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Old 01-27-2015, 06:09 PM   #15
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My first camping adventures with my family were at age 4 and I can still remember them (probably 1958). My sister was 2. We had a big canvas tent and I think of those camping trips every time I smell the old canvas tarp I still have today. We camped in central Indiana, never too far from where we lived (I'm not sure but maybe traveling with two young kids kept my parents from driving very far). We went for walks in the woods and picked wild blackberries and blueberries. And, we got bit by chiggers.

Years later (1965), but still as a young kid, I went on Boy Scout camp outs in Michigan. We carried everything we needed in backpacks and we slept in small pup tents that didn't have the snow. We just threw a sheet of thin plastic down on the snow (a "drop cloth") and rolled out our sleeping bags on top of the plastic and tried to keep warm enough to sleep.

Our first family adventures in an RV were in a pickup camper in 1966. My sister and I would lay on the bunk over the cab and look out the front window of the camper as we traveled down the back roads of Northern Michigan. Dad would drive and Mom would navigate. At night, we would swat the mosquitos that buzzed around our ears as we tried to sleep.

Still years later as a young adult in college, I advanced to backpacking the Appalachian Trail through the Smokey Mountains and bicycle pack trips near Indiana University traveling as light as possible. After graduating from College, I took short overnight trips through The Keys in the small sailboat I owned while living in Homestead, Florida. And, now as a married adult, I enjoy traveling with my wife in our AS which we purchased new in 2001.

Give me a choice between a luxury hotel and camping, and I'll choose camping every time.

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Old 01-27-2015, 07:20 PM   #16
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Recalling Childhood Camping/Travel memories

My first camping memory is getting lost in the mountains of Virginia when I was in kindergarten... I wandered off from camp with my parents. I was never more happy to see my father... No tent, slept in sleeping bags on the ground.

The next I remember is at Horseshoe Beach, FL, about second grade, camping in a '69 Dodge van (wish I had it today) with sand gnats (no-seeums everywhere else) eating us alive. Miserable night.

After that, it was boating to the small islands off the gulf coast, and catching mullet in a gill net. Fun times with my dad and brother. We still do this trip, only in a lot more comfortable fashion...

I got a big, heavy, canvas tent for Christmas in fourth or fifth grade. I camped the crap out of that thing with my cousin in the woods of north Florida...

-Red, memory tripping...

Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:27 PM   #17
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First 'camping'... on the empty lot next door to our home.. then Dad upgraded... built a barge and then a small house on top! We use a 70HP Merc outboard to push it around... up and down the Intracoastal Waterway, dodging the big barges and tugs.. it was a freaking ADVENTURE!!!

oh.. and it was painted SILVER!!!

Later, when rodeoing/horse showing, Pop had a friend who had an AS... The mold was set.
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cwf View Post
First 'camping'... on the empty lot next door to our home.. then Dad upgraded... built a barge and then a small house on top! We use a 70HP Merc outboard to push it around... up and down the Intracoastal Waterway, dodging the big barges and tugs.. it was a freaking ADVENTURE!!!

oh.. and it was painted SILVER!!!

Later, when rodeoing/horse showing, Pop had a friend who had an AS... The mold was set.
Love it!!!

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Old 01-28-2015, 12:45 PM   #19
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I remember a homemade camper made from a 50's pickup bed made into a trailer and a plywood topper mounted on it. The whole apparatus was painted shiny silver with some type of tin roof cool seal coating. I also remember a homemade bread van camper with jaulosie windows and painted shiny silver with roof coating.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:19 PM   #20
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What a great thread.

The first camping trip that I remember was a trip to Ontario's Algonquin Park. It was in 1961 and I was 11 at the time.

The pictures are of the parks' Logging Exhibit - that is me in 1961 - and the same exhibit 48 years later when my wife and I visited in 2009.

You'll note that a couple of the details on the Alligator Boat have changed .....

..... and .....

..... if I were in the 2009 picture in the same position you'd be hard pressed to find that skinny kid inside the profile I inhabit today .....

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Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:58 PM   #21
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I think this is such a cool thread. I hope we can revive it and keep it going.

I remember my dad had a '56 Buick convertible. He would put all our camping gear in the trunk, and a huge tent on a trunk mounted cargo rack. You're right, we didn't have much camping gear.

He had sleeping bags, Coleman stove and lantern, aluminum ice box, and some pots, pans, and dishes. Later we got air mattresses. (Guess who's job it was to pump them up when we made camp.)

