Is Glamping Really Camping?


A few years ago, I stumbled on a travel/outdoors concept called “Glamping.” I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now, but if not, here’s an idea of what glamping is: Take two parts outdoor camping, one part luxury hotel, sprinkle with trite cultural stereotypes, and mix well. Bake until halfway done, then throw it on the table and see who bites.

I’m being unnecessarily harsh on glamping, because in all honesty, the activity does seem kind of fun. And if it gets people to appreciate the outdoors, I’m ok with it.

Glamping is characterized by a complete lack of having to do any of your own work. Tipis, yurts, or large canvas tents are adorned with the best luxuries an outdoor hotel can provide, from comfy beds, full bathrooms, desks, tables and chairs, to heat, hot water, and electricity. Everything is provided, so all you have to do is show up with the clothes on your back and a smile on your face.

Since learning about this phenomenon, I’ve questioned whether glamping is a worthwhile activity. Is the idea of glamping really what camping is supposed to be? Isn’t the draw of camping the ability to get closer to nature by shedding our modern conveninces and enjoying a simpler way of life that is nearly entirely self-dependent?

Thinking on it, however, I wondered who defines what camping is or should be.

Do we have to label every activity we do to make it special, or can it be special on its own? Can we just enjoy the outdoors in our own ways without facing ridicule or scorn from other members of this elite club?

I, for one, welcome our glamping overlords, and if I want to have a romantic getaway with The Lady, glamping seems like a great way to get into the outdoors. While I’ll still carry my home on my back and sleep under the stars when the wild comes calling, camping with a little less “roughness” has its appeal. Sure, it can be expensive. But, even though The Lady loves roughing it, but she must have a toilet. I’m ok with that.

Chris Cavallari

About Chris Cavallari

Chris is a longtime digital content producer based in Maine. Since 1999, he has been an early adopter and active participant in blogging, podcasting, and social media, and has been guiding small and mid-sized businesses in leveraging video, social media, and digital publishing to the fullest. With an avid love of travel and the outdoors, Chris started in 2009 to give him a platform to showcase his outdoors and travel adventures, and to help educate others in doing the same.