Little Escape Outdoors will even set up your campfire for you, cook your meals and loan themed clothes for a photo session

For those that like the notion of camping, but don’t really fancy getting down and dirty with nature, “glamping” is all the rage these days.

Glamping – slang for “glamorous camping” – usually involves sleeping kind of outside, but with many modern conveniences, such as a washroom, electricity and a proper bed.

But a Richmond business is taking things a step further – and is offering everything from accommodation to food, hot showers to campfires, social activities and even a professional photographer.

They will even set up your campfire and supply you with phone chargers and gaming consoles.

Little Escape Outdoors, founded by Richmond residents Allen Wu and Annie Dong, has been growing since it launched in 2021 especially among the Chinese Canadian community in Metro Vancouver.

“I know many people are interested in camping but who’ve never camped in Vancouver because they’ve never done it in their home country, don’t have the equipment for it, or feel uncomfortable with the environment in the wild,” said Wu.

“I love camping and have camped for more than 10 years. We can help them experience how great camping is without worrying about any of these.”

He added that, unlike Canada, China doesn’t have a camping tradition and glamping has been a hot trend in recent years among young urbanites who want to try it out without giving up comforts like soft mattresses.

Three cooked meals as part of package

Wu and Dong, an Emily Carr photography grad, came up with the idea of an all-inclusive “exquisite” camping package and added photography services to it.

When campers show up at a designated campsite in the Fraser Valley, everything is set up for them – yurts with beds and bedding, clean bathrooms with a hot shower, three cooked meals, a campfire, mosquito repellent, phone chargers, game facilities and farm animals they can play with.

Wu and Dong also organize social activities for the campers as entertainment during their stay, and during the whole trip, there will be a photographer taking pictures of the campers to “catch the fun moment.”

And of course, this is a lot more expensive than regular camping – at $288 per person per night.

“It has been very popular and many customers, especially female ones, were drawn to our program because of the photos they receive after the trip,” said Dong.

She added that their photos do not only capture the fun campers have but also keep the “exquisite and fancy texture.”

“They can post the photos on social media and the photos then attract more people to our program.”

This year the company even expanded its photography element with an add-on package, which provides different costumes and settings for campers to take photos with – at an extra charge.

“For example, we have farmhouse-style clothes for photos with lamas, cowboy clothes for photos with horses, and they can take pictures on a boat we set up on a river nearby,” said Dong.

And for those who don’t want to stay overnight, the company offers day events at a lavender farm in Richmond.

When asked whether this will take the campers away from an authentic camping experience, Wu said people already have the option to camp in provincial and federal parks if they want to, and their company just offers another option.

“Almost all my best memories are from the nights when I camped with my friends. Through our services, people can leave the city without sacrificing comfort, looking for their real selves in the wilderness,” said Wu.

published 2023-06-21 11:40:44