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What It Means (and Doesn’t) When Someone Calls You a Glamper

There seems to be a bit of a war between a couple of different camping styles. Tradition and modernity are at odds, and it appears that some campers are pretty passionate about their camping styles. While traditional camping has been the typical style for years, a more luxurious camping style is starting to take its place. Today, we’ll look at glamping and what it means and doesn’t mean if someone calls you a glamper.

Let’s get started!

What’s the Basic Difference Between Glamper and Camper?

While campers and glampers both enjoy camping, how they camp is where they differ. A camper enjoys a more traditional style of camping. This style of camping typically involves a very minimalist approach when it comes to amenities.

A camper generally camps in a tent but can also be in a smaller RV. You’ll typically find campers staying in state parks and private campgrounds that provide a more rustic experience.

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Glampers still enjoy camping but with a bit more luxury. While there aren’t certain requirements for being a glamper, it typically involves bringing many of the luxuries of residential living into the camping experience.

That’s why RVers are sometimes called glampers. A glamper might set up camp in state parks, private campgrounds, or even RV parks and resorts.

In addition to RVs, glampers often choose to camp in upscale tents. We’ve got the full scoop here: What Are Glamping Tents?

Where Does the Term ‘Glamper’ Come From?

The term glamper comes from mashing “glamour” and “camper” together. It’s a relatively modern term as campgrounds begin offering more luxurious amenities to attract more business.

These amenities typically help guests to be more comfortable during their camping adventures. However, it also includes some amenities that “glampers” bring with them, like TVs and other items that were once seen as non-essential while camping.

What It Means When Someone Calls You a Glamper

While glamping can look a bit different from one glamper to the next, they often have a few things in common. Let’s take a look at what someone might mean if they call you a glamper.

Cait laying on a camper van bed
Glampers generally enjoy the comfort of a bed, while traditional campers might only use a sleeping bag.

You Don’t Sleep on the Ground

A glamper doesn’t typically need to sleep on the ground because they bring a bed with them. Whether it’s an inflatable mattress or camping cot for their tent or a pillow-top mattress in their RV, they want to make sure they get a good night’s sleep while camping.

So if you value your sleep enough to avoid sleeping on the ground, you might be a glamper.

You Control Your Climate If You’re a Glamper

Part of the camping experience previously meant that you might sweat or freeze the entire time you’re camping. However, a glamper uses a heater, AC, and maybe even heated floors to control the climate while they’re camping.

Glampers are often more capable of camping regardless of the weather. They may only be slightly inconvenienced by having to stay indoors when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

You Eat a Hot Meal Whenever You Want

A traditional camper will have to start a fire and wait before they can enjoy a hot meal. However, a glamper can walk over and toss some food in their microwave or Instant Pot and have dinner ready in a matter of minutes. 

While camping once meant eating whatever you could prepare over a fire, glampers have a practically unlimited amount of options.

Preparing a pie in an RV kitchen
Glampers might use propane stoves, ovens, microwaves, and other small kitchen appliances to prepare meals.

You Take a Hot Shower Whenever You Want 

Camping typically means skipping or having to hike over to a bathhouse for a shower. You may discover the water pressure is less than stellar or a fellow camper used up all the hot water.

Glampers bring their shower with them and get to enjoy a clean and hot shower whenever they want. So cut them some slack if someone calls you a glamper with a negative tone; they may have just come back from a cold shower in a dirty campground bathroom.

Pro Tip: Not a glamper? Body Wipes for Camping might be just the thing you need for those days when a campground shower isn’t available.

You Bring Some (or All) of Your Electronics

While many traditional-style campers use camping as a chance to unplug and disconnect from modern conveniences, glampers usually don’t.

Glampers will often bring laptops, game systems, or outdoor TVs. Just because you’re camping in the woods doesn’t mean you can’t bring your electronics to enhance your trip.

