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Old 12-21-2014, 11:27 AM   #1
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When Airstreams BECOME CAMPING...

There is a thread that debated where is the "red line in the sand" of living at home and... camping. Many interesting opinions. Many who just do not understand what camping... really means to many of us.

Camping (short definition): Temporary lodging or shelter.

A log cabin off the grid, I consider "camping".
A tent out in the back yard of a residence for overflow of guests. "Camping".
A tent packed in along the Appalachian Trail on a three week hike. Camping.
A $200,000 RV parked at the Sandia Casino parking lot. Camping.
An Airstream parked at your relatives Ranch. Camping.
An Airstream hooked up at an RV Park with an Arcade, Theatre, Swimming Pool. Camping.
A day or month in the National Forest/BLM dry... camping.
Stranded along a gravel road waiting for help. Camping.

Hike (short definition): A walk.

A hike begins with the FIRST step and ends with the LAST step. There is NO minimum or maximum HIKE.

Camping, Boondocking, Rockdocking is a State of MIND. You could be in the Andes of South America within the wreckage of a Boeing 707 that crashed into a hanging glacier. Left for no survivors until one shows up after a period of time that there are survivors. (The soccer team some decades ago.) Camping.

IF your HOME and Residence is a trailer... you are not camping. If your trailer is your home and residence and you are moving... you ARE camping. Once you consider yourself at home, at any location... it is your state of mind that might consider this home... or merely a camp until a permanent place to stop is found.

If I ask you how "far is up"... who is correct? Same with camping. Some consider camping sleeping in the back of a pickup truck with sleeping bags and a shell for a roof. Expand that idea to this same vehicle, add a hitch and a 25 foot trailer. Just because the trailer is a self contained "home" when on the road, you are camping. OK, now I have some of you thinking. Hmmm. Does having a toilet and shower make it NOT camping? Even dry camped out of the back of a pickup you can take a five gallon bucket, screw a toilet seat onto it, place it over a dug hole... toilet. A five gallon water bag, heated in the sun and used for showers... a shower.

When, as a kid, living in a log cabin in the Montana forests... it was home. Now visiting... it is camping. Parking a trailer next to the cabin is camping. Moving into the trailer is....? There is the red line... we hear about.

Camping does not need the blessings of the "camping fairy". It is individual. A State of Mind.

MY Camping, I named Rockdocking for convenience, and YOUR Boondocking are entirely different, yet camping. I do either at will. Many would never venture across this "red line" which we put upon ourselves to move into a more remote "aspect or appearance" of where camping begins or ends. It is DEGREES of dependence upon what preparations you have brought on a donkey, a mule, a horse, a pickup truck, on your back, within a cart, a trailer... and the list goes on and on.

Marco Polo traveled in Caravans from the Far East. Camping. Although, their camping probably was better than those with the temporary housing the locals called, homes. The Pit Houses of the American Southwest Indians more than one thousand years ago were NOT camping... these were their homes. Their temporary shelters were merely that... temporary. Even if it meant sleeping under a Pinon Pine with pine needles as bedding.

A trailer does not have to be Spartan of modern conveniences to be camping. Does a wealthy person need to carry all of their wealth on their person to remain... wealthy? In some parts of the world you do WEAR your wealth for status. It may seem Spartan to you, but to them in the Amazon jungle your having a wristwatch and sewn clothing is wealth beyond their grasp.

I might be camped at Sam's Town RV Park in Las Vegas, or in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico and consider both... camping. It is not my home. I am not staying until I have to leave for one reason or another. It is the DEGREE of camping. Much like the first and last step for a "hike".

Where is YOUR "red line"? Why is that so? What would you remove from your Airstream or trailer to make it a camping experience versus a ????.

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Old 12-21-2014, 01:40 PM   #2
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I think we'd have to remove us from the comforts of our Airstream to be camping. Such as when we would take a week or two of supplies in a canoe or boat and head into the BWCA in northern Minnesota, or for some time on an island in Canada.

These days the Airstream isn't used much when we're at home on a Minnesota lake in summer and spend the cold season touring the country, even "camping" in Washington, D.C. or enjoying some of the great rv resorts of the Southwest.

It isn't the camper that matters as much as where we go to see the country, meet folks, and enjoy our days together.

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Old 12-21-2014, 04:46 PM   #3
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I bet that Airstream would float... and saved yourself hauling a canoe around.

My brother in law offered to take me on some "old farts canoeing in New York" and carrying the canoe through the woods to get around white water falls, and things like... well Niagara Falls, which I was impressed as a pretty good drop.

Then he chickened out. I did not know any better and was willing to try anything once... maybe twice if he bought lunch.

