Camping vs. Glamping – What kind of camping do you enjoy?

On the way to work this morning I saw a trailer hitched to the back of a pick-up truck. The sight caused excitement to rise in my chest. Every camper knows when you see trailers hitched to the back of trucks, it means one thing…camping season is upon us.

My husband, sons and I started camping seven years ago. At the time, our three rambunctious boys were all under the age of ten. Camping allowed the boys to have fun and saved my husband and me from worrying they would break something expensive or aggravate other vacationers. I love vacations and want my boys to enjoy time away too. In my opinion, it is a special time to connect with your loved ones without the interruption of work or other outside influences. Seven years later, we continue to spend summer weekends in the woods of Pennsylvania.

Last year, we pulled into the campground with our new travel trailer. A gentleman I have seen around, but do not know, rolled his eyes when I referred to our weekend away as a “camping trip”. He suggested it was a joke to refer to ourselves as a camping family.

At first I was mildly irritated by his comment. While it was rude of the stranger to correct me every time I uttered the word “camping”, he did have a point. Occupying a trailer with flat screen televisions and video game equipment is not exactly roughing it.

That night a family rented the site next to us. Lying in bed, I listened to the rain pound down on the roof of our trailer and thought about the family next door sleeping in a tent. Around midnight, the family retreated to our home on wheels. While I felt good helping them, the rude man’s comments swirled inside my head.

What do you call someone who enjoys camping with most of the comforts of home? I thought about this question all winter. One night when my husband and I were watching a show about people who redesign old trailers, it hit me. We are glampers (people who glamourize camping).

For fun I created a short questionnaire/game to help other families determine if they are campers, glampers or something in between. Should you run into the man I met last summer, you will know how to categorize your vacation and avoid his lecture.

Enjoy the quiz.

1. When it is time to go to bed, you settle down in:
a. a tent b. a pop-up trailer c. a full-sized trailer, RV or cabin

2. Your bedding consists of:
a. a sleeping bag b. a cot c. a queen size bed in your own room

3. Your bathroom is located in:
a. the woods b. a public bathhouse c. inside your trailer

4. Dinner is cooked:
a. over a fire pit b. a barbeque c. a state of the art kitchen

5. When dinner is eaten, the plates are cleaned by:
a. throwing them in the garbage b. washing them with a hose c. your dishwasher

6. On hot nights, you cool off by:
a. opening the flap on your tent b. using campground electric to plug in a fan
c. cranking your air conditioner

7. Grooming consists of:
a. showering before and again after your trip b. using public showers
c. showering daily in your glass-enclosed shower stall.

8. Tools used to toast marshmallows are:
a. sticks found on the ground b. sticks purchased at your local mart
c. The s’mores maker you purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

9. Dinner consists of:
a. Hamburgers and hotdogs b. Steak c. Shrimp parm and pasta

10. At night your family enjoys:
a. telling ghost stories b. singing around the fire
c. watching movies using a projector and movie screen

Answer key:

Eight or more questions answered with the letter “A”
The camping police dub you a full-fledged camper. You have the right to laugh at those who pack their belongings in suitcases for their weekend away in the woods. Remember, you may need to use their washer and dryer should you get caught in the rain, so laugh quietly.

Seven or more questions answered with the letter “B”
According the camping police you are a luxurious camper also known as a “lamper”. You enjoy the outdoors but aren’t about to get stuck in rain or learn you were hugging a bear rather than your partner, while you slept. Admit it, you wanted a refrigerator to keep your beverages cold.

Four or more questions answered with the letter “C”
Be honest, you pack your lap top, tablet and smartphone for the trip, don’t you? I bet there is a pair of flip flops packed in your suitcase (more than likely your sneakers are packed and the flip flops are on your feet). Don’t be embarrassed. You are not alone. A large percentage of campers are really glampers. Others need to understand that our vacation isn’t exactly lollipops and rainbows. There are campsites still without internet connection. Don’t get me started on thunderstorms that knock out cable. What are we supposed to do indoors? It is impossible to find one book the entire family wants to read on your kindle. You deserve to kick back and sit by the pool with a frozen drink. Someone else will clean the outdoor kitchen (the one built into your trailer, from the deluxe package, so the inside kitchen doesn’t get dirty). Happy Glamping.

Katie McKnight
Author of Secrets Revealed (due for release August 2013)
Find me on:
Facebook: Katie McKnight, Author
Twitter: KatieMc3boys
on my website:


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