The Latest In Budget Friendly Glamping: Can A Mini Compete Against An Airstream?

BMW Group

There are many ways to road trip. The first is in a car, paired with dodgy motels along the highway. The second is more picturesque and for the outdoor lover, packing a tent in the trunk and pitching it at camp sites along the way. The third is a combination of the two, driving a vehicle that allows for mobile sleeping options. Some go for a motorhome, some a camping trailer, some a Winnebago and some a vintage Airstream.

But if you though that mobile camping vehicles had to be large and bulky, think again: you can now buy your very own Mini Camper. Thanks to the British subsidiary of BMW Group there is a new trio of cars, all in the Mini family, intended for the weekend warrior. A pop-up camper on one of the smallest cars out there? Yes. Hey, if your kayak fits in the back, even better.

BMW Group

Compared to a traditional RV or Airstream, it’s good for the budget. Depending on the size of an RV, you’ll get somewhere between 6-10 miles per gallon. Newer Airstreams will do slightly better, and even more so if you run them on diesel, but that’s nothing compared with a Mini. The new Mini Countryman All4 Camp is quoted at about 40 miles per gallon, and even if you’re driving it hard and getting half of that, you’re still well beyond the classic mobile camper options. And you can still make it your city car.

Will the new miniature sized camping vehicles win over the Airstream and combi van lovers? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, better start downsizing your camping gear.

Is ‘Cabineering’ The New Glamping?

Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone
Courtesy of Delaware North Parks & Resorts

Love the outdoors but roughing it, not so much? A new movement called cabineering might be for you. The term was coined by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which operates historic and scenic properties throughout North America and Australia, to describe its new Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone.

The upscale 50-cabin property is scheduled to open July 1 in West Yellowstone, Montana; the units will provide the “comforts of home and the perks of a hotel for adventurous travelers.” The overarching goal of Explorer Cabins is to “provide a unique vacation experience by combining several lodging movements, including cabineering, “generational travel” and dog-friendly travel…in a remote area.”

To celebrate the opening, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts will host the “Cabineering℠ Cook-off presented by Pepsi” contest on July 17. Contestants must submit an original recipe, which must be created using only the appliances offered at Explorer Cabins, and prepared in 30 minutes or less. Recipes, along with a photo or video of the dish, will be accepted starting June 25 through July 3. Participants must “like” the “Visit Yellowstone Park” Facebook page to enter their submissions.

Three finalists will be selected and flown, along with three family members, to West Yellowstone to prepare their recipes before a panel of judges (Can you already hear the, “Please pack your knives and go.”). The winner will have his or her recipe added to the Branch Restaurant and Bar menu, located at Explorer Cabin’s sister hotel, the Holiday Inn West Yellowstone. The winner will also receive a trip for four to Explorer Cabins for three nights. Details are available on Facebook.

Men’s Journal Goes Glamping In Montana

Montana has numerous options for GlampingLooking for a great new destination for your next “glamping” adventure? Then Men’s Journal has you covered. The magazine has launched a new regular video feature on their website called “Remote and Refined,” which promises to introduce us to some of the best five-star accommodations that just so happen to be in some off-the-beaten-path locations.

In the premiere episode, which you’ll find below, we’re introduced to the Resort at Paws Up. Located in Montana, the resort offers access to some of the most spectacular and pristine wilderness in North America. Visitors will find excellent outdoor adventures such as hiking, climbing, ATV excursions, fly-fishing and more. At the end of the day, after they’ve explored everything that Big Sky Country has to offer, they’ll return to the resort where they’ll enjoy luxurious cabins, fine food and plenty of creature comforts.

If you’re the kind of traveler who enjoys staying active but still prefers to be pampered at the end of the day, then you’ll probably enjoy this new video series. If nothing else, we’re all sure to find some amazing new locations that we can dream about visiting.

[Photo Credit: Kraig Becker]


Introducing The Swagon, Australia’s New Take On Glamping

swagonWe’ve all seen the pimped-out safari tents and palace-style camping retreats used for glamping; however, Gawler Ranges Wildness Safaris has taken luxurious camping to the next level with the introduction of the Swagon. The 100-year-old, Aussie-style wagon is “part swag, part wagon.” And for those who don’t know, swag refers to a queen-sized double mattress, used for extra comfort when roughing it in the Outback of South Australia.

Also known as the “Galaxy Suite,” the Swagon features a private shower and toilet, as well as a bed canopied by canvas to pull back for stargazing. Glampers won’t even need to cook, as meals are served at the camp’s outdoor dining room with complimentary drinks.

“The Swagon was built to offer single travellers accommodation without a single supplement. The tents have two bedrooms, so a single person could displace four people,” explains Geoff Scholz, Director of Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris. “The wagon was in a dilapidated state parked in the bush, covered in rusty wire when I noticed it and saw the potential to achieve what I wanted. A Swag in a wagon? Yep, Swagon.”

Swagons can be found at Kangaluna Camp, a small wilderness campground on the Eyre Peninsula. Surrounded by salt lakes, volcanic rock and wildlife, the area makes for an excellent destination to get in touch with nature and sleep under the stars.

Luxury Travel: Go ‘Glamping’ In NYC

glamping at aka new yorkWant to get your glamp on? We at Gadling have had our fair share of fun with the term “glamping” and its addition to the travel lexicon, although we’ll admit that our experience actually practicing the technique last summer was quite fun.

But now, travelers don’t have to head to Adirondaks or Montana to camp, luxe style. AKA New York is launching the second “season” of its “Sleep Under the Stars” experience, where travelers can “glamp” on the hotel’s rooftop between now and Labor Day.

Set on the 17th floor, the 1,000-square-foot wraparound terrace will be home to a plush queen-size bed set in front of a wood-burning fireplace, complete with:

  • Cocktails using A Vod, AKA’s signature vodka
  • Midnight snacks of gourmet Jacque Torres s’mores, cheese and crackers, strawberries and Champagne
  • High tech flashlight and camping lantern
  • Outdoor mood music and scented candles to enhance the “celestial ambiance”
  • State-of-the-art telescope for stargazing
  • Nook Simple Touch e-reader loaded with campfire stories
  • 42-inch plasma screen TV and DVD player with a selection of classic black and white movies
  • Breakfast with coffee or tea at a.cafe

We note it does not come with earplugs for the city noise below but, at $1,999 a night, we’re pretty sure you can request them.