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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How long have American families been "going camping" purely for recreation?

-in tents?
-in motor vehicles with living accommodations on board?
-in animal-drawn vehicles with living accommodations on board?
-on board boats?
-sleeping out in the open in a bedroll?


I ask because I see some black and white TV shows from the 1950's depicting recreational camping even by farm families.


Certainly man has camped out since the dawn of man for business, military service, relocation, vagabond lifestyle, homelessness, human migration, exploration, travelling, nomadic lifestyle, transhumance and/or work.
 

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The idea of camping as recreation came along in the 1800s.
It was initially taken up by people who wanted to share their passion for this specific way of travel and living, and their advocacy boosted the popularity greatly.
It was particularly seen as a good pastime for children, allowing them to experience adventure within the benign confines of an organized nature expedition.
https://www.americanhistoryusa.com/you-are-american-if-you-go-camping/

1930s -
The National Park Service develops 34 Recreation Demonstration Areas, a complex government name for campgrounds, which are later turned over to state agencies.
https://www.reserveamerica.com/marketing.do?goto=acm/a-short-history-of-camping.htm

> Experts on the topic agree that the history of camping in America really begins at the end of the 1860s.
Prior to this, camping as recreation was essentially unheard of.
According to Terence Young, the author of
Heading Out: A History of American Camping , the word “camp” was probably inspired by military encampments
> the first generation of modern campers in America were largely inspired by one man: William H.H. Murray.
https://thedyrt.com/magazine/lifestyle/the-history-of-camping-in-america/
 

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Minimum late 1800 The Golden Era; with the advent of the automobile, it really took off at the turn of the 20th century and then exploded after WWII with the economic prosperity that followed.
 

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Prefer a Tent myself if one is going R.V that is not "REALLY" camping by any means. I like No Phone/T.V/ No "LUXURIES" some call it "Primitive" Eh the way it was before "MAN" and "TECHNOLOGY" decided to screw everything...Yes 300 years ago primitive beats today`s technological advances hands down
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The idea of camping as recreation came along in the 1800s.
It was initially taken up by people who wanted to share their passion for this specific way of travel and living, and their advocacy boosted the popularity greatly.
It was particularly seen as a good pastime for children, allowing them to experience adventure within the benign confines of an organized nature expedition.
https://www.americanhistoryusa.com/you-are-american-if-you-go-camping/


I went tent camping in Idaho City, ID in May of 2005. It got really cold in the morning in my tent. An air bed and a 40-degree rated Coleman summer bag.
At 5 in the morning I had to get in the truck and let the heater run. A buddy from Wyoming was with me. he said it wasn't "camping" without a campfire and we had a pit and made fires.
We gathered wood from forests that was scattered over the ground.

I found this link about the history of recreational camping in America. It started out with a group of boys. Then came a group of adult women followed by a group of adult men. It seems adult women in America were seriously into RECREATIONAL camping even before grown men got seriously into it. Most camping out had historically been done by men for thousands of years but not for fun.

https://www.reserveamerica.com/outdoors/a-short-history-of-camping.htm

A Short History of Camping


Set aside human migration and great armies on the march—activities which have taken place for thousands of years— and here's how modern day camping got its start.

it starts out with boys: 1861 - Gunnery Camp is founded in Washington, Connecticut, by Frederick Gunn, who owned a boys' school. Taking his wards on a two-week trip, they hike to a specific wilderness area where they set up camp. Activities include hiking, fishing, and observing nature, and of course, cooking over a smoky fire.

women follow: 1874 - The YWCA establishes its first camp in Pennsylvania. Called "Sea Rest," the camp catered to women only.

then grown men: 1885 - Surprisingly, it took men 11 years to realize that camping could be fun and set up a YMCA camp in New York. That camp is still in operation today.

Over the ensuing years, the concept of camping steadily grew.

1900 - The first Boys' Club camp is built in Salem, Massachusetts.

1910 - The Boy Scouts of America establish a camp in New York.

female children didn't seriously get into it until this time: 1912 - The first Girl Scout camp is built in Georgia.

1930s - The National Park Service develops 34 Recreation Demonstration Areas, a complex government name for campgrounds, which are later turned over to state agencies.

Today - There are over 113,000 federally managed campsites, more than 166,000 campsites in state parks, and an untold number of private facilities.



