The technological advances of the 21st century have given rise to a new kind of outdoor experience, one that some argue excludes the outdoors altogether.
The term “glamping,” a combination of the words “glamour” and “camping”, describes the modern twist on traditional camping. Instead of tents, hammocks or sleeping bags glampers choose to sleep in huge RVs that have all the amenities found in ones’ home.
Glamping is most popular with the older generations as rugged backpacking has become more popular with the younger generations, though some younger people still advocate the glamping experience.
Jordan Chavis, a 22-year-old business major, is an avid supporter of traditional backpacking practices.
“I love nature and backpacking is a way to fully immerse yourself in it,” Chavis said. “Backpacking, for me at least, can be very therapeutic.”
Many people feel that the point of camping is to spend time in nature and enjoy the outdoors, an activity that not many people get to do frequently enough.
“I feel that if I’m going to go glamping with all the luxuries and amenities of home I might as well just sit on the couch and pop in a DVD of Planet Earth,” Chavis said.
The thought of going all the way out into nature just to sit inside an RV doesn’t make sense to people who enjoy the lack of civilization in nature.
“The feeling of being the only human in a vast expanse of wilderness is both frightening and exhilarating,” Chavis said. “It really puts nature in a different perspective that you wouldn’t see otherwise.”
Not all people are so keen on traipsing around in nature with just a backpack.
“I’d like some sense of protection,” said Alexandria Nicole Mills, a 20-year-old business major. “I’d feel like you could use the restroom easier and cook more food.”
RVs also allow people to go camping in the cooler, rainier months of the year.
Backpackers also have to carry all of their supplies on their backs. This means that they are limited in what they can bring and also have less versatility than those who have RVs with gas, electricity and running water.
“What’s in my backpack usually depends on the difficulty of the trail and the weather.” Chavis said. “My knife, fire starter, and water bottles are always with me. I always bring just enough food packed in bear canisters to keep those pesky black bears from getting into it.”
Other supplies that are recommended for backpacking are propane stoves, water filtering devices, and a hatchet to cut fire wood.
“I always have my sleeping bag,” Chavis added. “If there is no chance of rain I usually bring a hammock instead of a tent.”
Despite the difference in camping style and housing preference the ultimate goal of any outdoor adventure is to experience nature.
“When you go camping its more about the activities you do and getting the benefits of nature rather than where you choose to sleep at night.” Kayla White a 22-year-old recreation major said.