Camping is a popular activity that many people enjoy. It involves spending time outdoors, sleeping in tents, cooking over a campfire, and enjoying nature. However, there is some debate about what exactly constitutes camping. Some people believe that only primitive camping, where you are completely disconnected from modern amenities, counts as actual camping. Others believe that any time spent sleeping in a tent or RV, regardless of the amenities available, is considered camping. Let's look at this debate and see what arguments are being made on both sides.

Defining Camping

The first step in this debate is to define what exactly camping is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, camping is "the act of sleeping outdoors, in a tent or under the stars, especially when traveling." This definition indicates that any time spent outdoors in a tent or under the stars can be considered camping. However, there are different types of camping, from primitive camping to glamping, which we will explore next.

Primitive Camping

Primitive camping, also known as backpacking or wilderness camping, involves camping in a remote area, often with no amenities available. This type of camping usually requires hiking to a remote location and carrying all your supplies with you. Primitive camping can be challenging but provides a more authentic outdoor experience. Supporters of this type of camping argue that it is the only true form of camping, as it requires self-reliance and a genuine connection with nature.

Car Camping

On the other hand, car camping involves driving to a campsite and setting up camp with the help of your car. This type of camping usually includes access to amenities like running water, electricity, and bathrooms. Supporters of car camping argue that it is a more accessible form of camping, as it requires less physical exertion and allows people to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing modern conveniences.


Glamping, or glamorous camping, is a newer trend involving luxury accommodations like yurts, cabins, or RVs. Glamping sites often provide hot tubs, Wi-Fi, and gourmet meals. Supporters of glamping argue that it allows for a way to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing comfort and convenience.

The Debate

So, which type of camping is "real" camping? Supporters of primitive camping argue that it is the only form that provides a genuine connection with nature. They believe car camping and glamping are not "real" because they use too many modern amenities and do not require the same level of self-reliance and outdoor skills. On the other hand, supporters of car camping and glamping argue that these forms of camping provide a way for people to enjoy the outdoors who may not be physically capable of primitive camping to do so. They also argue that camping should be inclusive and welcoming to all, regardless of their style.

Ultimately, the debate over what is and isn't considered camping is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people enjoy the challenge and authenticity of primitive camping. In contrast, others prefer the comfort and convenience of car camping or glamping.

Whatever our preferences, does it really matter what we choose to call it or how we define it? Maybe it is just about getting outdoors and enjoying nature, how it works best for us. What are your thoughts on this?