 

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At 63 yrs old I still prefer backpacking camping.
Just take what you need on your back.
Takes some skill and experience and some specialized equipment.
But it is very rewarding to get out where no one else is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At 63 yrs old I still prefer backpacking camping.
Just take what you need on your back.
Takes some skill and experience and some specialized equipment.
But it is very rewarding to get out where no one else is.
At age 55, I wish I were that fit still.
 

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It extends back to the westward wagon trains and conestogas of the 1840s. I submit that it was recreational, to some degree, even back then.
 

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Americans have been camping in some form, since 1492.
 

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Where i live in the Adirondacks camping was pretty big back n the late 1800's and still is but i think there was a large dip around WWII. It was also largely associated with hunting and fishing trips, not solely for camping though I'm sure many did that too. There used to be trains that went all over the mountains to many remote spots(some are still pretty remote) to take people close to where they wanted to go. I know for a fact it was huge in the 1930's because my old hobby(collecting and digging for beer cans) made us do research as to where people went so we could look for old dumps. The rail lines are all abandoned now and the rail lines are mostly used for snowmobiling.
I know a lot of people who camp now who live in rural areas around here. They go out and spend 10's of thousands on campers, pay to park them in some crowded park and "camp" every weekend and some guys stay there all summer. I just don't get that. Almost all of them could just go in their back yard and do it for free. They have satellite TV's, full kitchens and bathrooms in the campers and every other luxury they have at home. That just isn't camping.
pretty much everything i said about camping in the Adirondacks except for the rail lines(i don't know either way) was also done in the same fashion in northern CA and other places like the Ozarks too. I only know this because of guys in the same hobby doing the same research trying to find where old cans would be dumped.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ford, Edison, and Firestone on one of their frequent camping trips. View attachment 110492
These men still look like they are dressed for business in the city. A tie and shined shoes for camping? I want my comfortable outdoors clothes on in the boonies. In the summertime I'd be in my shorts and hiking boots.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Where i live in the Adirondacks camping was pretty big back n the late 1800's and still is but i think there was a large dip around WWII. It was also largely associated with hunting and fishing trips, not solely for camping though I'm sure many did that too. There used to be trains that went all over the mountains to many remote spots(some are still pretty remote) to take people close to where they wanted to go. I know for a fact it was huge in the 1930's because my old hobby(collecting and digging for beer cans) made us do research as to where people went so we could look for old dumps. The rail lines are all abandoned now and the rail lines are mostly used for snowmobiling.
I know a lot of people who camp now who live in rural areas around here. They go out and spend 10's of thousands on campers, pay to park them in some crowded park and "camp" every weekend and some guys stay there all summer. I just don't get that. Almost all of them could just go in their back yard and do it for free. They have satellite TV's, full kitchens and bathrooms in the campers and every other luxury they have at home. That just isn't camping.
pretty much everything i said about camping in the Adirondacks except for the rail lines(i don't know either way) was also done in the same fashion in northern CA and other places like the Ozarks too. I only know this because of guys in the same hobby doing the same research trying to find where old cans would be dumped.

Yes there is recreational camping solely for the purpose of camping and camping as part of some hunting and fishing trips. I would consider any camping accompanying any other outdoor recreation as "recreational camping" as well. People can camp recreation-ally while:


-hiking/backpacking
-horseback riding
-prospecting for minerals as a hobby
-hunting
-fishing
-boating
-motorcycling

I would not want to be out looking for dump sites as a recreation. I want to get away from trash and pollution while out in nature.
 

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It's probably not a dump like your thinking. It's mostly just metal, glass and other stuff that hasn't rotted away. Many people do find it recreational and it's like a form of archeology. Many people dig for bottles, cans, coins and all kinds of other artifacts using different methods. Just walking or hiking to find surface dumps. metal detecting for coins, cans and other artifacts and over in England they do what's called mudlarking where they comb the shores of the Thames and other rivers finding stuff as recent as a couple of years, back to the world wars, colonial times, medieval times and even as far back as BC. No matter what people are collecting and digging for it's preserving parts of history that were long lost or thrown away. Here is an example of some cans I've dug. Most rot away but it certain soils and climates help them stay preserved quite well and are cleaned up with a mild water/acid solution. newest can is probably just shy of 60 years old and the oldest is from 1935 or so which is when beer cans first came out.

20200206_184902[1].jpg

Not these cans but certain ones are quite valuable. there are many from the 30's with less than 10 or less example known and some only 1 known. I have seen prices in the 10's of thousands and even over 100k for one particular can.
 
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