Get Glam-ping

Our edible guide to “roughing” it.

Many of my happiest childhood memories are of sitting on my grandpa’s lap around a campfire underneath starry Wyoming skies, with my aunt strumming The Beatles or John Denver tunes on her guitar. My older brother’s memories, however, center on mosquito bites, charred hot dogs and sleeping on tree roots. Typically, the world has been divided between those who camp and those who don’t, which is why today’s trendy “glamping” options are so popular.  

From renting your own tricked-out Airstream camper to luxe canvas tents with high-thread-count sheets on king-size beds, glamorous camping options let you awaken to the great outdoors—all without schlepping heavy gear or subsisting on trail mix. It’s an especially nice way to camp if your journey includes air travel; with today’s hefty baggage fees and weight restriction, you’re not likely to check sleeping bag, tent and Coleman stove in addition to clothes and toiletries. And you surely can’t carry on that pocketknife and firewood hatchet either. 

Outfits like Yellowstone Under Canvas—tucked just outside the venerable park’s western boundary—allow you to hike and explore to your heart’s content, then return for creekside hors d’oeuvres at dusk, a communal campfire tended by someone else and a heavenly night’s rest in a bed piled high with cozy comforters and luxurious linens. 

Yellowstone Under Canvas draws a huge international crowd too. Our recent evening there around the fire pit included folks from China, Scotland and Germany in addition to travelers from the 50 states. It reminded me of many a night spent in youth hostels around the globe—but minus the bedbugs and lack of privacy.

Closer to home, many Californians are opting to enjoy the Golden State’s natural wonders without that hefty hotel price tag. Insiders know that tucked a mere 20 miles further up the 101 is heavenly El Capitan Canyon, a family-friendly enclave on 300 nature-packed acres where accommodations range from safari tents to cozy yurts to cedar cabins. Consider their Family Picnic Package: a two-night stay in the accommodation style of your choice that includes snacks, a gourmet picnic and plenty of s’mores fixings to keep kids occupied while Mom sneaks out for a hot stone massage, one of El Cap’s more luxe options.


Campfire Goodness

Once you’ve settled on your glamping destination, don’t forget to glamp up your culinary options too. With just a bit of creativity, you can improve on camp classics without bringing along your whole kitchen.



Orange Cinnamon Rolls

A kid favorite that’s easy and delicious for breakfast. Grab a few navel oranges then slice and juice them. Hollow out the remaining halves and plop in some frozen grocery store cinnamon rounds—defrost them a bit, and they’ll cook up beautifully in your Dutch Oven or over coals in the campfire. Just peel off the orange rinds when they’re baked to your liking. Yum.  




Summer S’Mores  

Lighten up this campfire favorite with local peaches sliced and sandwiched between white chocolate, Nilla wafers and marshmallows.


Grown-up Hot Dogs

Bring the Oscar Mayer for the kids if you must but dress up your skewers with some artisanal sausages and bratwursts that are far more interesting. Lately, I’m in love with Rosamunde Sausage Grill’s smoky, tequila-infused chicken habanero sausages, and their vegan “sausages” will keep your vegetarian brother’s belly happy too.

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