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Can you camp in a tree?

An Easier Way to Sleep in the Trees
If a portaledge or a tree boat are not your thing, a tree house stay can you provide you with a similar experience -- without all the risks.
If a portaledge or a tree boat are not your thing, a tree house stay can you provide you with a similar experience -- without all the risks.
Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

If buying a bunch of tree climbing equipment and learning a bunch of new skills sounds like a bit too much of a hassle, don't worry. There are plenty of companies out there that will do some of the work for you, whether you're planning to rough it or looking for an experience with a few more amenities.

One way to experience "canopy camping," as it's often advertised, is to hire a guide company to set up a bed for you and provide the basic training you'll need to climb up to it. There are a number of outfits like this in the United States, including the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute in Oregon, Dancing with Trees in Georgia, and Touch the Sky in Maryland. They also offer amenities like home-cooked meals, morning coffee, and even hot peppermint-scented face cloths to enhance your treetop experience. This type of adventure has caught on elsewhere in the world as well. In Brazil, Tropical Tree Climbing will take you 100 feet (30.5 meters) up in the Amazon rainforest during a three-day tour that also includes hiking through the tropical woodlands, fishing for piranhas, swimming with river dolphins and bird watching.

If a real bed is more your style, you don't have to give up the dream of camping in a tree. There are all kinds of tree house hotels that offer comfortable accommodations high in forests around the world. Take the Treehotel in Harads, Sweden, for example. Here, you can stay in one of five "treerooms" supported by the trunks of tall pines that are designed in a variety of curious shapes including a UFO, a bird's nest, and a 13-foot (4-meter) cube covered in reflective glass. Inside these unusual quarters are beds and eco-friendly toilets that incinerate waste at a temperature of 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit (600 degrees Celsius) [source: Treehotel]. Just as eccentric are the Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island, Canada. The rooms at this unique hotel are spherical pods ranging from 9 to 10.5 feet (2.7 to 3.2 meters) in diameter that are suspended from the trees in the lush coastal rainforest [source: Free Spirit Spheres]. Complete with a table and bed, these round rooms are insulated, heated and even boast built-in speakers. Climbing into the room isn't a problem at either of these tree lodges: All are accessible by stairs, ladder or bridge.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to stay in a tree, whether you're the do-it-yourself type who likes a little danger or more the cautious type who enjoys new, but comfortable experiences. Either way -- happy tree camping!