glamping vs camping

Glamping vs. Camping: Weighing the Pros and Cons

When it comes to outdoor adventures, the debate between glamping and camping is as vibrant as a campfire under a starry sky. 

Both offer unique ways to connect with nature, but their experiences are as different as sleeping in a sleeping bag or a king-sized bed. 

We’ll break down the pros and cons of each, helping you decide which suits your outdoor style best.

What’s the appeal of glamping?

Glamping, a blend of glamorous and camping, is for those who love the idea of the outdoors but prefer the comforts of home. 

Think less about pitching tents and more about luxury cabins or yurts with actual beds.

How we see it is that glamping is camping with a twist — it takes everything you know and love about camping and mixes in a bit of comfort and style.

glamping vs camping

The Comfort Factor

Glamping sites often offer amenities like comfortable bedding, electricity, and sometimes even Wi-Fi.

A typical glamping destination has some or all of the following—

  • Luxurious bedding. High-end mattresses, premium quality sheets, and fluffy duvets or comforters.

  • Climate control. Efficient heating and air conditioning systems for optimal temperature.

  • Plush seating. Comfortable sofas, armchairs, and lounging areas, both indoors and outdoors.

  • Camping hammocks. Luxuriously designed hammocks that offer a unique and relaxing way to enjoy the natural surroundings, often featuring durable materials and comfortable design.

  • Spa-like bathroom facilities. High-end toiletries, soft towels, and possibly hot tubs or Jacuzzis.

  • Ambient lighting. For a cozy atmosphere, soft, adjustable lighting options include lanterns, fairy lights, or LED candles.

This means you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without sacrificing comfort. Perfect for those who might find traditional camping a bit too rugged.

Convenience at Your Fingertips

Many glamping locations provide additional services such as guided tours, on-site dining, and even spa treatments. The list goes on and on.

  • Wi-Fi connectivity. Access to the internet for staying connected with the outside world.

  • On-site parking. Convenient parking spaces close to the glamping site.

  • Kitchen facilities. Equipped with modern appliances, utensils, and sometimes a dining area.

  • Running water. Reliable supply of hot and cold water for showers and kitchen use.

  • Electrical outlets. Ample outlets for charging devices and powering small appliances.

  • Housekeeping services. Regular cleaning and maintenance for a comfortable stay.

This convenience can make your outdoor experience more relaxing and enjoyable, especially for those not keen on planning every trip detail.

A Unique Experience

Glamping sites are often uniquely designed, offering a different kind of adventure. From treehouses to safari tents, these accommodations can add an extraordinary element to your outdoor experience.

Many glamping destinations have a theme. One of our favorites is the Junebug Glamping Resort in Asheville, NC. They have a massive selection of various retro RVs and airstreams you can stay in. Sure, these are all retro, but they’re all decked out with the finest comfort items.

Embracing the Basics of Camping

On the other hand, camping is all about getting back to basics and immersing yourself in the natural world. It’s about tents, campfires, and the sound of crickets at night.

Close to Nature

Camping puts you directly in touch with the elements.

You’re more likely to see wildlife, gaze at the stars, and wake up to the sounds of nature. It’s an authentic experience that can be both humbling and exhilarating.

Being so close to nature helps you disconnect from technology and reconnect with the earth.

You might find yourself observing the behavior of birds, identifying different plant species, or simply admiring the way the sunlight filters through the trees.

Camping allows you to live in harmony with the environment, respecting its rhythms and learning from its vastness. It’s a reminder of the beauty and complexity of the natural world and our place within it.

The Joy of Self-Sufficiency

There’s something deeply satisfying about setting up your tent, cooking over a fire, and living off the grid, even if just for a weekend. It teaches resilience and resourcefulness and can be a great bonding experience.

This aspect of camping encourages you to rely on your skills and instincts. From building a fire to navigating hiking trails, these experiences build confidence and self-reliance.

It’s also a fantastic way to strengthen relationships, as working together to set up camp or cook meals creates a sense of teamwork and shared achievement. 

Cost-Effective Adventure

Camping is generally more affordable than glamping. You need basic gear, but once you’re set, the cost of pitching a tent in a campground is usually much lower than the more luxurious alternatives.

This makes camping an accessible option for a wide range of people, whether you’re a solo traveler, a family on a budget, or a group of friends seeking an adventure.

The affordability of camping doesn’t diminish its value; in fact, it enhances the appeal for many. It proves that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a memorable and enriching experience.

But What About the Downsides?

Of course, there are plenty of positives when it comes to glamping and camping, but with everything, there are some drawbacks.

Glamping: Less Authentic?

Some argue that glamping doesn’t offer the ‘real’ outdoor experience.

Glamping might feel a bit too sanitized if you’re looking for a rugged adventure.

Depending on where you glamp, it might feel more like a luxurious 5-star hotel instead of an outdoor adventure. Destinations like that can blur the lines between camping and simply getting a hotel. It really boils down to what you want and what you’re looking for in a destination.

Camping: Comfort Challenges

Let’s be honest: camping can be uncomfortable.

Weather can be unpredictable, and sleeping on the ground isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (unless you’re taking a hammock). For those used to creature comforts, camping might be more of a challenge than a holiday.

This is generally the appeal many campers are seeking, but it’s a worthy consideration. If you’re new to camping, at the very least, know what you’re getting into before you head out on your trip.

Making Your Choice

In the end, whether you choose glamping or camping depends on what you’re looking for in an outdoor experience.

Are you seeking comfort and convenience, or are you after the raw, unfiltered embrace of nature?

Both have their charms and challenges, and there’s no right or wrong choice – just the one that best suits your adventure style.

Guest post by Matt from

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