tree camping…for the strong at heart

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Camping has always been one of my favorite pastimes. It’s exhilarating and an excellent way to stay in shape. Whether for exercise or merely to inhale the oxygen rich foliage, camping provides me with an escape from city life.

The trees are one of the most fascinating aspects of being out in the wide open air and the residents of Elk, California would agree. They’ve taken the tradition of camping to new heights with tree camping. That’s right, camping in trees. Campers hoist themselves high up in the air and hang their tents from a tall tree. Elk, California isn’t the only state that has taken to tree camping. Tree camping is popping up around the world.

Although many find this method of camping exciting, the costs involved are often more than one would pay for a typical camping trip. Campers in Elk, California typically must pay for their own “Treeboat” bed which comes with a mosquito net, blanket and pillow, as well as other necessary camping equipment. Pricing can be a little over $300 per person. For some this is too high for the exhilarating experience of tree camping.

There are alternatives, however. Companies that make a living off tree camping offer tents at a far lower cost than their more pricey competitors in Elk, California. The company Treez Tree Tents (http://www.treeztreetents.com) offers low to the ground tree tents for under $300. Tree Stuff (http://www.treestuff.com) makes Treeboats, or “Sky Beds”, for as low as $94.95. Per Tentsile Tree Tents (http://tentsile.com) website their tents were “conceived as a treehouse that you can take anywhere.” Although more on the pricy side, they offer tree tents that can sleep up to six people. At a whopping $1,450 it definitely will need to be divided by all six campers to make this Sky Bed worth the purchase.

Costs aside, tree camping around the world has taken hold. Enthusiastic tree campers in Waldseilgarten, Germany are camping in varied configurations of the treeboats. While treeboats typically are tied to at least three trees far above the ground, tree tents similar to small pyramids are tied to a tall branch from a single rope or wire covered by a mosquito net.

Some companies have used technology to invent an innovative and effective tree tent. Luminair (http://luminair.co.uk) has devised a spherical tent using recycled materials. Their design has been said to look like a wasp’s nest, although I think of it as a mini world amidst the trees. Imagine being in this tree world overlooking the mountains and watching the sunrise or sunset.

Tree camping has made its way onto my bucket list and will soon leave the realm of imagination and enter the realm of reality. It is not for the faint of heart. If heights are not your thing, then tree camping may pose a challenge. For the fearless and adventurous, however, tree camping is a fun outing you can treasure for the rest of your life.

To ensure your tree camping experience is successful, be prepared. Ensure you have all the necessary equipment, then locate a suitable location for your tree camping exploits. Not every camp ground will allow tree camping. If you intend to camp relatively high above the ground, consider how you will easily get down in the event of an emergency. The simplest eventuality is typically the most overlooked—how will you quickly use the “bathroom” at such heights?

For a fun and unique camping trip, don’t hesitate to give tree camping a spin. I most certainly will. You never know, I just might see you in a tree somewhere one day.

© zaji

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