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"The Dew and the Sparrow": The Test of Camp Life

The first glamorous camp appeared in the Far East

How to enjoy the delights of wild tourism without risk to health? Who gives a cozy treshka in the center of the taiga? How is camping connected with education, local lore and increasing the attractiveness of the region in the eyes of foreigners? EastRussia learned from the traveler, one of the founders of the project, which has no analogues in the east of Russia -Alexandra Kolbina.

"The Dew and the Sparrow": The Test of Camp Life
Photo: Alexander Kolbin, Vitaly Yazvenko

Alexanderwhere did it all start?

- I was born near Volochaevskaya Sopka, and since childhood we went on "hikes", the boys ran around the village. Then it grew into big stories, travel. And living in tents is an integral part of the camping life. You can go anywhere, say, to the sea, and it's all mobile and cool. But now we have matured and began to settle down a little. And they came to the idea, how to make it seem like a hike, but it's convenient for you. My son is four years old. How to make sure that he does not freeze, so that he is comfortable and fun in nature?

- That is, the basis of the project is selfishness?

- There was also a request from outside. For example, I want to hike, but do not want for long, scares the dampness, you can not wash yourself, you need to carry things on yourself. All those moments that stop many from hiking. Although those who decide, in the process forget about what is hard, and catch the buzz, not paying attention to the little things.
A friend addressed me, said, there is a base and a few barbecue houses, if you want, do it. We with my partner-businessman Vitali Yazvenko began to storm, and what can be done there. We went through a bunch of formats. With that base, we did not agree, but for us it became a kind of training. We found information about glamping, and decided on the criteria: simplicity, convenience, mobility and budget. By the autumn the name "Rosa and the Sparrow" was born. 


- In Khabarovsk there are country bases up to three stars. Do you have competitors and deficits in this market?

- If there is borsch, it does not mean that you do not want ice cream. If you rest in a three-four-star hotel, then there are other conditions, a different atmosphere. You can not burn a bonfire, you can not fry potatoes, you can not get stuck in the sky, you do not work out some kind of hiking things. And this is its own charm. Here's how the "Race of Heroes": you can be a spectator, and you can run around in mud - these are different formats. We wanted to share with people the atmosphere that we catch in campaigns. With those who went on field trips in the student years, and now grew up and wants to remember, to show their children how they rested in tents, kindled a fire. 


The second group consists of those who, in principle, have never tried it, but really want to. It's risky to drag such people on a hike. For example, you entered, and you will be able to leave only after seven days. You will not jump off. You like buckwheat, you do not like buckwheat, whether you eat meat or not. And our project is a kind of probe, you can test everything in a comfortable environment. At any time, if a hurricane breaks out, you can take shelter in a sturdy, stable tent. Now we are at the Air Park, there is also a small house with a fireplace, a normal toilet, a veranda with a roof. All the conditions for you to live in a tent, but not in the wilderness, but on the verge of civilization.

- How much time has passed since the ripening of the idea in my head before the arrival of the first tourists?

- Six months. In May, I sat down behind Google's map and began to search, where theoretically there could be something interesting. We made a list of places. Then we got into the car and drove all around Khabarovsk. Some lakes, heels, fields, forests, free zones. Many of the places did not fit in certain points. It is desirable that the pond was, a sensible road for the arrival on the car. It's good that there were woods, mountains, a field ...

- Rocks, waterfalls with rainbows ...

- Yes, approximately. And so, like in the "Nameless Star" - "I figured it out!" We did not find an ideal place right next to Khabarovsk. Always, if there are no people, it means that far away, if there are people, then the courtyard. But we are trying to make the minuses a plus, and the pluses intensify. That is, if in the forest, it is damp, but this forest is not hot. If in the field, there is wind, but this field is with the sun and with the stars!   


- So, you conducted a casting of the territories.

