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Fold up the heated tents

August 25, 2007

Re "Say, has the butler cleaned the trout yet?" Aug. 19

Your piece on upscale camping reminds me of backpacking trips my wife and I took into the high Sierra many years ago. Our route was usually at 9,000 to 11,000 feet in altitude, and we would stay on the trail for about a week, navigating with a map and compass. My wife was a superior trail cook.

We mostly managed to stay off established trails and to camp in places where there were no signs that people had been there before. The mountains seemed to be alive. The solitude was literally awesome.

Anyone can hire servants to bring waffles with huckleberries; all it takes is money. My memories of our mountain experiences are as fresh today as they ever were, and what we did required imagination, physical effort and courage. It's nice to have money, but it too comes at a price.

Jonathan Schwartz

Marina del Rey

Someone better check to make sure that old John Muir hasn't spun right out of his grave. Any parent who would lead his or her child to believe that glamorous camping -- or "glamping," in which the "glampers" sleep on pillow-top beds in heated luxury tents and are waited on hand and foot -- is in any way akin to camping is doing them a great disservice.

The greatest rewards of camping come in learning the value of self-reliance and the joy of personal communion with nature. Anyone who has ever sat by the shore of a mountain lake or stream after a long day on the trail and cooked his or her own meal over a campfire knows this to be true.

Jason Armbruster

Los Angeles

I can't count the ways in which I found the article on luxury camping offensive. I'm sure that Louis XIV valued the same "big seamless, wonderful experience." Thankfully, history and humanity cast a different judgment on such wasteful, self-centered values.

Frank Kearns


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