Does “Glamping” defeat the purpose of camping?

What is glampingAs much as I consider myself to be an active and somewhat adventurous person, I don’t think I can consider myself outdoorsy. My parents were not outdoorsy people, thus I did not have a lot exposure to the great outdoors until I was a young adult in my early 20s. That may seem quite shocking, considering I live in a country (Canada) where it is known for its beautiful landscape. Who wouldn’t want to experience what the national and provincial parks had to offer? Well, my parents. The idea of sleeping outdoors and cooking outdoors never really appealed to them. It seemed like hard work. (When you really think about it, it is! But if you really enjoy doing that stuff, then it probably doesn’t seem like work to you). I often wondered if this reminded them more of their childhood and they saw it more as a chore, rather than a fun experience.

I have gone camping on several occasions, ranging from car camping to backcountry camping/ portaging for four days in one of the largest provincial parks. For those of you who are unfamiliar with portaging, it is the method of hauling your water craft (such as a canoe) and equipment ( food, clothes, water, tent, cooking gear, and the list goes on) over land between two bodies of water. My ex and I would canoe for 3-4 hours each day and carry our canoe and cargo to our campsite and set up.

Was it an amazing experience? Absolutely. The water was so clean, calm and peaceful.  It was just us and the sights and sounds of nature. We didn’t encounter any bears, thankfully, but still put our food in a bag and tied it up in a tree, away from our campsite.   Imagine being able to seeing a night sky full of stars and city noise pollution being a million miles away.

Would I do it again? It’s a definite no. Why? If you think plain old car camping is a lot of work, then backcountry camping and portaging is not for you. It helps to be in somewhat good physical shape, since you are constantly hauling gear and paddling to your campsite. There were no garbage cans at the sites. We had to bring EVERYTHING with us. Getting to your campsite to set up before dark is everyone’s goal. But just imagine trying to PADDLE to your campsite before dark.  I went portaging several years before I was fit, but even now I still wouldn’t do it again. It was just one of those, I’ll try it once, to experience it and say I did it.

So you must have already figured out now that I’m not too fond of camping. I do appreciate the scenery though. I just can’t sleep properly in our big comfy king sized bed, let alone sleep in a sleeping bag with the sleeping mat. Mosquitoes LOVE me, I mean REALLY love me. Just how caffeine doesn’t seem to keep me awake, bug spray does not seem to work on me either.

I do appreciate the fact that camping is a frugal and fun (for some people) form of vacation. That is one of the reasons why my bf and I did it during our East Coast trip, to save money on accommodations.  However, “glamping” is a not so frugal form of vacation. Glamping is one of those new words that you’ll hear and have to look up on urban dictionary. It is a fusion of the words glamourous and camping. Glamping is luxury camping.

This is how glamping.com defines glamping:

“Recently, a global trend has caught fire that offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation. It’s called glamping, a new word for a new kind of travel, defined as glamorous camping. When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no fire to build. Whether in a tent, yurt, airstream, hut, villa or treehouse, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.”

So you’re not sacrificing luxury, but from what  it seems, you may be sacrificing your wallet. This is an extreme case: the  Four Seasons Tented Camp in Thailand goes for $1729 USD/per night.  Whereas a yurt rental in California goes for $145/night. Might as well get a hotel room. Does an actual bed in a tent seem ironic? Or just plain weird?  One would think that because I am an odd person who likes experience adventure, but hates rolling up sleeping bags, glamping would be perfect for me. Probably, but the frugal side of me doesn’t seem to think so. I almost feel like it defeats the purpose of really experiencing camping. Call me crazy, but I like to experience things in an “authentic” way. I like to think of myself as more of a traveller, than a tourist.

Perhaps glamping is only meant for extremely wealthy people or celebrities, because they are perceived to be high-maintenance (Hello, J. Lo).

What are your thoughts on camping and “glamping”?

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