Matt Johnson

Glamping vs Camping – Which is Better?

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Aug 17, 2020Updated: Dec 13, 2023

The open debate between glamping vs camping is an ongoing battle, and honestly there is no comparison between the two. Roughnecks will claim camping is the only way to go, whereas others (you, if you’re reading this) enjoy the finer things in life.

You’re probably already familiar with glamping, or at the very least on the fence, but here’s a few things to consider when deciding whether to glamp or camp. To get you up to speed on glamping, be sure to check out Glamping 101.

Accommodations and Sleeping Arrangements

First and most likely the biggest differentiator between the two – where will you lay your head at night? The idea of camping at it’s very core is simply sleeping in a place other than your home and most likely outdoors. But where that is is the key difference.

Bell Style Glamping Tent for Camping
Photo from Life in Tents

When camping, you probably (hopefully) have a tent. This tent could be a small pup tent for 1 to 2 people, or a larger, family-style tent that packs 6 to 10 people in it. Once you’re in the tent, you probably don’t have much room and your sleeping bags are scattered across the rugged, dirt floor, just waiting for you to go to sleep. There’s definitely some appeal to this and I highly recommend everyone try it; however, there’s some better options.

Glamping on the other hand, well your accommodations are much, much nicer. It could be a yurt, a favorite of some glampers, a massive canvas tent, or even a luxurious RV or cozy cabin. Sure, still in the outdoors, potentially under the stars, but with a layer of comfort. Your bed probably consists of a pillow top queen-sized mattress with a feather comforter; regardless, it’s not on the ground with the bugs and the dirt.

Obviously a camping tent is a much quicker way to get started and setup, but if you have the time to spare, definitely invest some time into preparing your luxurious accommodations.

Bath and Hygiene

Never underrated and often overlooked until the time comes that you actually need to use it – the bathroom. There are some huge differences in the glamping vs camping discussion.

You probably don’t have a restroom, let alone a bathroom, when camping. If you do, it is typically one of those portable toilets or if you’re lucky you can find a park bathroom with one of those pits beneath the toilet. Gross. Dark. Creepy. Brushing your teeth with a bottle of water is a pain as well. Trying to hold a mirror while taking care of your basic hygiene is not an easy task.

Not for you? When glamping, however, only the nicest facilities for your tushy will do. You could have a full bathroom with hot/cold water inside of your RV, or nearby luxurious bathrooms with showers for you to use. Either way, you have the luxury of hot and cold running water, soft multi-ply toilet paper, and a place to sit, relax, and do your business.

Dining and Beverages

Honestly, I like the dining options for both camping and glamping. It’s like a steak vs a hotdog. Everyone loves a delicious, juicy sirloin, but every once in a while you just want the calorie-packed beef hotdog.

Campers usually bring out the ol’ Coleman propane grill and toast up some hotdogs. Sure, that’s fun for the family. Might even be filling with a side of chips. Maybe for lunch they go above and beyond and pull out a box of Meals: Ready to Eat (MRE). Regardless of the options, meals aren’t generally something to look forward to when camping like they are when glamping.

Kobe Beef While Glamping

Glampers take food to the next level. Starting the day with an espresso or freshly brewed coffee from your french-press and finishing the day with a fine wine. Luxury and convenience is key when it comes to glamping meals. Whether cooking in an air conditioned luxry RV or rolling out the Char-Griller Kamado, glampers are more likely to be throwing down some Kobe beef vice Sam’s Choice hamburgers.

It should not be a surprise that glamping is the undisputed winner of the glamping vs camping discussion. There will always be some that enjoy sleeping in the dirt, trying to find a decent restroom, and eating MREs. Like I mentioned, there may be some appeal to that, but definitely not sustainable; especially when you know what is on the otherside of the fence.

Do you have some thoughts on glamping vs camping? Want to share your upgrades when glamping under the stars? We would love to see your comments below!


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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