Camping is one of the most popular outdoor recreation activities in the United States. According to a survey in 2020, more than 42 million households in the country went on at least one camping trip that year. Even more surprising is that more than 10 million of these households were first timers.
However, heavy duty camping isn’t for everyone and not all campers want to experience the rougher parts of the activity such as foraging, building a fire or doing their business in the woods. Thankfully, there is an alternative called glamping.
But what is glamping? How is it different from regular camping? And who should go glamping instead of camping?
Glamping is a portmanteau of glamor and camping and it sure fits the bill. A glamping experience basically removes all the hardships associated with camping and replaces them with resort-like experiences.
For example, you wouldn’t have to worry about sleeping on hard ground like you usually would when going camping because you can expect either a full mattress or a plush sleeping bag while glamping. Everything from meals to the environment around a glamping camp is meticulous, providing outdoor recreation with none of the stress.
Naturally, glamping has plenty of detractors among avid outdoors enthusiasts. However, glamping isn’t meant to replicate or supplant the skills and experience provided by actual camping. Rather, it is an alternative for people who cannot handle the tough conditions out in nature. It is a facsimile meant to entertain and relax.
What Features Do Glamp Camps Have?
Glamping usually occurs in manicured environments or carefully tended campgrounds. Glamping experiences vary in price, from a humble $50 to a whopping $3,000 each night. The price of the stay usually dictates the type of features a glamp camp will provide you during your stay.
Below are some of the features associated when you go glamping.
Glamps provide comfortable accommodations. Simple experiences have comfortable tents already set up while more costly premises have huge tents or luxurious cabins. These accommodations will have electrical outlets and lights.
Some may even have air conditioning or heating built in, making any fireplace or grill purely cosmetic or for novelty purposes.
Foraging isn’t done in a glamp camp. Instead, meals will either be served at specific times like a hotel or a supply of food will be left at your accommodations. Variations will occur between different glamping providers. Some glamp camps will try to approximate food that can be eaten when actually camping like fresh berries or s’mores but with a refined twist. Others just provide catered meals you can have at any hotel.
Glamping occurs in controlled environments. Some are in large manicured outdoor areas, more similar to parks than actual wilderness. However, there are glamping camps that are in actual natural reserves or areas. The difference is that these areas are carefully monitored to ensure campers avoid any harm or discomfort. Lighted trails, paved walkways and manicured shrubs are all commonplace in glamp camps.
Some glamp camps go all out and provide the same level of luxury you would normally encounter in a hotel. Some have hot tubs, others have internet access, and some even have golf carts to ferry their campers from tent to tent. Naturally, the more amenities a glamp cap has, the more expensive it will be to stay there.
Toilets and Baths
Finally, glampers don’t have to worry about doing their bodily functions out in the great outdoors. One of the most defining features of a glamp camp are functional and private bathrooms. This amenity alone could be enough to sway first time campers to try glamping instead.
Who Should Go Glamping?
Camping, even in an RV or in a cabin, tends to be a difficult endeavor. There are many skills that are required when you go camping, from strength to haul water and supplies to knowing how to start a fire without an ignition source. Glamping’s amenities make it suitable for different groups.
Casual Outdoor Enthusiasts
Not everyone wants to camp because they plan on honing their survival skills. Some just want to experience fresh air, see greenery and share stories near a roaring fire without having to haul their own lumber or risk running into wild animals.
Casual outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to try both glamping and camping to see which one suits them better.
According to research, at least 29 percent of campers are aged 45 years or older. Unless they are still at peak physicality, older adults may not have the same stamina and resilience needed to go on regular camping trips.
Oder adults are also more prone to injury and less likely to recover quickly. This means that the comfort and amenities provided by a glamp camp is ideally suited for older adults who want to relax and vacation in an outdoor setting.
Glamping often gets derisive treatment from outdoor activity enthusiasts, but it’s simply a luxurious alternative. If you want to experience what it’s truly like to live outdoors and survive, regular camping is still an option you can explore.