We are very excited about a series of interviews we are going to bring you on the subject of glamping. We have had the opportunity to talk with a number of people from our local community and the glamping and travel field about their personal experiences of camping and most importantly glamping.
To get us started we are introducing Kyle Hamilton. Kyle is well known for photography in winter action sports circles but also for his amazing landscape shots taken in the Kootenays and beyond as well as his unique style of portraiture. He has a large and loyal following on Instagram and regularly travels all over North America for photo shoots.
Kyle can you introduce yourself and tell us where you grew up, and who your family consists of now?
My name is Kyle Hamilton. I grew up in Saskatchewan, we lived in Saskatoon, and had a summer cottage at Redberry Lake. I’m now married with a child of my own, and we live in Fernie BC.
What is your earliest memory of camping?
I don’t know if its an actual memory, or just one of those stories that is so often repeated that we develop a “memory” of it, but my earliest memory of camping was when I was about 4.5 years old… My little brother was climbing up the back of a stroller when it tipped backwards on him, and the handle cut the inside roof of his mouth for about 7 stiches. Apart from that, my next earliest memory of camping is in about grade 5 or 6 when I joined my school’s “Voyageurs” program, and we did a 2 night canoe trip down the saskatchewan river.
Would you describe yourself as a good camper and why/why not?
I like to think of myself as a good camper, yeah. I practice “Leave no trace” style camping, and always try to clean up any garbage I may find at a campsite, or along the trails. I also know how to get a giant bonfire roaring in even the wettest and most miserable conditions!
Who is the best at pitching the tent, you or your wife or is it a team effort?
I’m not sure if this is a sexual innuendo question or not?… But as far as setting up a campsite, I would say that I tend to do it more than my wife because I’ve had the tent for almost 10 years, and its travelled around the world with me, so, I can pretty much set it up in with my eyes closed, in under 5 mins.
What does your cooler consist of for a long weekend camping trip, cover what will be eaten at all three meals?
It all really depends on the type of camping trip we’re doing, as to what gets packed… and if there is even a cooler coming! But typically, I’d say we would have a meal of pasta with spag bolognese for one dinner, rice and chilli for another, and I like to have a nice meaty steak at least one night as well. Nothing beats meat cooked over an open flame! For breakfast, if we’re bringing a cooler, we’d like have eggs, yogurt, and maybe some bacon if we’re bringing a skillet or frying pan as well. Lunches typically consist of snacking throughout the day, which is typically GORP, cheese, sausage, and maybe a protein bar or similar.
You bought a pop-up-tent-trailer recently, why are you moving away from Tent camping? Would the option of glamping holidays fit your needs nowadays?
We did recently buy a pop-up tent trailer. With a small child, it just seemed like an all around easier option for road trips than just a 2-3 person style backpacking tent. Having a dry place to change diapers, cook meals, and generally hang out in if the weather is foul is much easier in the tent trailer than if we were just in a tent. As well, the price for the tent trailer was cheaper than most of the better quality family-style tents. Glamping holidays might fit our needs now, if the location was right.
Have you ever been Glamping if so where?
In the sense of hanging out in a minimalist cabin, I guess I’ve been glamping at some of the remote fishing camps I’ve spent some time at in my childhood in Northern Saskatchewan… but to me, hauling the tent trailer around is “glamping” compared to loading everything in a backpack, and hitting the trail for points unknown.
If not, why not and would you like to try it?
I’m always down to try anything new, twice.
What do you love most about camping?
My favourite part of camping is just being outside. Slowing down the rhythm of the day, and just focusing on the “real” necessities of life, i.e. eating, drinking, and being merry.
What is your favourite all time camping location and why?
The coolest place I’ve ever camped was in a cave in France while hiking the Gorge Verdun, Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon. I ended up having to bivouac in the cave after I’d lost the trail earlier in the day, and ended up in a place that I should not have been. By the time I had retraced my steps, and found the trail, it was pouring rain, the light was fading, and I really just needed to find some shelter. I found a cave big enough that I could start a small fire, set up my tent to keep the creepy crawlies off me, and then enjoyed a meal watching the rain pour off the front of the cave while I was warm and dry inside.
What is your secret way to deter the bugs?
My secret is to create a concoction of elephant dung, alder roots chewed by virgins, and unicorn tears. I mix them all up in a pestle and mortar, and then pour the slurry into a tiny vial which I wear around my neck. It keeps away Bugs, Bears, and Ligers. My wife thinks I’m full of it when I wear this, but I swear by it.
Thanks Kyle for that I think you should go ahead and start bottling and selling that stuff!
Also thanks for the amazing camping photos you shared with us too.