August 18th, 2020
Camping vs. Glamping: What Are The Essential Differences?
Five Fundamental Differences Between Camping and Glamping
Are you trying to decide if you should go camping or glamping? Not sure exactly what the differences are between the two? While camping and glamping both offer similar experiences in many ways, there are fundamental differences that could impact the one you choose for your next vacation.
Let’s start by looking at what both of them are, then dive deeper into the factors that might affect whether you choose one or the other.
What is Glamping?
Glamping, as the name suggests, is essentially glamorous camping, or camping in luxury. Glamping, it seems, hasn’t yet entered the mainstream but still offers a unique way to enjoy time in the outdoors. In other words, it aims to provide comfort while spending time out in nature.
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What is Camping?
With a lot of time spent interacting with technology these days, many of us seek opportunities to disconnect and get away from our comfortable lifestyles. Camping offers a viable way to do this, as it usually means bringing along just living essentials on a trip out in nature. This could include anything from a tent and sleeping bags to going a step further and packing meals or bringing along games to play around a campfire.
The Fundamental Differences Between Camping and Glamping
Quite possibly, the most glaring difference between camping and glamping is the accommodations you’ll be staying in. In its “truest” forms, camping involves stargazing while sleeping in a hammock or setting up a tent to spend nights in.
Tents could be an excellent option for a weekend of glamping as well but these are usually not of the small, synthetic variety. Since glamping accommodations are intended to be set up for an extended period of time outdoors, they need to be durable, breathable and mostly immune to harsh weather conditions. Cotton canvas tents, like a bell tent or wall tent, are great options because of the way they’re built.
There are several other types of accommodations that you can utilize when glamping as well, including:
- Boats and floating homes
- RVs, Airstreams, and travel trailers
- Domes and bubbles
- Shipping containers
- Hobbit houses
- Castles, towers, and private islands
There is accommodation for everyone and in most price brackets. This isn’t an exhaustive list and chances are if you’ve ever dreamt of staying in a place then there’s probably a glamping rental for it.
Before embarking on a camping or a glamping trip, you’ll probably be thinking about what you need to take with you to make the experience as seamless as possible. For a camping trip, this would require more thought since you’re likely to be without many of the comforts you’re used to in your daily life.
To prepare for meals while camping, you may consider packing canned food. This can get monotonous especially if you’re planning a several day camping trip, so it’s good to have other options.
For this reason, taking a stove on a camping trip is often a good idea. It provides the flexibility of cooking up different kinds of meals. A cooler is something to consider to keep all your ingredients fresh, as well as utensils when it actually comes down to mealtime.
Glamping requires less thought in this regard since glamping sites usually offer kitchen facilities with all necessary amenities for preparing meals. It’s also possible the site has an in-house chef to cater to guests.
Toiletries are something to consider as well. While camping, you’re more likely to spend most of your time outside your tent, so it’s essential to carry items like sunscreen. For first aid, things like mosquito repellent, essential medicines and alcohol-free wipes are a good idea to bring along.
Glamping sites, on the other hand, may offer many of these when needed by guests. If you plan to set up your own glamping experience in your tent, it might be a good idea to bring everything along.
Another difference between camping and glamping is your sleeping space, and more specifically what you sleep in, or on. When you’re camping, you’re probably staying in a sleeping bag, with, perhaps, a pad underneath you to try to make things a little more comfortable.
Glamping generally offers a more comfortable sleeping situation. If you’re looking to create your own glamping site when you take your tent out, you may bring along an air mattress to spend the night on.
Often, though, places that offer official glamping stays go above and beyond and provide a bed with pillows and blankets to sleep on. The added bonus of glamping is that sites tend to provide electricity as well, which means you don’t have to go without your essential appliances.
A general concern for people new to camping is also the likelihood of getting too cold at night. Glamping offers respite in this case, with site owners making provisions for the right blankets or even electric heaters
The comfort of a camping trip is generally measured on the levels of roughing it, while glamping sits at the opposite end of the spectrum, with sites gauged by how much comfort the experience provides.
Oftentimes, you will find things such as electricity, a coffee maker, dressers, and décor throughout your accommodations when glamping. You may have other amenities such as heat and charging stations for your devices as well.
Some glamping rentals will provide entertainment such as games, puzzles, and books whereas if you’re camping, you’ll need to bring your own.
The amenities can sometimes be the selling point for glamping rentals. More often than not, in much the same way that travelers choose a hotel for their vacations, people who are interested in glamping will look at the amenities and choose a spot based on the ones that are important to them.
This can be a selling or a breaking point, depending on the kind of experience you’re looking for. If you’re an experienced camper and looking for a completely remote, backwoods experience, then you don’t have many options for hygiene, such as bathing or access to bathrooms.
Glamping can have facilities ranging from outhouses to fully functional washrooms with flushing toilets and running water for showers. For people newer to camping who aren’t comfortable with no access to these kinds of facilities, glamping may offer a better way to spend time in the outdoors without disconnecting completely from their regular lives.
Those who have a penchant for backwoods camping generally love being in nature, and a lack of access to the usual amenities is one of the reasons to get out on a camping trip. For this reason, it could be a slow process for some people to make the gradual switch from glamping to all-out camping, with just a tent and a sleeping bag.
Written by Michelle Surette
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