What Is “Glamping” and How Does It Differ from Camping?

An American backpacker sets up a white tent with a cactus in the middle of the desert.

Have you ever really enjoyed your summers if you’ve never gone camping?

Camping has been one of the most widely loved pastimes in America for decades. Some sources suggest that outdoor activity became commonplace in the mid-to-late 1800s. Since then, camping has only gained more popularity and continues to attract younger crowds.

As the focus on outdoor activities grows, so does their scope. Hundreds of innovative backpackers and camping enthusiasts are now turning to “glamping,” a type of camping that combines the rugged nature of camping with luxury. Learn more about the fascinating differences between camping and glamping below!

What Is “Glamping”?

Camping is inherently a rough-and-tough activity that comprises navigating uneven terrains and compromising comfort. Glamping flips this concept on its head by making camping more glamorous (hence the portmanteau).

Glamping is glamorous camping, often involving resort-like facilities you’ll never include in traditional camping trips. Glamping is a suitable alternative to uncomfortable camping for those seeking luxury, even in the wilderness. Basically, glamping is a more convenient and less physically-demanding version of camping!

Differences between Glamping and Camping

The basic definitions likely don’t give you much insight into the glamping trend or how it differs from traditional camping. So, go through the following major differences between camping and glamping to learn more!

Amenities

When you think of camping, luxury amenities are probably the last thing to come to mind. Glamping, however, is all about luxury. The main difference between camping and glamping is the type and number of facilities or accommodations you get.

Camping typically involves staying in a tent or a simple, basic shelter such as a camper van or a small cabin. Campers also have to use tools like camping iron cookware to make meals on portable stoves. On the other hand, glamping provides more luxurious and comfortable accommodations. Glamping sites often offer fully furnished tents, yurts, cabins, or even treehouses, equipped with amenities like beds, furniture, heating/cooling systems, and sometimes even private bathrooms. Glampers typically have access to kitchen facilities and propane grills for convenient campsite cooking.

Glamping resort with chairs and other amenities

Comfort

Let’s be honest, camping is fun but never comfortable. The traditional activity is often associated with a more rustic and minimalistic experience that most people aren’t used to until they start camping. Campers usually sleep on sleeping bags, adult camping cots, or camping mattresses. They also typically have limited access to facilities like showers or toilets.

Glamping, on the other hand, provides a more cozy and luxurious experience. Glampers make arrangements so they can enjoy the convenience of real beds with comfortable mattresses and cozy bedding. They don’t have to sleep in a tent on the ground or do their potty business behind some bushes. Instead, they can arrange access to private or shared bathroom facilities with running water.

Security

Even though you can find campgrounds in multiple locations, most of them will likely be surrounded by the wilderness. This makes security a big concern for campers, making tools like handheld GPS devices essential. Glamping is generally safer since you can only do it in designated sites or specialized resorts. The scope of accommodations and amenities you get while glamping makes the activity much safer than camping. You also don’t need to worry about wild animal attacks when glamping since glamping sites are safer than even the best camping tents.

Costs

When comparing overall costs, glamping takes the cake! Generally, camping is a more budget-friendly option compared to glamping. Camping requires basic camping gear and a camping permit or reservation fees for established campgrounds. Glamping, being a more luxurious experience, tends to be significantly more expensive. The cost of glamping accommodations can vary greatly depending on the location, amenities provided, and level of luxury.

Glamping vs. Camping: Which Is Right For You?

Now that you know how glamping is different from camping, you might be wondering which the better option is for you. Consider the following factors when planning your next backcountry trip!

Woman reading while sitting on the deck of her luxury glamping tent

What’s your purpose?

Many campers don’t mind compromising on luxury and comfort because that’s not their goal when camping. Your purpose for planning an outdoor activity makes all the difference. If you’re seeking a back-to-nature, rustic experience in the wilderness, camping is the way to go. But if you want to spend a night in the woods without giving up your convenient lifestyle, glamping is more suitable for you. Defining the purpose of your trip can help you choose between camping and glamping.

How much camping gear can you afford?

Costs are one of the biggest factors to consider when planning an outdoor trip. Decide whether you can afford the accommodations and amenities you’ll have to pay for when glamping. If not, then your best bet is to invest in the best camping tents, cookware, sleeping bags, and other gear. Even with all the camping gear costs combined, camping can still be more affordable than glamping. So, if you want a memorable backpacking experience without breaking the bank, choose camping over glamping!

What’s the weather like at your campsite?

Rookie campers often make a big mistake when they fail to consider the weather when planning their trip. The climate and weather forecasts in your region affect the scope of your trip. While you can camp during the rainy season, it’s not ideal. The better alternative would be to go glamping instead since glamping amenities do a better job of protecting you from harsh weather conditions.

Ultimately, camping and glamping are both enjoyable activities in different ways. If you get the opportunity, give them both a try!

The interior of a furnished luxury glamping tent

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Our informative blogs can help you learn about and gain direct access to the highest-rated backcountry gear online. Head to our site to find the best hiking poles on Amazon, the Best Climbing Helmets reviews, the Best Amazon Tents For Campers 2023, and more. We cover a wide range of topics, including backpacking, paddling, and mountain climbing.

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