Eventually, he got a trailer to haul the gear, then a pop up camper, and then a used Airsream. By then I was on my own, with a family of my own, never to camp with Mom and Dad again.

Sorry, no pics.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:32 PM   #22
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Back in the early 60's we would take my father's big ugly canvas tent he brought back from the Korean war and hit the road with Mom, Dad and 4 of us girls. It wasn't easy fitting 6 people in an old Buick with everything we needed, but my mother could pack a car like nobody's business. We had to sit in the back seat with our little legs folded up due to all the suit cases on the floor.

My father would choose a destination and besides the occational pit stop, that was the only place he would stop. We pleaded and begged one time for him to stop at the Grand Canyon since we were going that direction. We got a whopping 15 minutes to enjoy it. His response was that it was just another big hole in the ground.

Mom was good about the trips. It was the only vacation we could afford to take with such a large family and she accepted that. She cooked and cleaned and kept us tidy and bandaged up. She always said it was just like home, but under primative conditions.

I can't emagine how difficult it was for my parents to keep everything together on those trips with all of us, but it makes me appreciate them all the more... and the memories are priceless.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:35 PM   #23
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In about 1968 ( I was in 8th grade) our family was tent camping around the country on our annual 3 week vacation. We had a few days in San Francisco and went to Chinatown. While there I bought some cigarette loads in one of the tourist shops. My mother was a smoker and my siblings and I thought this would make a great practical joke on our Mom. When she was not looking I took her smokes and added a load to one, and placed it back in the pack. We could not wait to see what happened. The next day we went to lunch at Joe DiMaggio's restaurant on Fishermans Wharf. This was a big treat for our family as we only dined out once or twice over the entire 3 week trip. The place had cloth table cloths and water at the table. Very fancy. When the menus came and my parents saw the prices they freaked out. Lunch for 6 was going to be pricey. While they were deciding what to do, Mom lite a cigarette. Wouldn't you know it, the load was in that smoke. It blew the front off the cigarette and there was tobacco bits all over that table cloth. Mom screamed and the waiter came running. Dad explained Mom was to upset to eat and we were leaving. I was most certainly in trouble but it got them out of an expensive lunch they could not afford.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:36 AM   #24
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I wish I had pics for all our early family trips. We started of with the six of us in a big canvas tent. It was the one with a large square area in the middle, and two "wings" off of each side. We hauled it all in a little one wheel trailer. However, my Dad threw out his back up in northern Wisconsin one summer unloading the trailer, and that was the end of the little one wheel trailer and the tent.
Then he found a pop-up, I think it was called a Holthouse? Something like that. The top of the trailer folded out in half and became the two wing beds. We had six of us in it for years, and camped in the mountains somewhere almost every summer.
I still remember being camped in Yellowstone, and following the bears around as they invaded all the campsites. If you left coolers out, they would bust them right open. My older brother and I tagged along (we were probably 8 and 10) for a long ways. I also remember in the evening a truck would drive through the campgrounds and there would be a guy yelling from in back, "firewood, Sunday Papers!" If my Dad would spring for some firewood we would have a campfire that night. We hiked all over, saw moose on the trail, caught snakes, chased big fish in the mountain streams (I found out later they were probably white fish, or suckers, ha!)
We just had a blast. So, naturally, when my youngest was four we bought a pop-up and duplicated all the trips I did as a kid, plus many, many others. I'm the only one of my three siblings and I that did the " camping" thing. Maybe my brothers and sister don't have the memories I do, not sure.
Well, my wife loved every trip with the kids, and the memories we made, that's why we are still camping, as empty nesters!
We do have pics up all over the inside of our 23FB with kids at various campgrounds across the west.
I think I'm the only Dad in this area that never took his family to Disney World. Other families have gone many times. We would sit at the table for a family meeting, and the vote alway was for a camping trip to the cool mountains, instead of standing on the hot asphalt in Florida for hours on end. My wife thinks I stacked the deck against Disney.. Haha! I did for sure.
Sure have some fantastic memories though.. Both from my childhood, and my kids younger years. Now,, if we could just get a grand kid to go with us. Ha!
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:16 AM   #25
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Here's a twofer. In this picture are the "original" Mark Doane and the now famous BAB, along with two spectacular Airstreams. Time period was July 1963.
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