Camping is its own universe
There are definitely some mighty strong opinions about the best tents, lanterns, cooking stoves, portable coffee makers, sleeping bags, insect repellants, sunscreens, and lanterns. Hard-core campers who’ve spent years acquiring the perfect accouterments love to exchange advice and tried and true methods for setting up the perfect campfire. Cautionary tales abound regarding bears, forgotten tarps that would have come in super handy during the downpour, and what happens when a fire isn’t properly extinguished.
Those dedicated to the craft of camping love every aspect and consider setting up their tents and organizing the site to be a giant part of the entire experience of sleeping outdoors and communing with nature. “It’s a form of meditation. And I love knowing I can be so self-sufficient and provide myself with everything I need with no one’s help,” said Danielle, a true camping-lover I spoke with recently who has started taking solo camping trips. “I really challenge myself and love being alone in the woods.”
As much as I admire Danielle and others who feel the way she does about the roughing it experience, I can’t say I feel the same. Now, showing up at a campsite where everything is already set up and all I have to pack is clothing and a toothbrush sounds beyond dreamy. And because so many of us don’t quite relish taking on carrying the abundance of gear and doing a whole lotta hard work, Glamping was born. And it’s glorious.
Photo Credit: The Resort at Paws Up
Glamping can be interpreted either as glamorous camping or a luxurious outdoor sleeping experience. Everything is provided for you, and both the accommodations and provisions are top notch. Most glamping destinations have staff there to serve your meals and do all of the garbage disposal. It’s like staying in a 4-star hotel but you get to sleep outside under the canopy of trees or stars.
Some people can vacillate between the two experiences. And others land firmly in one ‘camp’ or the other. Personally, I enjoy both, but if given the choice, I’ll glamp every single time. There are many incredible companies now offering a variety of glamping destinations. You can go anywhere to enjoy this. Outside of the U.S., Asia, Africa, Central America, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, and the Carribean, they all offer this exceptional and fabulous experience. Glamping is an event. Do you want to sleep outside in luxury with Zion National Park as your view? You can absolutely do this. Would you rather enjoy sleeping next to one of Colorado’s nurturing and transformative hot springs? Done. Is sleeping in a treehouse being lulled to slumber by the gentle breeze and slight swaying of your temporary digs super appealing to you? Go do it!
As with everything, there are benefits and deficits to each experience
There are so many incredible things to feel and learn by camping and if you’ve never been, consider trying it. Here’s why:
- You will build confidence. Oh yes, if you can pull off this experience, have a blast, sleep soundly and comfortably, challenge and build your skillsets, and protect yourself from the elements, you absolutely will receive a surge of self-knowledge and big-time ego boost that you did this and did it well.
- You will learn a lot. Not only will you learn about yourself by communing with nature, but figuring out how to set up camp and provide all that is necessary reminds you that you’re both a survivor and a thriver. It feels wonderful to know you are capable enough to safely and enjoyably create this experience for yourself and others.
- There’s a whole community of campers you’ll now be a part of. Camping is a way of life for so many. It’s their vacation from the stressors of life and bustle of home and work. And it’s a unique and phenomenal way to see the world and connect with others who love it as much as you do.
Glamping has a hell of a lot to offer too. Clearly, there is the overlapping experience of sleeping outdoors and being in nature. But the benefits here are a bit different:
- You don’t have to work. You get to be nurtured and taken care of in the lap of luxury.
- You don’t have to purchase all of the stuff necessary to make a camping experience comfortable. Everything is provided. You just show up and enjoy
- There’s no dealing with forgetting something pertinent and necessary. They’ve thought of everything. You won’t have that distraction to contend with and can simply have a blast being outside in beauty with fresh air and the great outdoors.
Both camping and glamping offer so much. But they both have challenges to be considered as well in making your choice the next time you want to sleep outside.
- Building your camping gear takes time and lots of money. Glamping is also expensive. If you want a relatively bare-bones glamping situation, you could pay as little as $79.00 per night. But it can go as high as $2,000.00 a night, and that’s not including airfare if that’s a consideration.
- As satisfying as all of the hard work is that goes into camping, it’s still a lot of work, contending with the elements, and poses the potential to be less than enjoyable. Glamping will protect you from the elements a little more effectively since the structure is more forgiving, but it doesn’t eliminate the threat and effects that harsh weather can bring.
- Unexpected variables will always come up. Whether you’re camping or glamping, you’ll still have to deal with the x-factors that nature promises. This can be a benefit too in helping you become more resourceful, but still, it’s something to consider.
Overwhelmingly, the pros outweigh the cons of both camping and glamping. Get going planning your trip, whichever experience you choose.