High Class in the Grass | The Source Weekly - Bend

High Class in the Grass

Glamour + Camping = Glamping

Glamping is the clever combination of the words glamour and camping. The act of glamping combines nature with the luxury to which one may be accustomed and can no longer live without. Though many people have the desire to spend a few nights in the wilderness or attend a multi-day music festival, often sleeping on the ground is just not doable. That is where the glamour portion comes in to lend a moisturized and soft hand to the equation. There no longer needs to be a choice. Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing high-class recreational living: Glamping!

Darren Kling and Shawn Armstrong are husband and wife co-owners of Panacea in the Canyon, a glamping resort in Terrebonne. In the last eight years since they began luxury camping operations, Kling says there has definitely been a big increase in awareness. "We're in a natural setting, but with all the amenities you would get at a nice hotel," Kling says. His wife expands upon that: "We have infused the element of luxury into the natural setting," says Shawn Armstrong.

Though Panacea is 100 percent solar and completely off-grid, guest tents include private baths with heated showers and flush toilets. The beds come with organic linens and down comforters. Each package comes all-inclusive with a chef to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner in an outdoor kitchen. "Guests really do have a private experience," says Armstrong. "All of the amenities are equal to or surpass a five-star resort." Panacea offers yoga every morning and meditation for those who want it, but Armstrong says it is also for the person who wants adventure. It's a very tailored experience."

"In order to protect that category of glamping, we offer our consulting services to those who would like to build a glamping resort in an environmentally friendly way," says Armstrong. "You pack out what you pack in. We built with that in mind," she says.

Immersed in nature but with all the comforts one could want is the essence of glamping. The people of Oregon, especially the ones residing and playing in Bend, love to camp and spend time outdoors, and many grew up with fond memories of a sleeping bag that smelled of campfire. Camping is something 40 million Americans enjoy each year, according to the latest 2014 American Camper Report (ACR), put together by the Outdoor Foundation and the Coleman Company. The ACR data shows that almost 41 percent of those surveyed would be more likely to camp in the future if access to better equipment and luxury sites were more readily available.

Like regular camping, glamping involves preparation. Though most items wanted or needed for basic camping can still be found at places like Cabela's or REI, much of the luxury items for glamping can be found online at sites such as Glampingessentials.com and Glampinggirl.com, which has everything from the basic luxury cotton sleeping bags to portable stereo and DVD players. Of course, it all costs a bit more, and sometimes a lot more than the norm.

Americans spend an average of $120.7 billion in outdoor recreation equipment each year with the vast majority of those sales associated with camping gear and accessories. Small businesses from Podpads in the U.K. to Silipint in Bend may find a new niche market and success in glamping accessories. Silipint, for example, holds a patent for its unbreakable wine, cocktail and pint glasses that are colorful and stylish for when the outdoors or semi-outdoors calls.

If doing the heavy lifting in preparation isn't in the cards then sites such as Glamping.com, a website that refers to itself as, "The world's foremost authority on everything glamping," will take all of the work out of the way. It includes listings throughout the world with an array of temporary habitats such as tents, tree houses and yurts for people to enjoy.

www.panacearesort.com (reservations only)





Panacea at the Canyon from Panacea on Vimeo.