Glamping: are you cool enough for the 'champers' campers?
You know how it is. You unzip the tipi one morning for that first lungful of fresh air, to find that Kate Moss has plonked her fancy yurt between you and the sea view.
Or you queue at the tap with your water carrier for ages, because after Tom Cruise has finished, his wigwam consultant, security detail and religious adviser all need to fill up.
In fact you can hardly stir a sausage into a pot of beans these days for fear that Jamie Oliver will jump out of the hedge with a handful of herbs to add a bit of flavour.
Just how many magazine covers or Oscars do you need these days to go camping? Our celebrities are deserting their usual luxurious destinations faster than you can say 'designer wellies' and drinking their champagne in the open.
There has always been the odd celebrity camping story knocking about. Sir Paul McCartney was caught kipping under the stars in Missouri (age 66), and singer Robbie Williams did likewise, hoping to see UFOs (quite).
But now they are all at it.
I’m a celebrity – pitch me over there
When Kate Moss descended on a travellers’ campsite for a fashion shoot, she spurned the usual lavish hotels, staying in a caravan and singing round the fire with other campers. Tom Cruise took his daughter Suri camping last year so that she could experience an essential part of childhood. And ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Eva Longoria was spotted emerging from under the canvas in Normandy while visiting her husband’s native France.
Celebrities are not just camping and caravanning – they are championing them too. Chef and TV star Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who has long made programmes about cooking in the wild, has proudly contributed to a book about camping, alongside model Jodie Kidd and Blur bassist Alex James. And who would have thought that pop stars Mark Owen and Jay Kay, actors Helen Mirren and Billie Piper and model Nell McAndrew would be united by – a passion for caravans?
We know that these celebrities are hardly slumming it (apart from actors Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, who camp unglamorously to swap paparazzi for mosquitoes). Katie and Tom had their entourages and their designer gear, and Jamie Oliver fitted his VW Camper with a Porsche engine, for goodness’ sake. And while he might have stayed in a caravan park in North Wales, £30m England defender Rio Ferdinand only stopped there for one night.
Camping, glamping, it’s all good
The style is hardly the point. Any celebrity who draws attention to the joys of camping is doing a service for the industry and for staycations as a whole. Introducing people who would not touch a tent pole with a bargepole to staying outdoors – albeit with Ted Baker airbeds, silk-lined sleeping bags and opulent motor homes – is a victory for camping, for nature, and for us ordinary folk who have been enjoying it all along.
The closest that most celebrities got to camping used to be kicking their stalkers’ tents off the lawn. Now they’re out glamping in force and highlighting that there are more options than ever for holidays outside. And that has got to be a good thing.
Have you ever seen a celebrity pitching up? Heard of any other stars who like to camp? What do you think about this trend among the famous for the camping life?