Planning a glamping trip for you and your friends or loved ones, or simply want to find out more about what this activity entails? Explore everything from the history of glamping to detailed glamping packing lists in our ultimate guide to glamping.
What Is Glamping?
Glamping, short for “glamorous camping,” is a way to enjoy the great outdoors without completely “roughing it.” Whereas camping entails sleeping bags on rough ground, cramped spaces, and outdoor cooking, glamping comes with all the luxuries of an actual bed, kitchen, and walls.
If you would like to enjoy the unique outdoor experience of camping but don’t want to forego the comforts of home, glamping is for you.
The History of Glamping
Glamping has a rich history that spans many centuries and the globe.
In 12th-century Mongolia, Huns warriors and nomadic tribes lived in portable “gers” (or yurts) so that they could move with their herds as necessary. Yurts were strong enough to protect tribes from the strong winds, but also quick to set up and take down. The yurt structures were and lightweight for easy relocation.
Some people still live in yurts in present-day Mongolia, but usually in more permanent structures than those of old.
When King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France needed to hold a diplomatic summit to foster their countries’ alliance, they decided to do so in style. The summit was held at a site now known as the “Field of the Cloth of Gold,” which featured extravagantly decorated tents, jousting tournaments, lavish feasts, and red wine fountains.
Another example of glamping from the same time is found in the visit of King James V and his mother to the Scottish Duke of Atholl. The visitors stayed in luxurious tents in the Scottish Highlands, which were filled with all the comforts of home.
20TH-CENTURY UNITED STATES AND AFRICA
President Theodore Roosevelt joined conservationist John Muir on a camping trip in Yosemite in 1903. The highly publicized trip popularized camping and contributed to the conservation movement.
Not long after, wealthy British and American travelers started going to Africa on safaris (from the Arabic word “safariya,” meaning “expedition or voyage”). Safaris combined outdoor experiences such as big-game hunting, wildlife observations, hiking, and landscape sightseeing with the lavish comforts of home, such as formal dinners.
21ST-CENTURY UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES
The 21st-century revitalization of glamping began in the United Kingdom and soon took the United States by storm as well. “Glamping” Google searches started to appear in 2007 and peaked in 2018, the same year that the American Glamping Association launched to help define and spread awareness about the industry.
Now, people enjoy glamping at state and national parks, ranches, music festivals, weddings, and more across the globe.
Benefits of Glamping
As its name implies, “glamorous camping” combines the best of the outdoors with home comforts, providing something for every level of outdoor enthusiast. Some of the specific benefits of glamping include:
Natural Beauty and Fresh Air
The primary purpose of glamping is also one of its main benefits: getting away from the stress of everyday life to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and get some fresh air. Studies have proven that spending time outside is good for your health, so you can expect a boost in both your physical and mental well-being from glamping.
Quality Time Together
Far away from the distractions and responsibilities of modern life, glamping is a great opportunity to spend quality bonding time with your partner, family, or friends.
While campers struggle to remember to bring all the necessary cooking utensils and make do with tinned food, glampers enjoy all the conveniences of a full kitchen. Proper meals will keep you energized for outdoor adventures, and if you want to get into the camping spirit, you can still roast hotdogs and marshmallows over the open fire.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Unlike camping, glamping accommodations are usually set up with a normal bed, so you won’t have to endure a sleepless night on the ground or a sore back in the morning. In fact, you may even sleep better and get into a great sleep routine while glamping, since you’ll be so exhausted each night after a full day of activities.
Just the Right Amount of Adventure
Setting off into the wild with only a backpack may seem like a grand adventure — until it starts raining and you can’t start a fire. Glamping provides just the right amount of adventure without the stress of worrying about what you’re going to eat or where you’re going to sleep.
[Related: Why Yurts Are A Great Long-Term Investment]
Types of Glamping Accommodations
When it comes time to plan your glamping trip, you’ll find that many different types of glamping accommodations exist. You might be immediately drawn to one glamping style, or try a new type of adventure on every outing. Options vary by the location you’re interested in visiting, but these are the most popular types of glamping:
- Tents: Tents may remind you of traditional camping, but more spacious and durable tents are available to take the experience from camping to glamping.
- Yurts: The classic glamping option, yurts are rounded structures inspired by Mongolian gers but updated with modern technology and comforts.
- Teepees: Inspired by the camps used by Native Americans, teepees can up the adventure factor of your glamping trip while still providing all the comforts you want and need.
- Treehouses: Elevate your glamping experience (literally!) by camping among the trees. Treehouse glamping accommodations vary from expansive interconnected structures to small standalone huts.
- Camper vans: Enjoy a different vista every morning with glamping accommodations that move with you.
- Eco-pods: This newer type of glamping consists of energy-efficient pods made of environmentally friendly materials, such as glass walls that allow for natural heating from the sun.
- Cabins: For a more traditional experience, cabins provide the sense and security of being at home but with a rustic aesthetic and wilderness surroundings.
Glamping Packing Lists
One of the best things about glamping is that accommodations usually provide a lot of the materials you’ll need, reducing your packing list — and your worries.
Toiletries (including baby wipes)
First aid kit
Spare toilet paper
Swimsuit and towel
Layers for nighttime
Guide books and maps
Daypack for hiking
Paper and pens/pencils
Beer and wine
S’more ingredients and equipment
Fresh fruits, veggies, and meats
Stay busy during your glamping trip with these activities:
- Walk and hike: Many glamping sites are surrounded by trails, so you can walk or hike to your heart’s content. Consider packing a lunch and having a picnic at a nice spot with a view.
- Explore the wilderness: Explore the wilderness surrounding your glamping site, including the local flora and fauna. Don’t forget to bring a map and compass!
- Go fishing: Glamping near a lake? Bring your fishing pole along and catch something delicious to fry up for dinner.
- Visit local attractions: If your glamping spot is near any interesting attractions, such as a park or historical site, get out during the day to visit them.
- Sit around the campfire: No glamping trip is complete without time around the campfire, preferably involving s’mores and stories.
- Listen to music: Sure, nature is a great soundtrack, but music adds to the fun.
- Play games: Once the sun sets, there’s little you can do outdoors. Cozy up inside with some hot cocoa and your favorite board games. In the daytime, horseshoes, washers, cornhole — all are great options for outdoor entertainment.
Some Final Tips
- Always bring at least three lighters. Fire is a must-have for roasting s’mores, hotdogs and more.
- Be prepared with firewood and fire starters. Always grab a couple more handfuls of firewood than you think you’ll need. Remember your ax or saw, and don’t forget the importance of kindling.
- Make sure you have enough fuel before you head out. This includes propane, butane, kerosene and other fuels used for heating and cooking.
- Pack your rain gear just in case. Seriously, you’ll thank us later.
- Sunscreen is your friend. Don’t let a sunburn ruin your camping trip. Bring sunscreen that’s 15 SPF or more.
Luxury Glamping Yurts From WeatherPort
Interested in glamping yet? WeatherPort Shelter Systems™ manufactures the world’s first and only steel-framed yurt to help both individuals and businesses achieve the perfect glamping experience. WeatherPort yurts have been used in campgrounds, wilderness resorts, eco-adventure tours, and private residences around the world.
To learn more about WeatherPort yurts or our other building solutions, please contact us using the following: