So, my wife got a copy of “Glamping with MaryJane” out of the library, because we had heard that Glamping (Glamour Camping) was a term that was applied to people who went above and beyond when it came to camping, as opposed to minimalists. In going with our (kind of) Steampunk/Erie Canalboat sort of Victorian theme, we thought it would fit with us, as I’m happy to have fancy lamps, a set of silver plate for meals, and lots of elaborate items and woodwork. I read through it, and thought a review here would be appropriate.
First, let me say that the book is pretty. There are really lovely pictures of things, from campers to food. But there’s not as much substance as I would have expected from a book this size.
We do get a background on MaryJane Butters, and her ‘her-story’ with camping parents, living rough while working for the Forest Service, and how she’s set up her own wall-tent B&B.
But what I would want out of the book is the practical information on how-to. She devotes four pages to a photo spread of tearing down her vintage camper, and showing the damage that she encountered (the scheduled re-build didn’t get done before the manuscript deadline, but working on my own project I know how easily that happens,) which is the same amount of pages that she devotes to Insurance (what kinds there are and whether you need any), though that section also has a full-page image with a single paragraph of text, and another with no text instead of information (and neither are pictures that conjure up ‘insurance’ to me).
She does have some neat plans for folding chairs & cots, and for building a massive wall tent structure (including concrete pillars), and some recipes that you can make while Glamping (though her ‘Budget Mix’ is just her own brand of biscuit mix). She also has some decorating and theme ‘flavoring’ ideas, such draping old necklaces over your lamp to make it more elegant, or using a particular theme (such as Old West/Cowgirl, or Rosie the Riviter) as a unifying motif.
The thing that got me, though, was that Glamping, is (in MaryJane’s concept) apparently only a thing women can do. This is evident in little indications throughout the text (with the differences between how men and women change the oil in their cars – his involves much beer and much mess, hers involves a mechanic, a cup of coffee, and a nail file), but becomes blatant when she calls glamping ‘girl camping’ and repeatedly that men ‘don’t get it.’
But, if you want to try your hand at ‘Glamping’, want a pretty book to look though, or want some Glamping recipies or rustic plans, then check it out.