With our world in a very strange space - folks are running for the hills. And I ain't talking Canada. I mean - LITERALLY - folks are running to the hills, mountains, the great outdoors and they are staying there. Overnight that is. To no one's surprise, camping has increased drastically since COVID.
According to The Guardian, "The 2020 North American Camping Report, published in May, examined the effects of Covid-19. It found that 46% of all leisure travellers said they considered camping the safest way to travel once restrictions were lifted." You don't have to read the article (although you are very welcome) to know why folks are flocking to camping.
it's relatively inexpensive
it's typically within two hours of the nearest city (which is where the mass majority of the increase is seen - within two hours of the city)
you are not relying on overworked hotel staff for your deep scrub of all the things
it's typically farther away (allowing for social distance) from other folks
It's a vacation
And it's not YO'HOME.
And for folks that don't love camping culture but want to experience all of the above -there is GLAMPING. Glamping gives you the great outdoors with amenities. Glamping saw a 100% increase.
For those wondering the difference between glamping and camping:
If you are in a tent - you’re camping.
If you’re in a cabin, yurt, or glamorized RV, then you’re glamping.
But for a fun article on the difference between glamping and camping, click here. My favorite difference is number five on the list, where it discusses “not showering” as a part of camping fun, but if/when you get sick of the...your...smell, there may be portable showers.
I immediately think of my glamping husbae and his inability to forgo a day of showering - which is the perfect segue to black people and glamping ...
Black Folk & Glamping
My husband, mama, three friends, and cousin aren't the only black folks that refuse to camp in a tent for multiple days, but will lay all their burdens down in a cabin.
For the last few years, glamping seems to be more popular amongst black and brown people than traditional wilderness camping. An example of this is based on Kampgrounds of America; black campers rose from 6% to 8% from 2012 to 2017. Whereas black people make up 15% of glampers (58% white, 12% Hispanic/LatinX, 9% Asian, 6% Other*)."
*Racial breakdown directly from the website, I hate the use of "other" when doing racial studies.
In fact, according to Skift, “black campers were the fastest growing group of RV users. Among black campers, 27 percent said an RV was their primary accommodation in 2017, up from 19 percent the previous year.”
That said, glamping allows for people to get a taste of the outdoors without jumping completely in. Knowing the complicated and unsafe history and the current experiences of black folx outdoors, it makes sense that there's apprehension around tent-camping. And so glamping provides a sturdy shelter, amenities, and the privacy needed to feel safe while also liberated.
Glamping and Intersectionality
To understand why being a person of color that is also a woman (creating an intersectional identity) in the outdoors can be problematic and unsettling, please read:
Our Camping article
Outdoorsy Diva's, Camping while Black
Rahawa Haile's experience hiking the Appalachian trail
Jenna Yokoyama's experience as a Japanese-American hiker
As recent as this summer, a multiracial family in Spokane
Glamping provides a cushion for women of color. We get to enjoy the outside, while not dealing with as much exposure and vulnerability. This alone provides a layer of comfort, especially when new to outdoor adventures. In fact, glamping is not only something that women of color are enjoying, but it's also something that we are breaking ground on. Look at Camp Bespoke in Kentucky, it's a majority black-woman owned glamping site. And there is the three black women-owned "Destinations Glamping: a luxury glamping experience that will allow visitors to take in the best of Anguilla."
And for those not going to Anguilla or Kentucky any time soon, Essence magazine created a list of their favorite glamping getaway locations. Y'all some of these places are SUPER LUSH...like complete indulgence. Then there is this magnificent Native American owned glamping experience on a ranch in the Navajo Nation.
Y'all we have no idea when the world will settle, but in the meantime, we can all use a getaway. And so whether you are a traditional wilderness camper or a luxurious cabin glamper - getting into the great outdoors can provide a very necessary mental and physical escape. And so with that, please be safe, take it slow, and breathe.
Shalom, my outdoorsy friends.