"Back in my day," is probably something you've heard your grandparents or parents say, and as you advance through the broad spectrum of time, you may find yourself saying those exact same words. The fact is, we always believe we had it harder or more difficult than future generations. The same goes for camping.
Let's jump back a hundred years and we're still building lean-tos and camping under canvas, tarp, etc. Fire was started with flint. Campgrounds didn't exist as the entire world was a campground.
Now let's move forward to the 60's. We've got campgrounds, we even have camper vans and early RVs! Sleeping bags in tents are more common and there might even be the occasional portable camping stove, though most people still prefer the open fire.
Which brings us to present day. For those craving a taste of home while on the road, we now have 'glamping'. RVs have evolved to the point of sporting every modern day convenience. 'Roughing It' now means camping at a campground that doesn't have Wi-Fi (not to panic, there are devices that can provide Wi-Fi).
Some would argue that camping, by its very nature, is an earthy and dirty activity meant to root you in the outdoor life. Glamping does practically the opposite, adding convenience and removing the 'camping' aspect altogether. The whole idea of camping was to strip away all the extra stuff, get back to basics, and appreciate the little things again. But glamping undoes that whole concept.
Does this mean glamping is a bad thing? Not according to the camping industry. The term glamping has only been around since 2007, but according to recent research, by 2024, the glamping market in the US alone will reach roughly $1 billion.
In the end, it's a matter of separation. There are people that want to camp, sleep under the stars, build that campfire, be close to the ground, and make friends with mosquitos.
Then there are the glampers, the people that like to RV and keep modern conveniences close at hand while still having the option to look at the stars and maybe build a fire if the portable gas stove runs out of propane.
And then there's the new breed of camper. The ones that don't want to haul around a tent or trailer and just want to be outdoors, but not so far outdoors that they have to touch nature. They just want to be nature-adjacent. Welcome to the world of the extreme glamper!
Do you think glamping is taking camping too far?