- Yes, we went, selected the options. The problem is that this is not our main job with Vitaly. But we found a good place, made the first party for our own people, set up a tent, fried kebabs, watched a movie. We launched the format, made the photos. This was in July. Stas Korovin from the Aeronautics Club came to us and offered to partner at Air-Park, where the land is owned. We said ok and stood there. We were given a hundred square meters. In early August, the first clients arrived, girls. Then a little more. The main problem is that Vozdukh-Park has its own events - weddings, corporate parties, so we missed all weekends in August and September.

- In theory, you need to look for your place?

- We are doing this. We have a meeting in the administration of the Khabarovsk region, we wrote a statement that we are asking to provide a place for our needs. Well, we also look at it in parallel.

- Why did you not take the Far Eastern hectare for this project?

- Hectares are all far away. And it is not clear where. I looked at places where there are hectares and where you can get up purely hypothetically. There are places, but it is necessary to go somewhere there to the Choir and look for it. At a distance from the city there are pluses and minuses. Since we plan to make a network, it is possible that the campsite will be somewhere far away in the taiga.


"From a distance it looks like an Indian settlement." From what material are your tents made, where you ordered them, how they were mounted?

- These are large tents, they are made of a fabric similar to thick cotton with a water-repellent impregnation. There is no frame. They are rag, in the middle is a pole that holds the roof. The rest is stretched. Remember the geologists' tents? It's similar here. Height three meters, diameter five. They are made to order for us in China. But the awning for the kitchen-campfire zone turned out to be cheaper to sew in Khabarovsk. We also want to set up Indian teepees and yurts. In 2013, we went to the Sayan Mountains, rafted down the river and tasted all this Buryat ethnic theme, got infected.  


- Is it a purely summer business? And tell me about the project budget.

- Glamping works from April to October. We have the idea of ​​winter tents, but we have not yet dealt with this, we need a stove, and there are no suitable stoves. We are now testing a gas stove.  

In full we need a half million, have already invested 600-700 thousand. On the payback of speech is not yet. The cost for guests 5000 rubles per day for a tent house, they are 4-local. Now there are only four of them, we will buy them. But the price tag is likely to increase. It was a starter, we have not yet launched the project at full capacity. No food yet. There will be a tourist flow, and we will organize it for a fee.

- Why such a price? 4-local house in Primorye in the summer can be rented for a smaller amount. I emphasize, there is a sea there.

- As they say, toast can not cost 8 dollars, and a hook can. Granny - this is what you fried in a frying pan is a simple piece, and the hook is a neatly fried and served very nicely. We want to serve everything beautifully, not "like, guys, here's a tent, you have so much." To have dishes, linen.
In Primorye, how? Free sea, and a house to it. And we still have to improve the territory. A forest, an open field, you still need to put on some interesting structure. A certain art park, you are walking through the forest and came across some little thing, the leaves are beautifully laid out, stones. Some kind of labyrinth, a wooden deer, a windmill. Some famous places near Khabarovsk are simply annoying with their kitsch. We also plan a warm shower, panel electricity, for 1 watt or 2, as it turns out. All this requires money. We set the price in terms of project payback. If we put up a tent and did not do anything in it and around it, it would be cheaper. Plus we need a security guard, a handyman. To be engaged in this project, to bring specialists there, the same astronomers with equipment, is also not free.

- In which cities in Russia have such camping sites been successfully operating?

- On the Volga, in Karelia, somewhere in the Irkutsk region. In Sochi there was something similar. That is, we found 4-5 similar projects on the Internet. In the Far East we are pioneers. We will develop, and make a franchise. Vanino asks, Blagoveshchensk. We will share history, talk about the pitfalls, traffic.

- And tell us for free about a couple of "stones."

- Well, first of all, where to get it all. How long does it go, how to order. The order will go through us, we will simply cut off the waste of time for people to negotiate with China. It would seem that everything is near, but go find it, agree. And there is a lot of everything, all sorts of tents, bed linen, beds.
While we are only working with this, the territory has not yet been ennobled. This is planned for the next year. When we know that this is our place, we will invest finances and forces. Under the tents need wooden decking. Now it's getting colder, and it's directly felt.

- Who is the target audience of the Glamping Park?

