As an alternative to primitive camping, “glamping” allows you to experience the outdoors in more of a luxurious environment. Many glamping sites offer high-end accommodations, which can sometimes include heated tents or cabins, pools, electricity, internet access, and other amenities.
Some campers prefer the ease that glamping offers, complete with modern conveniences that make overnight outdoor stays more comfortable. Other campers believe that glamping devalues the experience by introducing comforts, which aren’t native to outdoor living.
No matter how you feel about glamping, it offers both pros and cons worth considering.
Pro: More Relaxation
Glamping typically offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation. Most of your accommodations will feel like clear upgrades over the traditional experience. You might enjoy a temperature-controlled cabin or tent — one that promotes comfort and minimizes discomfort.
Many glamping experiences also take place near a resort or close to housing, restroom, and restaurant facilities that make your experience more convenient.
Some campers are hesitant to trade modern living for a traditional camping lifestyle. Glamping helps to comfortably introduce them to the great outdoors, without forcing them to face the challenges that primitive camping can present.
Con: Reduced Skill Development
You can learn a few fresh tricks from a traditional camping environment. Whether you’re pitching a tent or preparing your food, camping can teach you a lot about the basics of outdoor living.
Glamping might be a more luxurious experience, but it doesn't help you develop nearly as many useful skills. Primitive outdoor trips can serve as a valuable education source, particularly for children enjoying the primitive camping experience.
You might develop the following skills while camping without modern luxuries:
- Learning basic first aid and CPR;
- Building and maintaining a fire;
- Pitching a tent;
- Preparing food;
- Choosing the right camping spot;
- Sourcing clean drinking water;
- Maintaining high morale among campers.
These skills, among others, can be useful later in life. They can even mean the difference between life and death in an outdoor survival situation.
Pro: More Accessible
Camping offers several benefits for all participants. You’ll be able to unplug from nature, enjoy the outdoors, and bond with other campers in a healthy environment. However, some campers simply don’t have the skills, knowledge, or equipment necessary for a traditional camping experience.
When you go glamping, you won’t need to pitch a tent, pack all of your food, or find a water source. With fewer required tools and knowledge, glamping provides a more comfortable connection to the outdoors.
Individuals with disabilities might also find glamping to be a more enjoyable experience. Glamping can help individuals with a variety of abilities safely interact with the environment. Additionally, if you're a veteran looking to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, accessible facilities can help you safely connect with nature.
Con: Sustainability Concerns
For as much as glamping might make the camping experience easier, it can also create excessive amounts of waste. Unlike a primitive approach to camping, glamping might rely on pre-packaged foods, disposable batteries, and other single-use items. These and other sustainability concerns can sometimes overshadow the other benefits.
Without proper respect for conservation and the environment, glamping can quickly establish a negative reputation. However, glampers can find ways to avoid these pitfalls, by minimizing waste and developing a deep respect for the environment.
Glampers can show this respect for the environment by trusting reusable goods. By utilizing reusable items like a reusable water bottle or tumbler, you’re less likely to use single-use plastics and create waste. Whether you prefer primitive camping or the glamping model, eco-friendly campers can take steps to prioritize sustainability.
Outdoor living can sometimes expose campers to a variety of risks. From dangerous wildlife to extreme temperatures to waterborne illnesses, primitive camping can often put a camper’s safety at risk. If you’re particularly concerned about staying safe outdoors, glamping can offer a suitable camping alternative.
Glamping helps campers reduce, or eliminate safety concerns. You’ll stay indoors, away from potentially dangerous plants or animals.
Certain glamping set-ups also provide indoor kitchens where you can prepare meals, so you won’t need to worry about fire safety when cooking your meals over a campfire. Your glamping site might even provide morning coffee, which means you can leave your coffee mug in your room.
Con: Fewer Bonding Opportunities
There’s something about the outdoors that brings friends and family members together. Between pitching a tent, starting a fire, and hiking through dense woods, traditional camping offers several bonding opportunities. While glamping also allows loved ones to bond, these opportunities can be few and far between.
The difficulties of primitive camping can easily promote bonding between campers. By contrast, glamping is often a relaxation-focused experience, where you might spend more time alone than with others. If you’re not careful, you might not spend enough time with other campers to bond.
To avoid this issue, make sure you spend considerable time with other glampers. Consider preparing coffee or tea together, or participating in other social activities that promote connection.
You don’t always need complicated plans to promote bonding. Sometimes, you and your fellow glampers only need an all-weather beer pint or stein to create a memorable moment.
Sometimes, glampers can bond through shared relaxation activities. On the other hand, off-grid camping adventures can create unintentional loneliness or isolation. Campers might end up pitching a tent, starting a fire, or performing other camping responsibilities alone. A rewarding glamping experience can help you avoid many of the hurdles of off-grid living.
Pro: Less Intimidating
Even if you’re fully prepared for a traditional camping experience, it can still be intimidating. Often, camping means leaving the comfort of home and immersing yourself in an unfamiliar environment. Without the availability of food, electricity, communication, and other familiar amenities, outdoor camping can make many people feel uncomfortable.
Once you know where you’re sleeping, what you’re eating, and how to communicate with the outside world, camping can quickly feel less intimidating. This less threatening environment is exactly what glamping offers many campers.
Con: Less Direct Interaction With Nature
The luxurious amenities many glamping sites offer can sometimes come between you and the outdoors. In certain cases, you might not even experience the nature you came to see; simply because you’re tempted to spend time indoors. If you’re not careful, glamping can create barriers that are difficult to overcome.
Camping offers several opportunities for personal enrichment, but it’s up to you to go outside and experience them. Depending on your glamping location, you might miss the chance to build a fire, socialize with other campers, or participate in other outdoor activities.
Even though traditional camping may be intimidating, you may miss out on some of the benefits that the environment offers through glamping. Either way, do yourself a favor and find some way to get outdoors.