Last weekend we ran a poll asking, “When staying in a luxury RV in a full hookup RV resort, are you camping?” As you can see in the results below, 66 percent answered “No” and 34 percent “Yes.” Wow! In addition to the 2,390 votes (and counting), there were 142 comments. So, if that’s not “camping”, what is? What is the definition of camping? And what is camping vs. glamping?
Definition of “camping”
What is “camping”? According to our old friend Webster, the 1913 definition of camping is: “The act of encamping and living in tents in a camp.” Well, that certainly left out RVing!
How about Wordnet? They say, “Temporary lodgings in the country for travelers or vacationers. Level ground is best for parking and camp area.” Gotta love that they threw in “level ground”!
But the definition from 36 CFR 1.4 Cornell Legal Information Institute encompasses both in a much more formal way: “Camping means the erecting of a tent or shelter of natural or synthetic material, preparing a sleeping bag or other bedding material for use, parking of a motor vehicle, motor home or trailer, or mooring of a vessel for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy.”
Camping vs. “glamping”
There is, of course, a difference between camping vs. glamping. So what’s “glamping,” then? The Oxford Dictionary states that “glamping” is: “A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.” Look at some of these glamping rentals. Wow!
Merriam-Webster goes into even more detail: “Glamping: Outdoor camping with amenities and comforts (such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) not usually used when camping.” It even includes a comment from Jennifer Collins, “If the eco-friendly idea of falling asleep under the stars and roasting marshmallows around a campfire appeals to you, but the reality of pitching a tent and sleeping on bumpy ground does not, glamping, the new term being used for upscale—or glamorous—camping, could be your ideal green vacation.”
The online “Urban Dictionary” defines glamping as: “Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed.” Another online dictionary describes it as “like a hotel, but where your room opens to a beautiful landscape instead of a lobby.” Interesting…
Reader comments on camping vs. glamping
Call it whatever you want, camping or glamping!
Joe W. quoted the Wikipedia definition in his response. “‘Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home, either without shelter or using basic shelter such as a tent or a recreational vehicle.’ For me, camping is being outside enjoying nature without the frills. RVing is camping with equipment that makes the experience enjoyable or possible. At my age, I need the comforts afforded by our travel trailer. Those comforts/needs make the experience more enjoyable, but my younger backpacking self would have laughed at it. Circumstances change, as do our needs. I personally have seen sites in upscale RV parks that resemble high-end hotels like the one I stayed at in Hawaii. They are not for me as I would feel separated from the wilderness I came to enjoy. All I would say is: Enjoy your travels in whatever way you feel comfortable, call it whatever you want, and have fun.”
Camping is a state of mind
Ace adds: “I think a person should call it whatever they want. I was infantry in Vietnam and slept on the ground with my rifle and no cover. Later backpacked in the mountains, tent camped with family with and without water/electricity. I am older now and am very happy with my trailer that has water, shower, heat, AC, TV and a real comfy bed. Just being outside, watching little kids playing and laughing, campfires, cooking outside and in general just enjoying my life and the ability to enjoy it. Our trailer gives me and my wife a lot of pleasure and I do not relish returning to sleeping on the ground. If a person doesn’t think I am camping then maybe as you get older your outlook will change. Camping is a state of mind; not what equipment you use or do not use.”
You do you!
Lisa commented, “Camping is whatever one wants it to be, and others’ opinions matter not one bit. You do you.”
We are travelers, not campers
Neal D. travels rather than camps. “We don’t stay in resorts, but we do have a 43′ DP with heated floors, dishwasher, washer and dryer, central vac, etc., so I say that we ‘travel,’ not ‘camp.’ Where we stay doesn’t change our camper, so we’re ‘traveling’ and ‘staying’ at different places, never ‘camping.’ Similarly, I’d say that regardless of the ‘camper,’ those who stay at a luxury RV resort are ‘staying,’ not ‘camping.'”
It’s a condo on wheels
For Ron it is not camping. He says, “Staying in a resort with your mega-sized RV is no different than staying in a condo somewhere. It is NOT camping. Moving about, taking in the sights of this beautiful country, stopping for a few nights in a small town or boondocking in a forest service park w/o hookups is what ‘camping is all about’.”
Tom shares the same sentiment: “Not camping but condoing!”
It’s RVing, not camping
Henry B. says, “We don’t call it camping anymore. We call it RVing. We are retired and have as much time as we want to travel. So, we want to travel in comfort.”
CeeCee agrees: “I agree, in fact, we never say we’re camping these days. It’s RVing when you are traveling away from home with most of the comforts of home. We love staying at state parks in the northwest, which is different from glamping at a snazzy resort.”
Lyle L. is definitely not camping! “In ANY RV, we are NOT camping. Rather, we are RVing. If you’re not coming into intimate contact with ‘nature,’ you are NOT camping. I have been in RV parks where someone drives in their big Class A and hooks up, turns on the A/C and the TV, and they are never seen again until they ‘break camp’. Camping? NOT!!!”
Camping vs. glamping: “We’re glampers!”
Ozzie says, “We’re glampers and we’re proud!”
Freedom to move in any style
Gordy B sums it up well. “It doesn’t matter what you call it: camping, RVing, glamping, etc… They all have one thing in common. It’s people enjoying the FREEDOM to move around in the style or manner they choose. The choices they make are often dictated by health, age, monetary cost, geographical location of home base, lack of home base… The thing is we all face the same problem at the end of the day, where are we going to spend the night? Your personal finances and preferences will dictate that. No one is wrong or right over anyone else. Individual choice and freedom is what matters. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND HAPPY TRAILS!”
As for me, I will forever be camping in my motorhome. Resort, state park or boondocking, I am excited to be unmoored, traveling and enjoying the adventure of something new. My husband draws the line, though, when I call our 40′ Class A motorhome “the camper”…