Anyone who has seen the old Lucy-Desi movie “The Long, Long Trailer” has a pretty good idea of what Glamping is all about. The concept has been around for years and so has the term. It is coming into its own, though, in this time of high disposable income and little tolerance for outdoor toilets and half-raw burgers seasoned with dirt.

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What it Is

Believe it or not, the term has made it into the Miriam-Webster Dictionary. The definition reads: “outdoor camping with amenities and comforts (such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) not usually used when camping.” There is an entire industry built upon the concept, and it even has its own magazine. Luci and Desi parked their trailer at campgrounds and got close to nature where they found it. Today’s glampers choose from exotic locations and stay in campgrounds planned to wow them with views and entertain them with whitewater rafting, zip lines, and other adventures.

Kinds of Glamping

There are plenty of bus-sized recreational vehicles on the road today. That is one way to glamp, but the big rigs don’t allow people to get into the backcountry like the new “Eco-Capsules” do. This a one-room pod with all the amenities from a king-sized bed to tiny sleek kitchens. In between the RV and the pod, there are tents, cabins and even recycled railroad cars and carousels. Some campgrounds feature “yurts” which are Mongolian tents that are built to withstand the weather and wood-burning stoves.

Big-Business Glamping

An article in Forbes discusses high-end glamping. It mentions prices as low as $200 per night to more than $1,000 per night to stay in a tent in a “glampground” where there are a camp chef, butler service and heated floors. Glamping has become big business, and there is even a magazine for startups and established venues called International Glamping. There are conferences and numerous online resources for people who want to start their own glamping businesses. People do not need to own land with incredible views and recreational opportunities. They can rent property and order pods and tents that can be set up in a day.

Perks of Glamping

The absence of the long walk to the outhouse or campsite restroom is obviously one perk. There are others, though. For one thing, most glamping is eco-friendly. Many sites feature composting toilets and solar or wind power, for instance. Another advantage is the opportunity to choose the “perfect venue.” Glampers can stay at campgrounds where there are planned activities to entertain children or pick sites where children are not allowed. Some glampers prefer to drive their RVs to distant locations and camp wherever there are hookups. Others, however, take advantage of “what’s out there” to add variety to their experience. Vacationers at Utah’s Bear Lake can stay in wagons, shepherd’s hits or tents and treat themselves to yoga or a massage. Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado lets glampers soak in hot springs or ride trails on the mountain bikes included with each stay.

Camping used to be an economical, if spartan, vacation. Campers returned home with memories of campfire s’mores and moose-sightings and itching from tick and mosquito bites. Today’s glampers take advantage of a bit of disposable income to access high-end amenities while they commune with nature. Glamping is gaining popularity for glampers and entrepreneurs alike.