For a long time, camping was known as an activity for those who enjoyed the ruggedness of being outdoors. Setting up and sleeping in a tent, cooking meals outdoors, and keeping yourself clean without a bathroom all took a certain willingness to embrace a lack of amenities and accept whatever Mother Nature had to offer.
Camping has evolved in recent days, however, and there are now types of camping trips that don't really feel like roughing it at all. In fact, many of these trips, which are lovingly referred to as "glamping," offer travelers the ability to sleep out under the stars and get in touch with nature without having to give up too many of the amenities that make them comfortable.
If you want to spend some time outdoors but aren't 100% certain that camping is for you, read on. We can help you tackle the camping vs. glamping debate, determine which type of trip you'll most enjoy, and prepare and plan for either when you're ready to go.
You can always do your best to make camping comfortable. However, it's likely that if you choose glamping, you can expect a comfortable setup to be waiting for you when you arrive, and you won't have to put too much effort into making it even comfier. Glamping sites usually are set up on platforms, so you are not sleeping right on the ground. They offer cots and mattresses you can put bedding or sleeping bags on. Many offer a variety of blankets and heaters or fans so you can get the temperature just right for sleep. This makes it easier and comfier to camp, especially if you're planning a winter camping trip.
In contrast, when you set up a tent to camp, you can place camping mats down on the ground. You can also get camping cots that you set up yourself and even buy special cozy sleeping bags and comforters to stay warm while you're in the tent. However, you likely won't be able to build a platform and set up a canvas tent if you're just camping on your own. You also probably won't have electricity or temperature control amenities if you camp.
So, if true comfort is important to you while you're exploring and sleeping in the wilderness, and you're weighing glamping vs. camping, you may be better suited for a glamping trip than a camping one. If you like roughing it and feeling close to the earth, you're definitely someone who will enjoy camping.
When considering glamping vs. camping, it's important to talk toilets. Most likely, if you go camping, you're going to be using the bathroom in the woods. Probably, you'll dig a hole to go in, and you'll have to bring toilet paper to clean up and water or hand sanitizer to clean your hands. This can be precarious at night and in the dark. The physical act of squatting without a toilet can also feel uncomfortable at first. Some campsites have communal bathrooms with toilets you can use if you don't mind sharing with strangers or trekking there from your campsite.
If you want a true bathroom when you go on your outdoor adventure, choose glamping. Many glamping sites have a central building with real bathrooms and showers, often in private rooms or stalls. Some glamping providers have compost toilets in or near each tent. They may also offer outdoor showers at your site. At the end of the day, camping hygiene is easier when you choose to glamp, not camp.
However, if you are going on your trip to get in touch with the earth and to let go of some of your inhibitions, you'll love the freedom of swimming in a river to rinse clean and popping behind a tree to pee, without having to worry about waiting in line or finding the next facility.
When you are weighing glamping vs. camping, consider whether you're up for a trip where you take care of everything yourself: building a fire, boiling water for coffee, keeping food and trash locked up away from bears, rainproofing your tent, and more. When camping in the wilderness, it's no one's job but yours to stay on top of what needs to get done on your trip.
On the other hand, when you glamp, you can often expect a level of service from people who work at the facility. Maybe they have coffee ready for you in the morning so you don't have to make it. Or, they turn on a camping heater in your tent before you retire at night so your tent is toasty before you get into bed. Alternatively, maybe they set up your campfire as evening descends so it's ready to be cooked on and enjoyed. If service is something you expect when you go on a trip, even if it's one to the wilderness, then you're going to want to choose glamping — just know that a glamping trip is likely less affordable than a typical camping trip.
Glamping vs. Camping: Prepare for Either Trip at Pike Trail
No matter whether you're camping or glamping, you're still going to need gear that makes your trip comfortable and safe. For the best camping gear available, check out the store at Pike Trail.
Pike Trail is well known for being an online retailer that sells high-quality camping gear that has been tested and approved by our camping experts. When you shop at the Pike Trail store, you can buy quality outdoor gear that's going to hold up no matter what outdoor activity you're doing — but it won't break the bank.
Once you've stocked up on what you need from the store at Pike Trail, head off on your adventure. Whether you're sleeping under canvas on a sturdy platform or roughing it under a tarp in a sleeping bag, you'll get to discover all the wonders that await you out in the giant, beautiful, magical wilderness.