What Is Glamping? Your Guide to Luxury Camping
Glamping often utilizes more spacious accommodations such as yurts, treehouses, pods, tipis, geodesic domes, safari tents, or tiny houses—frequently equipped with full-sized beds, private bathrooms, electricity, and running water. Some all-inclusive glamping resorts also add service elements such as guided wildlife tours, kayaking, luxury spa days, and gourmet dining.
“Anything that makes camping more pleasant and accessible earns the title of glamping,” explains Breanne Kiefner, founder of Root Adventures, a travel company that often incorporates glamping into its itineraries. We spoke with Kiefner to learn more about this increasingly popular form of outdoor recreation.
What is ‘glamping’?
And glamping isn’t always about the shelter or the accommodations either. The service element can turn a regular camping trip into a glamping experience as well. Kiefner points to the Inca Trail, for example, where porters often accompany hikers through the mountains of Peru, turning an otherwise grueling trek into a spectacular, first-rate glamping experience. “On an off-grid trek, you may sleep in a standard tent on the ground, but waking up to freshly made coffee, a warm water basin to wash your hands in, and a dining tent with hot breakfast surely deserves a greater distinction than camping.”
Why go glamping?
In addition to campsite setup, glamping saves you from the hassle of pre-trip packing. Glamping resorts take care of most of your needs so there’s less to bring and worry about. For those with less experience camping, glamping can be a nice introduction to the outdoors—like camping with training wheels. Kiefner adds, “Folks with any level of camping experience can jump right into glamping and even learn some essentials to head into nature and do it on their own, and just step their toes into the idea of sleeping in nature.”
Generally speaking, the differences between camping and glamping can be broken down into two key factors:
- Convenience: Camping traditionalists often love the sense of accomplishment that comes from setting up their own campsite. Others prefer the convenience of glamping. “Camping requires a lot of work: setting up camp, cooking, tending to the fire, and on and on,” explains Kiefner. “Glamping allows folks to experience all the joys of camping without the pain points.”
- Comfort: The modern amenities of glamping bring levels of comfort to the outdoors that traditional camping typically can’t match. That said, sleeping on the ground and eating freeze-dried camp meals is part of the outdoor experience for some people who can’t be “comfortable” without a bit of discomfort.
What to wear glamping?
GLAMPING CLOTHING LIST
Jacket: Let the forecast help you decide what type of jacket to bring and whether you’ll need more than one. In cooler temperatures, a puffer jacket is great for keeping you warm. And if there’s any possibility of moisture, a rain shell is a must.
Fleece: If temperatures are chilly, it’s nice to have a warm midlayer like a sweatshirt or cozy fleece. For extra cold temperatures, try something with Omni-Heat™ Helix technology, which uses performance heat cells for added warmth.
Footwear: An outdoor trail shoe is always a good everyday option whether camping or glamping. But depending on location and time of year, you may also want something more water appropriate.
Socks: You can bring a little extra luxury to the day by always having a clean pair of socks to put on.
Hat: Shield the sun or rain with a good hat.
Swimsuit: There are plenty of reasons to bring a swimsuit or swim trunks, whether it’s a nearby river, lake, or even a hot springs.
What gear should you bring glamping?
“Your glamping essentials are very dependent on the level of glamping. Some of the more luxurious properties include private bathrooms, linens, and anything you would find at a five-star resort. Others are more basic and require a bit more planning and packing,” explains Kiefner.
Since your shelter is typically set up for you when glamping, packing is somewhat similar to how you’d pack for an RV trip. Rather than bringing things like a tent, sleeping bags, and camp stove, you can focus on some of the fun things to take glamping, like games and other entertainment.
GLAMPING ESSENTIALS LIST
Sunglasses: If you aren’t relaxing with your eyes closed, make sure you’re protecting them from the sun.
Sunscreen: A bad sunburn can put a damper on the most luxurious of adventures.
Bug repellant: There’s nothing luxurious about scratching bug bites.
Backpack: As comfortable as your accommodations may be, you’ll no doubt head out to explore the area and need to bring some things with you.
Portable cooler: As comfortable as your accommodations may be, you’ll no doubt head out to explore the area and need to bring some things with you.
E-book reader:Bring a whole library worth of books with you on a single device. Or, if you don’t have an e-reader, an old-fashioned book work great too.
Indoor games:Card games and board games are great ways to end the day.
Outdoor games:While glamping resorts often have a variety of outdoor activities to choose from, you can never have too many.
Laptop or tablet:Consider bringing a device that can play a movie for a relaxing end to a relaxing day of glamping.
And as is the case anytime you’re in the outdoors, we always recommend bringing along the Ten Essentials to keep you prepared for outdoor emergency scenarios—because while glamping is intended to be a more glamorous form of camping, unexpected power outages or other emergency situations can quickly dial down the glamour.
Where can you go glamping?
Can I create my own glamping site?
Pillow & blanket: A little comfort from home goes a long way.
String lights: The ambience of solar or battery-powered LED lights turns a typical tent into a glamping tent.
Canopy: An extended outdoor space that’s protected from rain and sun is a luxury glamping essential.
Outdoor carpet: Roll it out under your canopy for the luxury of keeping your feet out of the dirt.
Hammock: Complete your outdoor area with a place to relax while soaking in nature.
Solar shower: Few things feel as luxurious in the outdoors as a warm shower.