Backpackers vs. Glampackers

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park certainly sees its fair share of backpackers. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country and within a day’s drive for a lot of folks. Backpacking has always been popular, but it seems to be gaining even more followers as of late. There has even been a lot of discussion lately about the pros and cons of backpacking. Here I compare Backpackers vs. Glampackers!

Glampacking addresses the complaints that a lot of people have concerning the disheveled backpacker style. It is still “up in the air” if glampacking can really even be classified as a form of backpacking. Why? Because in some people’s mind it is simply a traditional way of taking a vacation. Backpackers are usually associated with “roughing it.” Glampackers are not roughing it. However, Glampacking certainly has its wonderful benefits. Let’s go exploring and dig a bit deeper.


They are typically travelers with a higher budget who can afford to splurge on more expensive vacation necessities like a place to stay. They usually love boutiques and like to spend some time in a really nice resort that offers spa treatments and have mid to upscale restaurants. Facial in the morning, poolside for most of the day before enjoying a nice meal at a restaurant. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Their common objective is to see new places and experience new things without forgoing personal comfort along the way. Talk about a relaxing vacation!


What do you think of when it comes to backpackers? Like I mentioned earlier, here in the Smokies we see a lot of backpackers as it is a gold mine for travelers. Backpackers are usually a bit more money conscious and they do not mind camping or sharing rooms. They will eat sandwiches and granola bars everyday if it means they can venture out and see more of the world. They are happy to give up the personal comforts of life if it means they can explore new places and meet people of all walks of life. The demographic for backpackers used to be solely in the 20-somethings age group, but in recent years backpacking has been more of an activity for all age groups. Perhaps this has to do with all the focus on backpacking lately. For instance, the movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte called ‘A Walk in the Woods’ that was based off the book by Bill Bryson. They backpack along the Appalachian Trail. If you have not picked up the book or watched the movie, be sure to do that soon! Then there is ‘Wild’ that was written by Cheryl Strayed and then became a Hollywood film featuring Reese Witherspoon. It is simple. Backpackers have one objective in mind and that is to see as much of the world as possible on a limited budget.

Which one are you? Are you a glampacker or a backpacker? They both sound marvelous, but I would have to say that I am more of a backpacker. There is nothing like hiking through an area and truly immersing yourself in getting to know the locals and their way of life. It personally makes me feel closer to nature and the world in a sense. If you have ever backpacked anywhere, you know the feeling I am referring to.
If you are interested in backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, check out or the National Park Service page. If you prefer a glampacking trip, we know just the place to stay! Our three condominium properties in Pigeon Forge all offer luxury amenities, wonderful views, closeness to restaurants, shops and spas and are known to be a relaxing place! We are 15 minutes from the National Park if you want to opt out of a spa day and take a hike in nature as well. Give us a call at 800.429.4361 to book your glam-vacation!

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