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Camping: Rustic vs. Luxury

March 9, 2022

Camping is a popular outdoor activity and can be a great way to blow off steam and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. When camping, you have the opportunity to enjoy nature and take part in outdoor activities. As a result, more than 40 million Americans go camping each year. But there is more than one type of camping, and knowing the difference between a more rustic experience and luxury camping will help you plan your next camping trip.

In this guide, you’ll learn the key differences between rustic and luxury camping to help you make an informed decision on your next trip.

What is Rustic Camping?

Rustic camping is a traditional way to camp. Many Americans take this type of camping trip as an opportunity to disconnect from technology and enjoy nature. Most campers pack only the essentials, and will likely be sleeping in a tent or sleeping bag. Depending on the campground you choose, you may have access to certain amenities like bathrooms, while others may involve a more secluded location.

What is Luxury Camping or “Glamping”?

Luxury camping, also known as glamping, lets you enjoy the great outdoors while retaining many of the comforts of home. Depending on the type of glamping you embark on, you may have different sleeping arrangements, amenities, meal prep options, and other key differences from traditional camping. Glamping has gained significant popularity in recent years. In 2020, it was estimated that 45.7% of campers camped in cabins and pods compared to the 14.1% of traditional campers.

8 Key Differences Between Rustic and Luxury Camping

Are you planning an upcoming camping trip? Here are the eight key differences between rustic and luxury camping that you should know.

1. Your Accommodations

Accommodations are one of the most significant differences between traditional camping and glamping. While traditional camping usually involves sleeping in a tent or sleeping bag, you can luxury camp in a wide range of accommodations. For example, RVs provide many of the comforts of home, including actual beds. Glamping options include RVs, cabins, lake houses, and other luxury camping accommodations. While glamping does provide more amenities and comfort, traditional camping can provide a more unique experience and may be more in touch with nature. For example, you could sleep beneath the stars.

2. Bathrooms and Showers

If you’re taking the rustic approach, you may or may not have access to a bathroom. Some campgrounds provide public restrooms for campers, while others do not. If you’re luxury camping, such as camping in RVs or cabins, you’ll likely have a private bathroom that you can enjoy.

Showers are another amenity not typically included in traditional camping. Of course, some nicer campgrounds provide a public shower, but the majority do not. Similarly to bathroom access, it’s common for luxury camping accommodations to include a private shower.

3. Meal Prep

RVs, cabins, and other luxury camping accommodations commonly include stovetops and refrigerators. As a result, luxury campers can usually meal prep the same way they would at home, opening up meal options and providing campers with extra convenience. If you’re camping with the bare necessities, you’ll be limited to packaged foods that you’ve stored in a cooler or cooking on an open fire. However, cooking on an open fire isn’t really a drawback. In fact, there are plenty of  -specific meals. Additionally, you get to enjoy s’mores.

4. How You’ll Get Safe Drinking Water

Traditional campers will need to bring bottled water when camping or gather water from nearby streams, rivers, or lakes. However, you must  treat the water you collect before drinking it to ensure it’s safe to consume.

If you’re glamping, you may be able to get water from the tap. However, you’ll need to use a campground that includes water hookups for RVs. Otherwise, you may be limited to the same options as traditional campers.

5. Amenities

Another significant difference between rustic camping and glamping is the amenities. Amenities provide a big draw for luxury camping because you can have things like air conditioning, heating, electricity, coffee makers, and so on. Some glamping destinations may even provide you with Wi-Fi. If you’re taking the rustic approach, you will likely not have access to these amenities, especially if you’re camping with the bare necessities.

6. Dealing With the Elements

Have you ever gone camping and it turned out to be too cold, too hot, or it was raining? That’s a risk of all camping adventures, but rustic versus luxury camping experiences can vary widely when dealing with extreme weather. With traditional camping, you’ll likely be stuck inside of your tent if it rains. If the rain becomes too heavy, you may even have to leave. Additionally, tents can sometimes leak, especially if they’re old and have been overused, which could be a disaster for your belongings. Traditional campers will likely have to deal with weather that’s hot or cold as best they can.

While rainfall and other problems with the elements can be inconvenient for any camper, luxury campers have it easier. If it rains, you may still be stuck inside, but you’ll likely have other sources of entertainment, and may be more comfortable while you wait out the rain.

7. How You’ll Keep Your Supplies Safe from Wildlife

How you’ll keep your supplies safe from wildlife depends on the type of camping. Traditional campers may need to secure supplies in sealed containers and store the containers within their tents, vehicles, or another semi-safe location. While most wildlife is more of a nuisance rather than a danger, traditional campers should always take extra precautions when camping in areas with bears or other more dangerous animals. If you’re buying or renting an RV or staying in another luxury camping option, you’ll likely be able to store your supplies safely inside.

8. The Cost

Generally speaking, it may be cheaper to rough-it out than camp in luxury. Cabin rentals are often a couple hundred dollars a night, and it can be expensive to buy or rent an RV. If you do purchase an RV, you may also need to keep it insured and pay for gas and maintenance. Comparatively, campers who camp traditionally may only need to pay campground and food-related expenses, if any.

Financing Your Camping Trip With Mariner Finance

Do you prefer to rough it out or participate in luxury camping? You’ve got a lot of options for your next camping trip, and now you know the key differences between these popular forms of camping. The cost of camping can vary widely, and every camping trip is unique. Fortunately, Mariner Finance provides fixed-rate personal loans between $1,000 and $25,000 to help you afford your next big trip.

Do you need financing to help with an upcoming camping trip? Apply for a personal loan today.

Blog posts are for informational purposes only.

†We offer personal loans from $1,000 to $25,000, with loans terms from 12 to 60 months. Minimum and maximum amounts dependent on an applicant’s state of residence and the underwriting of the loan. Loans between $1,500 and $15,000 may be funded online. Loans greater than $15,000 or less than $1,500 are funded through our branch network. Specific interest rates and fees are determined as permitted under applicable state law and depend upon loan amount, term, and the applicant’s ability to meet our credit criteria, including, but not limited to, credit history, income, debt payment obligations, and other factors such as availability of collateral. Not all rates and loan amounts are available in all states. Additional fees may apply to some loan offers; some state required and/or permitted fees may be treated as prepaid finance charges. Any such charges shall be in addition to the loan amount requested and/or approved and shall be fully disclosed to the applicant on his/her loan agreement. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rates or larger loan amounts, which may require a first lien on a motor vehicle not more than ten years old titled in the applicant’s name with valid insurance. Our loan by phone and online closing process requires a compatible mobile or computer device on which you can access your email and electronic documents. Not all loan types are eligible for loan by phone or online loan closing.


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