Camping’s been around for millennia or longer, but glamping is a more recent occurrence. Obviously glamping is camping plus glamor, or glamorous camping. In other words, upscale camping. While the regular thing may be a simple tent and a sleeping bag, glamping typically involves more comfort and luxury. Maybe a camper van or RV. Perhaps entertainment options beyond reading a book by flashlight.
For example, if you add a portable projector to your loadout and have regular movie nights while camping, you may qualify for your glamper card, so to speak. But surely not everyone wants to spend a bundle on a super deluxe camping/glamping excursion, and many people want something that straddles the middle ground. You can do that and have more fun while you’re at it with the right knowledge and accessories. And you can even camp or glamp near your home or right at home (like your backyard) if the current situation makes long distance travel difficult.
Plus, with summer moving along and making way for autumn in the northern hemisphere, camping may actually be more pleasant as the heat burden is lessened and there are fewer mosquitos to worry about.
Let’s review some camping vs. glamping fundamentals.
Reportedly dating back to the late 1990s or early 2000s, “glamping” combines “glamor” and “camping”. Language historians believe it has a lot to do with the rise of the internet, and that glamping came about when camping became “smart”, or connected. As in, when campers started having internet access at campsites, glamping was born. That’s only one aspect of it, though. As we said above, glamping involves upscale camping with better amenities than basic camping. What qualifies as amenities varies by person, but in general, if you’re in a camper van/RV, have access to modern entertainment, private bathroom facilities, air conditioning, gourmet food, and so forth – then you’re glamping it up.
A sleeping bag and a cozy bonfire under the stars do not count as glamping. That’s pure old school camping, by any definition. Additionally, glamping and camping diverge in the way you think about your experience, not just how much you spend on it. Beyond money, glamping tries to bring the comforts of home, or at least some of them, with travelers on a camping trip. Regular camping embraces roughing it out.
That depends on what you want and how much you can spend. If you want an experience that’s really different from your daily routine, then stick with rough and tumble camping. After all, for comfort you can just stay home or check into a nice hotel.
If you prefer a mix of both worlds, the more natural and the familiar, then glamping may be the right approach for you. You can still take in the great outdoors, but not have to completely forego some luxury and comfort. Glamping won’t challenge you and generally doesn’t require much skill. If you want that, then go the pure camping route and take as little as possible with you.
Glamping may be more suitable for families with kids that want the shared road experience without the hardships of exposure to the elements and a diet of trail mix and lukewarm water. But there’s no shame in wanting comfort, that’s our natural driving force. In any case, modern technology makes glamping accessible and generally affordable, hence the close association with the internet that we mentioned earlier.
Sure, glamping existed long before the internet and portable electronics, but it was prohibitively expensive and the realm of the really rich. The situation is completely different now.
Between the dramatic landscape of 2020 that makes long distance journeys bothersome and perhaps even not feasible, and the continuous proliferation of great quality technology that you can take with you wherever you go, near-home camping has become a solid option. You can now replicate the camping or glamping experience even in your backyard. How much of an effort you put into this is naturally up to you, but even watching movies in the backyard at night feels like a different experience and a touch of camping. Actually, it’s glamping because with your house right by it doesn’t get much more comfortable than that.
In any event, if you don’t feel like going away on a camping trip or simply can’t do it for reasons beyond your control, you can always get a taste of the experience in the middle ground known as your backyard or local park, if you’re adventurous. And if you’re in the mood for another portmanteau, then your glamping adventure could be restructured as a staycation – whether at home or in the general vicinity of home. The wonders of language!
Modern camping/glamping run on portable electronic devices that are light, easy to use, and effortless to pack and carry. These devices also have built-in batteries with a reasonably long battery life, freeing you from a dependence on power connections.
Examples include portable projectors to enjoy movies, TV, and gaming when camping, whether at a national park or in your backyard. There’s also Bluetooth speakers, handheld gaming consoles, candle lanterns, and even smart sleeping bags. All of these make for an experience that transcends traditional, barebones camping and elevate you to the realm of glamping. Yet none cost too much, even all combined.
So there, glamping is readily doable in 2020 thanks to technology. Time to start planning your next outing!