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Glamping vs Camping – What’s the difference?

June 7, 2023

Are you a nature lover who enjoys the great outdoors but also appreciates a bit of luxury and comfort? If so, you may have heard of both camping and glamping. While both activities involve spending time in nature, they offer very different experiences. In this article, we'll explore the key differences between camping and glamping to help you decide which one is right for you.

Camping: Camping is a recreational activity that involves escaping from the urban hassle to a natural environment and spending the night close to nature, often in a tent.

Glamping: Glamorous camping, shortened as glamping, is an upscale camping. Glamping has gained significance in recent years, becoming a popular outdoor recreation thanks to its refined comfort and luxury.

Accommodations  

The most significant difference in accommodations between camping and glamping is the level of luxury and comfort. Camping typically involves roughing it with basic equipment such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and maybe a camping stove. Glamping, on the other hand, provides more luxurious amenities such as comfortable beds, electricity, and sometimes even private bathrooms. 

Tents

Tents are one of the most popular accommodation options for camping and provide an intimate experience that is an excellent option for those who enjoy being closer to nature. They come in various shapes, sizes, and designs and can be set up almost anywhere, from campsites to backcountry wilderness areas.  

Yurts

Yurts are a type of portable, round tent that originated in Central Asia. Traditionally made of felt and wood, modern yurts are often constructed with more durable materials like canvas and metal. The circular structure features a lattice wall usually covered by a waterproof cover. The yurt's roof is shaped like a dome, allowing for efficient airflow and natural light to enter the space. Yurts are popular as camping accommodations as they provide a unique and comfortable experience while still allowing visitors to be in touch with nature. They often include amenities such as electricity, heating, and furniture. 

Glamping tents

Besides yurts, many different types of tents are used for glamping experiences. They are often larger and more spacious than traditional camping tents and are typically equipped with amenities such as comfortable beds, plush linens, heating and cooling systems, electricity, and even en suite bathrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets. Glamping tents can be made from various materials, and they are often designed to offer the best of both worlds - the beauty and serenity of the outdoors combined with the comfort and luxury of a high-end hotel room. 

RVs, Campervans and Caravans

RVs (Recreational Vehicles), campervans, and caravans are mobile accommodations for camping. They come in many different sizes and levels of luxury. They are often equipped with all the necessary amenities and facilities of a home, such as a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. All of these types of mobile accommodations are great for those who want to travel and camp in comfort, and they offer the flexibility to explore multiple locations without the need to book several accommodations. 

Cabins and cottages

Cabins and cottages are a type of camping accommodation typically larger and more permanent than tents. They are often made of wood or other sturdy materials and feature amenities such as beds, electricity, and heating. Cabins and cottages can range from simple structures with minimal furnishings and no electricity to fully equipped vacation homes with all the comforts of modern living. Cabins and cottages are excellent options for those who want to experience the great outdoors but still enjoy the comfort and convenience of a home-like setting. 

Skills and gear 

Camping is a fun activity that even beginners can enjoy, but it requires some skills and specific gear to make the trip a success. Knowing what and how to pack for your trip is crucial, as well as pitching a tent and cooking with a camp stove or over an open flame. Camping can be challenging, especially if your campsite is in a remote area. Additionally, you will need specialised equipment that you may not use for other activities, such as a tent, a sleeping bag and sleeping pad for comfort, and a camp stove for cooking. 

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Glamping typically requires fewer skills and less specialised gear than traditional camping. However, some basic outdoor skills, such as starting a fire safely and navigating trails, are still necessary. When it comes to gear, glamping usually involves luxurious and comfortable amenities such as a comfortable bed, heating and cooling systems, and access to electricity. Other essential items include camping furniture, kitchen supplies, and lighting. With the extra amenities already provided, you usually only need to bring clothing and other personal items when you go glamping; no need for additional gear or specialised skills. 

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Cost  

Generally, glamping is more expensive than camping due to its added amenities and comfort. The costs can vary depending on the level of luxury and what amenities are included.  

The costs for camping can also vary depending on how and where you choose to camp. Campgrounds with electricity and other amenities are often more expensive, while wild camping off the grid is free. Let’s also not forget the initial investment in equipment you need before you go camping. Even the cheapest options require at least a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and some kind of camping stove. Thus, camping may not be as affordable as you think if you don’t do it often enough to break even on your investment. But there is also the option to borrow or rent camping equipment before investing in your own. That way, you can try both the experience and the equipment before you buy.  

Glamping might therefore be a more affordable option if you rarely go camping or glamping since you don’t have to invest in any specialised equipment.  

Is glamping better than camping? 

Glamping can be a better alternative to traditional camping for those who want to enjoy nature but don’t want to give up modern conveniences. Glamping provides a more comfortable and luxurious experience, making it perfect for people who want to relax and unwind in nature. 

Camping in a traditional tent or more primitive accommodations usually feels more authentic and brings you closer to nature. It is a more demanding experience that puts you and your skills in focus and allows you to challenge yourself. If you camp in a traditional tent, you are also more flexible and can explore more remote and secluded places. 

Which one suits you best depends on what you like and what kind of experience you seek. Glamping may be the better choice if you value comfort and convenience, but wild camping may be more appealing if you are looking for a more authentic and challenging experience. 

Try Camping 

If you are someone who appreciates a more rustic and primitive experience and is willing to rough it in exchange for a deeper connection with nature. 

Try Glamping 

If you are someone who wants to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing luxury and comfort and who may not have as much experience in traditional camping. 

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