People seem to be camping in downtown New York City... in the newspaper reports and I believe everything I read or see on the news. So there is no limit as to expanding the definition of camping. Minnesota... that is camping no matter the circumstances. In the winter... you may as well be camped and staying home, unless you can start the snow mobile and follow along the State Roads.

Alaska is... camping. Minnesota is camping. Michigan... so, so. Death Valley... your last camping option... See, some of you may be camping and receive your mail at the same time in some parts of North America. Canada... camping.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:35 PM   #4
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My " Camping" red line is about 6" in front of me. Funny thing it keeps moving.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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Camping to me is the minute I step into my cottage on wheels wherever those wheels are. I can not get enough.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:35 PM   #6
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When we tell friends and relatives we're going camping sometimes we are often chided , “You're not camping, you're RVing.”
Born and raised in the Chicago Megalopolis and now living on its outskirts, my concept of camping is colored by the Suburban Experience.

I'm camping when I'm near a creek swollen by Spring rains and not wondering if the sump pumps will keep up with the flow of ground water under my basement.
I'm camping when my dwelling is surrounded by grass I don't have to cut.
I'm camping when I can build a fire near my front door and not worry about if it is in the proper container, too close to an occupied structure or some neighbor complaining about County Regulations, particulate matter and air pollution.
I'm camping when I can be surrounded by trees and not having to worry about blowing, and raking and disposing of the leaves when they drop in the Fall.

For us it truly is getting away from the routine. Sometime we're a bit stressed with the prep of hosting a Rally, or attending one out of state, but once started, even with bad weather or logistics, its all good.

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Old 12-22-2014, 11:40 AM   #7
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Without shore power, water or sewer, I would really call that camping although in a really deluxe "tent".
Still, I refer to our way of life as camping... because we keep moving at various intervals. We are "camped" now in a great so. Calif. resort with hot mineral water, 9 hole golf, tennis court and many activities. We are "camping" for 4 months - the longest stay yet.
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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A few days ago a friend came over for dinner and just as she set the dish she brought on the counter the lights went out! No problem, the Airstream was all charged up and ready to go, so we moved the party out there. With heat, light, even a stove available, I certainly couldn't call it roughing it! And it was another chance to have happy memories with friends in our Airstream, even if it was just in the backyard Camping? Maybe, but it was certainly fun!

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Old 12-22-2014, 12:17 PM   #9
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Interesting idea, exploring the etymology of "camping." It can mean so many different things, to so many different people.

I grew up in the NW, and spent most summers in the woods or in the brush, on my dad's construction projects - he was a civil engineer and contractor - so I have a different set of definitions than will a person who grew up in a more urban environment. To me, "camping" was walking in, or floating in on a river, setting up the tents and privy, and staying overnight. If we drove to a campsite in a state park or forest service campground, unloaded and set up the tent, that was "car camping." Nothing else was "camping." But, I can understand if a person grew up in, say Brooklyn, then staying in an Airstream in a state park, with hookups, is for sure "camping."

And I see AS's all the time described here as "campers." To me, again based on where I grew up, this is a "camper:"

And then there's the definition of "coach." I see it here often, referring to travel trailers. I've always thought of a "coach" as being a big class A bus-like RV. When I do a Google image search for the word "coach," this is the first image:

I'll be following this thread with interest! I love language.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:30 PM   #10
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Another bit from my past that further muddies the waters...

My dad's projects were often way out in the wilderness, and the men who worked on the jobs lived in "camp" during the week, and drove out on weekends. Early on, my dad brought pre-fab bunkhouses, a cookshack and dining hall, to the job on a couple of flatbed trailers and set up "camp." As I grew up, this changed as more of the workers had trailers, and they would bring their families out to the jobs, and the group of trailers were still called "camp." But we weren't "camping." We were "living in camp."

I spent the summer of 1953 on the Lochsa River in what is now the Selway Wilderness, in Idaho, while my dad built nine miles of the Lolo Pass Highway. We lived "in camp," in a big Spartan trailer. I remember the round windows in the doors. It had a back door, so it was a big trailer. My mother hated living "in camp," close to the job, because it was so dusty. I loved it.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:04 PM   #11
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Ray You make me laugh with your thoughts and creativity.

One of the biggest surprises of my life was in college when a friend of mine invited us to the family 'ranch'. I grew up on ranches, 20,000 and 40,000 acres respectively and when I went to this guy's CA ranch much to my surprise it was 40 acres. Much like camping, ranching must be where the heart is =)
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:45 PM   #12
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No matter how we camp, still enjoy camping.
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:15 PM   #13
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We pull our big camper with our little camper.

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Old 12-27-2014, 08:48 PM   #14
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Moosetags... do you use the big camper you are towing to store anything? Or do you haul it around just in case you need to use the shower and flushing toilet on those long trips?

I think you are on to something....

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