathering these totally magnificently designed cocoons in the hope that someday I’ll put one up in a tree somewhere. It will be my idea of a cabin. My favorite tree tent is made by Dutch designer Dré Warpenaar, whose initial idea was to create a habitat for activists fighting to preserve trees and forests. However, the invention caught on fast with camping lovers the world over, who enjoy being swayed to sleep.

Tree Tent by Dutch designer Dré Warpenaar

Tree Tent by Dutch designer Dré Warpenaar

So, whether you choose camping or glamping, go find some green — and think outside.