Book and review 7,381 holiday parks and campsites in the UK, Europe and the Americas

When glampers camp - what does camping mean to you?

July 7, 2011
by Laura Canning | guides

Slumming it at Somerset Yurts If you’re bored in the office today, try this experiment – tell someone you’re going camping this weekend and see what their reaction is. Will it be 'Eek, you’re mental, who wants to stay in a leaky tent on the hard ground in the cold?' or will it be 'Cool, are you going to stay in a yurt or a wigwam?'

You’ll also likely get people reminiscing about the time they stayed in a leaky tent on the hard ground on the Yorkshire Dales, and how it was one of the best holidays they've ever had. And people telling you that staying in a yurt, tipi, wigwam or camping pod isn’t 'real' camping, and there was that time they stayed in a leaky tent on the Yorkshire Dales...

One of our sets of pod photos sparked a bit of discussion on Facebook about the virtues of canvas vs camping pod , although it was of course all very civilised as is the Pitchup.com way. But it kicked off our little grey cells thinking about what camping means to different people, and what 'real' camping is. Is it sleeping under the stars? Cooking outside over a campfire ? Going wild camping miles away from civilisation? Taking off on foot or a bike with all your worldly goods on your back? Glamping in a restored double decker bus at Glastonbury ?

Ask someone what 'real' camping is (go on, take an informal poll of all your colleagues - your boss won’t mind), and they’ll likely say it's camping well away from others, in a tent, taking all your supplies with you and using a campfire to cook your meals (or, at a push if you’re very wimpy and/or new to camping, a portable stove). It's a fair enough point. Camping is after all about getting away from it all, and whose heart doesn’t stir romantically at the picture of pitching up by a campfire in the middle of nowhere and pretending it’s the 19 th century and the 9-5 doesn’t exist? (OK, maybe that's just me.)

So does this mean camping in pods, yurts, double-decker buses and all the other glamping options out there aren't the real deal? If pods aren’t real camping, what about motorhomes? Or someone who started out in the leaky tent on the Yorkshire Dales and then after 20 years of happy canvas camping bought a top of the range RV – are they still camping?

Braving Bryn Dwr Camping Pods, Wrexham Like we said in our recent cycling blog , wanting to bike when camping doesn't mean having to do it 'properly', with only a bedroll or a tiny tent strapped to the pannier. So likewise, when camping, you can certainly use your shower curtain as a pack and then stretch it out under a tree as a shelter if that's your thing, but, while that might be 'real', why not also have the option of being cosy in a camping pod with sheep's wool insulation? Camping in its oldest and most natural state can be the best holiday you've ever had – but so can camping in the new way, in pods and yurts and those restored double-decker buses.

So, mainly because I'm a peaceable hippy type, I'm going to sit on the fence on this one so firmly my bum has splinters, and say that if you think it’s camping, it's camping. Whether it's a tent and a campfire in the middle of the moor, or a luxury yurt for a one-off weekend, if you say you’re going camping then that's what you’re doing (please don’t abuse this by gleefully saying you're 'camping' if spending two nights in a five-star hotel). Also, and this is the definition you can use to say 'Yah boo sucks' to anyone who says you're not camping if it's a pod – if it’s on a campsite, and it’s on Pitchup.com, then it's camping. So there.

Again though, this is just me. What type of camping do you do, and what do you think real camping is? Enter the fray below!

Comments