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By Laura Stec

Camp Glamp

Uploaded: Aug 29, 2014

Just back from Camp Glamp - the annual gathering of my gal pals at an outdoor California paradise. This year we survived the road to Lake Pillsbury, a surprisingly full, really big and beautiful lake one hour east of Ukiah. Takes about 3.5 hours to get there from the Bay Area, but it's the last 10 miles (which takes about one hour) that'll get cha'.

The older we get, the more fooph we seem to bring; full size air mattresses instead of Therm-a-Rests, real bedding instead of sleeping bags, lie-down loungers rather than camp chairs. We've definitely moved into the glamping stage.

Food is an area you can really glamp-it-out. I've always enjoyed cooking outdoors and with relatively little effort, you can whip up some memorable meals. On Friday, Cynthia sautéed cherry tomatoes, onions, spinach and shrimp into organic whole wheat penne for a delicious dinner (Kale Almond Salad on the side). The next night, I chopped up Ukiah Farmers Market produce into a quick Asian Lettuce Wrap with Cashew Peanut Sauce and Dang Coconut Chips (recipe is kid approved I might add). It's very glampy to stop at the local farmers market on your way in, so check online for market dates in towns near your next camp.

A meal we all look forward to is breakfast with Elaine because she makes her famous Crunchy Pancakes. Personally, pancakes are the biggest waste of calories around, but these satisfy more than just a blood sugar rush. With protein-rich, glampy ingredients premixed at home, just milk and eggs need to be whisked in at camp. Topped with a little Straus organic yoghurt and seasonal fruit, you'll feel like you are eating at the Post Ranch Inn. Add fresh brew from glamp side trip to local coffee company, here Melissa suggested Ukiah's Black Oak, and you are California traveling in style. Sunset Magazine - watch out!

It's the extra touches that can turn any camp into a glamp. One of my favorites involves the ultimate food tool, reused. Next time you get a new toothbrush, put the old one in your gear. There's nothing better than taking a quarter shower with an old toothbrush. Brighten up those toes ladies! A few scrubs and that nasty ol' pedicure looks like brand new! I'm just talking Camp Glamp.

If you are lucky enough to be in California these next two months, I encourage you to take outdoor advantage of some of the best weather we have all year.

Summer's not over yet.

I went to the woods, to suck the marrow out of the bone of life, so that when I died, they could not say, I did not live.
- Thoreau (oh, and Robin Williams)

Elaine's Crunchy Pancakes (serves 3)
- recipe by Charlene Prickett

3/4 c whole wheat flour (substitute gluten free all purpose)
2 T rolled oats
2 T shelled sunflower seeds
2 T sesame seeds
2 T wheat bran
1 T wheat germ
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 c buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

Toast sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and wheat germ. Allow to cool.
Combine all dry ingredients. (This dry mixture can be bagged and kept for weeks.)

In a separate bowl, beat the egg and mix it with the other wet ingredients.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and cook until both sides of pancakes are light brown.

Note: Since buttermilk may not be readily available, substitute milk or water.

Want more info? sources glamorous camping options the world over. has great photos and lists user experiences.