You Have Comfortable Furniture

When glamping, you don’t have to suffer by sitting in a cheap camping chair or turning a log into your seat. You may get called a glamper if you’re lounging around in leather chairs inside your RV or if your camping chair reclines.

Glampers love finding ways to make camping as comfortable as possible, and this typically includes their furniture. Sometimes being as comfortable as possible makes it even easier to enjoy the sounds of nature or the crackling of a campfire. 

Glamper Tom sitting in a camping chair
Glampers enjoy having comfortable camping chairs, while traditional campers might simply use rocks or logs.

You May Enjoy Resort-Style Services

While you can glamp in state parks and private campgrounds, parking your rig in an RV resort takes glamping to a whole new level. Some of these resorts have mini-golf courses, swimming pools that resemble full-fledged waterparks, and landscaping that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine.

A glamper’s idea of a great trip is more about the luxury services than nature or wilderness.

What It Doesn’t Mean When Someone Calls You a Glamper

Glamping may be different from traditional camping; however, there are a few misconceptions about glamping. Let’s set a few things straight about this camping style and what it doesn’t mean.

Tom and Cait glamping in New Zealand
Whether you’re in an RV or tent, camping is camping.

You’re Not Really Camping

While many traditional campers may say that glamping isn’t camping, it is. No one gets to tell another person that their version of camping isn’t camping. Glamping still gets you closer to nature than a hotel and is usually part of the overall experience, not just your lodging accommodation.

How you spend your time or what you bring with you has nothing to do with whether you’re camping or not. It’s a divisive and troubling point of view to accuse someone of not camping because they’re doing it differently than you might prefer.

What’s your version of camping? If tent camping or glamping don’t quite describe you, read this to find your type: Do You Know the 15 Types of Camping?

You’re Not Adventurous If You’re a Glamper

There’s a misconception going around that just because you’re glamping means you’re not adventurous. However, this isn’t always the case. Some glampers use their RVs to travel the country doing exciting and adventurous things.

Some may even be more adventurous than many traditional-style campers. Just like there are adventurous glampers, there are non-adventurous traditional campers.

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Assuming someone’s lifestyle based on a very limited number of factors is a dangerous game to play. It’s equally dangerous when someone assumes something about a large group of people based on limited experience. 

You Have to Sleep in a Fancy Tent

Just because someone calls you a glamper doesn’t mean you have to sleep in a fancy glamping tent. While many parks and businesses offer glamping tents with full amenities, these are just one way to add a glamorous touch to your camping experience.

You might sleep in a rather ordinary tent, while still enjoying luxuries like an electric cooler and a mattress. Or, you might sleep in an RV. Being a glamper is less about the type of sleeping space you have and more about the amenities you require to camp. 

You Don’t Enjoy Being Outdoors

Some traditional campers assume that you don’t like being outdoors because you’re not outdoors every second. However, this is a major assumption that is typically just not true.

We all spend varying amounts of time enjoying the outdoors. Just because someone doesn’t spend as much time outdoors as you do doesn’t mean they enjoy it any less. Quantity of time doesn’t trump the quality of time. 

Glamper Cait looking out an RV window
Even the most adventurous people enjoy a day indoors every once in a while.

Are You a Glamper? 

Glamping is not better than traditional camping or vice versa. The best way to camp is whichever camping style allows you to enjoy it the most. As long as you consider those around you and allow them to enjoy their time, the camping style is irrelevant.

What’s your take on the glamper versus camper discussion? Drop a comment below.

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John

Thursday 9th of December 2021

Thanks for a short read about something we don't often talk about.

By your definitions Kathy & I are most certainly Glampers. But so are about 997 of the 1000 people we see travelling.

True campers are, like our second son, the sort of people who carry every everything they need for a week or two in or on their back pack and head to the hills. They do their pre-trip shopping at REI (or MEC in Canada) and spend as much time on socks & footwear as the rest of us do on food, mapping and utilities planning.

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