- I would like to clarify that glamor is not necessarily stupid, pink and tasteless, as we now have settled, the term was somewhat vulgar. Although glamor translates to luxurious, sublime. Both intellect and aesthetics are present there. Now it has gone away somewhere. For example, we call two-storey barracks cottages, which have nothing to do with cottages. So, a person arrives, settles into a tent, and there he climbs not into a sleeping bag, but into a good bed with linens. All this must be beautifully designed by design. We will deal with good content from next year when we decide on a place. That is, it is unusual for a tourist, soft, cozy and warm.


Around these tents some interesting space, forest, field, river, lake. Nearby there is a zone where you can cook something, a campfire zone where you can chat at night, lie in padded stools, get stuck on the stars, wrap yourself in a blanket. The girls came, it was very buzzing, they were sitting, drinking wine, eating something, roasting at the stake, laughing, studying the stars in applications. It was a nice atmosphere.

On the territory or nearby, I would like to make a route, according to which a person can pass, take a walk, pick something up, see some stories, study them. Educational component we want to introduce and thematic pieces: separate races of botanists, for example. That is, a person walks, collects a herbarium, and the specialist tells about local plants, useful, dangerous, some legends.

We also plan archeologists and astronomers. This for today, no one has. With the government of the Khabarovsk Territory, we did not work directly, only in the corridors we communicate, we are told, they say, yes, it is interesting. Officials are also interested in the emergence of something alive and present. Because so far as a counterbalance there are only shish kebabs, where you can come, pardon mois, pobuhat.  

Firstly, this is the place where you can easily learn the camping lifestyle. Plus it's an educational project to learn things. Beautiful interior of the tent taught design, taste, some board games helped people play, entertain, showed that you can not only blow beer. Even beer drinking can be beautiful, interesting. Educational program for adults, children, family, this is astronomy and botany, some tourist skills, ethnography, through fairy tales, through history, through legends. This all would like to show our local culture, Khabarovsk.

- How is the factor frightening tourists in our region more than a heavy backpack - a gnat?

- There are different traps, scarers, lure, killers. The question is solved. You put and at a distance of 100 meters, removes mosquitoes and midge, and they do not cut out so much. We tested on the "Air Park". Some days they were not at all, in some they appeared with sunset, but we went to the fire, and they flew.

- Do you expect to attract Muscovites, tourists from other cities, foreigners, or are you targeting local people?

- We would like to see a tourist starting point. Where should you visit upon arrival in Khabarovsk. Our place in the idea is exactly where you can get to know Khabarovsk, Khabarovsk Territory, surroundings, nature, plus you can bring caviar, some beautiful things of ours to the camping on request. It would be interesting for Asians, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans. Unfortunately, what other tourist zones offer is all in such a format that you won't see much of Russia or the region there. There is an exception - a Nanai village in Sikachi-Alyan and a Nanai camp, they are not bad. But there is very little that sticks around. For example, there is a Russian village on Bychikha, but how it works is not clear. You come, and there is no one there! There is also an eco-trail near the Bolshekhekhtsirsky reserve. Perhaps we will try to make a joint project with them. But it is more difficult there with the collection of wild plants or fishing, in the territory of the reserve all this is prohibited.

- What are your plans for the winter?

- We will engage in branding, design design. And, of course, look for your ideal place. Plus we are now connecting a parallel project, no longer stationary, is a glamping campaign "The wind is free". The other day we went to Anyui rocks, took the same tents. Weight of one 35 kilograms. It was cozy there. You sleep in a cozy "treshka" in the heart of the taiga in bed, under you a mattress, bed linen, rugs. And around the forest, moss, lichens hang thick-thick, ate, and behind the crowns in the sky extends the Milky Way. It's a bomb in general. Soon we'll go, just test in the cold weather a freshly bought stove. I myself like cave talks very much, we call it when we are sitting by the fire, everything is dirty, we eat potatoes, we spin rolls of rice with stew and talk about plastic cards, blockade, crypto-currencies, transfers, nanotechnologies, squares and other modern things. At the same time, no one is distracted by the same phones.
Interviewed by Elena Vertyankina


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