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Gone Glamping

Got any plans to go “glamping” this summer?

“G-L-A-M-P-I-N-G”, you ask?

Sounds like camping. Indeed it should because it’s a portmanteau term that combines “glamorous” with “camping”: Glamping!

It’s the latest social media-spawned buzzword that takes an already diluted and  ambiguous term to describe overnighting outdoors – “camping” – and couples it with “glamour”, defined by Wikipedia as “the attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing or special”.

It’s the kind of marketing stuff that fertilizes social media. Take a term or phrase that’s been around for years and give it a new name and heightened status so those who think they’ve discovered something new and trendy in which they can partake,  feel a sense of privilege, or can put another feather in their bragging rights bonnet. It feeds on their sense of involvement or kinship or vanity!

I image its the same attitude the residents on those Caribbean island saw in that guy from Italy after he “discovered” their land.


Glamping is marketed as a luxurious “camping” experience, be it in a tent, tipi or cabin – but with all the frills of a cruise package to Cancun. It’s camping where being pampered is supposed to enrich the experience of what many people consider “roughing it” – all the extras including the kitchen sink, but conspicuously without all the….’roughing’!

Growing up as a backpack camper, trained in the spartan skills found in the Boy Scout handbook,  I admit that my definition of “luxury” camping is quite a bit different from many others.  “Glamour” camping would have been a lofty, toasty down sleeping bag spread out over a cloudy-thick and comfy air mattress. THAT was glamping! 

RV-er’s have been ‘glamping’ for decades, wedged in between other rigs, parked on a grid work of gravel rectangles, their compressed outdoor ‘campsite’ looking like a flea market of used Coleman equipment. 

It’s not just the metal cabins on wheels, by definition and examples posted on “glamping” websites, you can experience this social adventuring at many state parks by renting a camper cabin. By definition, that could easily pass as glamping, too. And don’t forget to include yurts – an even bigger blip on a glamper’s radar.

Perhaps it’s all relative. For today’s “glampers” the real challenge may be to make sure  the espresso coffee machine sitting atop the and umbrella-clad fireside portable cocktail table are within the frame of the selfie of your “camp”site. It won’t be long before park rangers will have to carry a copy of Emily Post with them so as not to appear gauche.

At a minimum, glamping does draw people outdoors – or at least to an experience where they can see it while sipping wine from their designer camping goblets.

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