What Is The Difference In Glamping vs Camping 5 Criteria
Camping and glamorous camping, also known as “glamping,” have the same underlying premise — spending the night in the great outdoors. Beyond that, they have many subtle and not-so-subtle differences that you should know. Let’s take an in-depth look at camping vs. glamping so you can see which option is best for you.
The traditional form of camping takes you away from most of the luxuries of home. It brings you back to a more primitive lifestyle, testing your skills as an outdoor adventurer and putting you out of your comfort zone. While some aspects of camping may be temporarily uncomfortable, the overall satisfaction of being self-sufficient is what makes camping such a timeless experience.
After all, what we call “camping” is how every human on earth used to live during the dawn of the species. They were hunters and gatherers, sleeping in crude shelters and cooking over open fires — just like people do at modern campgrounds today. Camping takes us back to our ancestral roots, and that’s why it will always be a popular outdoor activity.
You can technically take a camping trip anywhere, but it’s supposed to take place out in the wilderness so you can fully immerse yourself in nature. Some people have private campgrounds they can retreat to, but most campers use public campgrounds at local, state and national parks.
Although several of these sites are in remote locations, they offer a wide variety of activities that attract people from all walks of life. Hiking, fishing and cycling are the big three. You might also find opportunities for hunting, swimming, boating, bird watching and more.
If you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast, you can also take advantage of special campground discounts and benefits with camping membership programs. Some memberships even offer fuel discounts and give you access to exclusive campsites.
Traditional camping always takes place in a temporary shelter, as a rule. The shelter is usually something lightweight and easy to assemble, such as a tent or hammock. The most extreme campers don’t bring anything and build a survival shelter using the elements that nature provides. Others just bring a sleeping bag and sleep under the stars.
If these options seem too barebones, you can also stay in a car, trailer or RV. Many of the aforementioned public campgrounds accommodate RVs. Another option that has boomed in popularity in recent years is van life or dwelling. People convert a bus or van into a permanent shelter and travel from campsite to campsite.
However, if you want the best traditional camping experience, it’s best to take a minimalist approach. Bringing an elaborate shelter almost defeats the purpose of camping, which is spending the night outdoors.
In traditional camping, all of your cooking should take place over a portable stove or open fire. These are the primary cooking methods when you don’t have access to a kitchen. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Portable stoves are easier to cook with, but they can also take up a lot of your limited storage space and weigh you down. Cooking over a fire solves this problem, but then you have to worry about cooking your food unevenly. Safety is particularly important with maintaining campfires – particularly if cooking late, as 49% of deadly fires happen overnight. Stoves are the better options for many campers because they are most similar to a normal kitchen and pose less of a fire hazard.
Every campground is supposed to have at least one water source, whether it’s a creek, pond or natural spring. You should always purify the water with a filter or iodine pills, even if it looks safe to drink. If you’re lucky, your campsite will be connected to a nearby well and you won’t have to worry about the water’s sanitation.
Collecting water for cooking and cleaning might be a hassle, but this chore is a quintessential part of the camping experience. Basic tasks are supposed to be challenging. If everything you need is within arm’s reach, you aren’t really camping.
Personal hygiene can be a complicated aspect of traditional camping. If you’re not sleeping in an RV, van or trailer and there’s no bathroom or latrine, you have to do everything out in the open. You need to bring all of your toiletries with you, especially toilet paper. Newbies may have a hard time adjusting to the lack of privacy.
You might go a few days without bathing, but that’s OK. Nobody expects you to stay clean on a camping trip. In fact, if you go the entire trip without getting your hands dirty, something is wrong! Camping is supposed to be a rugged experience.
On the other hand, glamorous camping or “glamping” is the luxurious form of traditional camping. Its origins go all the way back to ancient times, when royal travel parties had lavish campsites with ostentatious tents, expensive feasts, live musical performances and other attractions. The term “glamping” was first used in the United Kingdom in 2005, then added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016.
Glamping is a viable alternative for people who aren’t as confident in their survival skills or don’t enjoy the “roughing it” aspects of regular camping. Let’s go through the same five factors — location, shelter, cooking, water supply and hygiene — to see how glamping differs from camping.
There are fewer campground options for glamping than regular camping. If you want to maintain all of the comforts of home, you need to find a site close to a local store or trading post. This proximity ensures you can buy any supplies you might need during the trip. Any remote campsites that lack basic amenities are off the table.
Other glamping locations include private resorts and tourist destinations, such as tropical islands and desert stargazing sites. The average glamper is wealthier than the average camper, so they usually have no problem affording these high-end campsites.
Glamping also often includes guided tours of the local environment and special activities such as safaris and spa treatments. Traditional camping activities like hiking and fishing are still popular, even among the most high-end glampers.
Glamping encompasses a much wider range of shelter options than traditional camping. You can still sleep in a tent if you wish, but it will likely be more extravagant than a regular tent. Yurts and canvas tents are two popular options. Most glampers prefer to stay in cabins or lodges where they have most of the comforts of home, including a bedroom and kitchen.
There is some overlap between camping and glamping, since both activities allow the use of RVs and other mobile homes. However, glamping RVs tend to be more advanced, containing features like Wi-Fi hotspots, televisions and full bathrooms. The goal is to make your glamping shelter as spacious and comfortable as possible.
Since glamping shelters are usually much more accommodating than camping shelters, cooking is business as usual. You have access to a kitchen and an array of cooking utensils, as opposed to a portable stove and small pan. You can make any meal you want if you bring all of the ingredients or the resort provides them.
However, since glamping often takes place in remote areas, you still need to be mindful of the local wildlife. You don’t want to attract critters to your campsite by leaving food lying around, even indoors. If you’re going to cook a big meal, clean up after yourself before going to bed.
While camping often has unclean and unreliable water sources, glamping gives you unlimited access to clean water. Even if you choose to stay in a tent and don’t have a sink, you’ll still be connected to the local water supply thanks to the campground’s bathrooms or water pump. No extra purification steps are necessary.
Since glamping spares no expense on amenities, your personal hygiene will not be an issue. You can stick to your usual daily grooming routines on the campsite without skipping a beat. There might even be fitness centers, saunas and salons at the resort to help you improve your self-care habits.
Camping vs. Glamping — Which is Right for You?
Camping is the better option for low-budget outdoor enthusiasts or anyone who wants to improve their survival skills. It may be the more rugged activity, especially when it comes to food preparation and basic hygiene, but it’s more beneficial for your confidence and independence.
Glamping is undoubtedly more relaxing, but it’s also much more expensive. If you want to go glamping on a regular basis, you’ll face a high price for special amenities. You might be able to afford the occasional glamping trip, but it might not become a hobby.
Any Type of Camping is Worthwhile
At the end of the day, the glamping vs. camping debate is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the outdoorsy, rugged style of traditional camping, while others are more sophisticated and want a lavish camping experience. However, any type of camping is worthwhile because you’re spending valuable time outdoors, which is the most important thing you can do for your health and well-being.