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Old 07-20-2007, 08:58 AM   #29
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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My earilest memories of camping were flying into the EAA convention at Rockford Ill (before it was moved to Oshkosh) and camping under the wing of our Stinson. We did the same when it move to Oshkosh until we could no longer get a weeks worth of stuff into the plane without exceeding Gross Weight so we got a pop-up and drove. I took my wife for her first camping outing in a tent and, yes, it rained. That was probably one of the fondest memories of camping and she is still hooked! We migrated from tent, to popup to a really big nice class A. Katrina ate it and we now have the AS.

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Old 07-20-2007, 09:25 AM   #30
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1970 27' Overlander
Houston , Texas
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One of my fondess memories was camping in Cachera (sp?) park in Colorado. My dad made a tent with just a sheet of clear plastic and some stakes, just a "lean-to" that we slept under and could see all the stars. We cut tree branches that he told us were to shake in the Bears faces if they came close to the tent. He and my mom did sleep on the outside of me and my brother. They did come into the park but kept close to the trash bins which had cement lids. I'll always remember that trip and it hooked me on camping ever since. Thru my high school years me and my friends would spend spring break camping on the Guadalupe river all week. Unfortunately that place has turned into girls gone wild party city, its sad.
hooked ever since

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Old 07-20-2007, 10:51 AM   #31
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My parents borrowed a tent from their friends when I was 5. They bought one from Sears shortly thereafter. When I was in the second grade they traded it for a pop-up tent camper and we camped from Georgia to California to visit my grand-mother. In high school my parents bought a Class-C and we used it maybe twice before using it to go to my grand-father's funeral in Oklahoma. My parents returned to tent camping and I stayed home after that.

I bought a tent to use with my older son in cub scouts a few years ago and my wife and I got the Airstream bug a couple of years after that. We bought our Safari last summer and camped in five states the first summer with our Airstream, all on weekends. We love Airstreaming, not just camping mind you! There is a difference.
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:08 AM   #32
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Fenton , Missouri
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It was a plain old matter of economics with us. We couldn't afford hotels, resorts or other more expensive travel. I had a '66 VW bus and we pulled the seats out of the middle to get the big flat floor so we had a place to sleep. My wife made curtains and off we went. At the time gas was around $.25 a gallon, and camping at the state park was $2.25 a night. We took all our food with us and had some coolers for the perishables and drinks. I bought a propane stove and a propane lantern. A large propane bottle was about $1.25. The skinny ones were about $1.00 or less. I was making about $125 a week at the time. Life was good. We had a lot of fun.

As we wanted more creature comforts we upgraded. First a big tent, then a small pop up camper, then a bigger camper, then our first travel trailer, then a bigger travel trailer, then our first Airstream Safari, and now the Classic. To say the least the economic justification went by the wayside once we got into the travel trailers.

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Old 07-20-2007, 12:15 PM   #33
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I had gotten started because my parents always took us when my bro and I were little kids. When we went somewhere we would camp instead of hotels. More money for the fun stuff that way. One year I remember we went to the rockies with my 2 older half brothers my uncle, mom, dad, me my brother and aunt. We all piled into one of those over sized vans from the late 70s or early 80s. It was cramped but fun.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:17 PM   #34
1971 27' Overlander
Pumpkintown , South Carolina
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Never knew much of anything else. I remember being a "papoose" on Mom's back during season-long walks through the Rockies. Dad carried the gun, half the food, and the tarp, and Mom carried the rest of the food, some cooking gear, and me. Older Sis (5-6 years old then) was pretty much on her own, and spent a lot of time gathering plants. We camped wherever we ran out of energy as long as it didn't leave us without water for more than a day or two.

Luckily, my beatnik (pre-hippie) parents weren't my sole inspiration. My Cherokee Grandpa taught me a lot about getting along in the world, and how it's the hawk that gives the rabbit its speed. He showed me that there was no more shame in killing & eating than in being killed & eaten, and that one was certainly preferrable to the other in the short term.

Once I got big enough to take care of myself (9 or 10 years old), I started investigating my own limits of survivability in solitary camps everywhere from snow caves at 60 below to desert dugouts at 120 above. As a teenager, I used to have friends drop me off up in the hills with no more gear than a pair of cutoff jeans and a knife. I'd wander around, spending most of my time ferreting-out plants to eat and then manage to kill a big critter. That act of violence let me settle down for a while and forget hand-to-mouth digging of plants, and this settling down is what I consider "camping". Maybe much the same was the opportunity our ancestors found that enabled them the luxury to invent art and think about silly things like "civilization".

When we haul our shiny contraptions behind our smoking trucks away from the teeming cities, we're doing something similar. We kill, whether roadside flora or soldiers in Iraq, in order to live. It's not easy to be comfortable with that, but it's possible. The tricky part is in trying to understand just how much our insulation by luxury bends our perception of reality.


It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:19 PM   #35
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Anacortes , Washington
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Below is a link to our story.

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Old 07-20-2007, 12:21 PM   #36
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1992 29' Excella
1975 25' Tradewind
1986 34' Limited
Anacortes , Washington
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Below is a link to our story.

Carol & Art

"Our Story"
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:25 PM   #37
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Evanston , Illinois
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I can't remember not camping. Daddy and Mama were teachers and had two months off in the summer. Granddaddy ran a WWII surplus store and had all the gear in the world. We started in Army tents and scratchy wool sleeping bags and toured all over the West into the National Parks and Forests when I was just a little girl. We even had that old sticky GI bug juice that kept the mosquitoes away, ate your skin off and really, really stained your clothing.

The next step was a WWII Higgins fold out trailer. We painted it a pretty blue and pulled it everywhere with a Nash Rambler station wagon. My mother would bath us in one of the built-in bins that had a stopper on the bottom to let our the water. Later, when we were teens, there was a late 1950's or early 60's Shasta trailer and we traveled into the major cities of the US, saw the sights and returning to the trailer at night.

These were happy and exciting times for our family and the best learning experience we kids could ever have. Leaving the heat and dusty summer winds of Oklahoma for the Ponderosa Pine scent and cool breezes of the Rockies was just heaven. The Park Ranger talks and tours, the museums and historical (we called them hysterical) markers, swimming holes, gut-wrenching-heart-stopping-hand-clenching mountain roads, fires at night, cooking outside, eating on metal plates, scrambling over rocks, fishing, hiking--it was just great.

After college, I moved to the D.C. area, discovered Bluegrass music and started going to music festivals in a converted VW bus so I could take my banjo along to jam. Also, I backpacked on the Appalachian Trail with friends.

After Jerry and I married, we bought a Chevy Van which he lovingly converted to a camper complete with a pop top. We moved to Oregon and camped and traveled whenever we could. A move to NY state opened up the Adirondacks to us. We purchased land and built a wonderous little cabin. We based out of the cabin for hikes, skiing and canoe trips for many years. We still used that van until it rusted through and had to be junked. It lasted for about 25 years.

Now living in the Chicago area, we sold the ADK property and re thought our options. Jerry's love of motorcylces led us to a Basecamp purchase last spring. We enjoyed our 1.5 trips until it burned in the Great Chicago Airstream Fire of last spring. After the insurance money came in and we re-evaluated our wishes and needs, we purchased a 19' Bambi to accomodate my arthritis issues and Jerry's ability to work on the road. We took it to the Mississippi River up in Wisconsin for our maiden voyage and thought it was the just the best. To be able to "get out there" still, with my replaced hips and knees and discover more about the world and about myself is such a gift. And to do it with style! I am so totally Airstreamed hooked, I can't get over myself!

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Old 07-20-2007, 02:53 PM   #38
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We started at a young age

I have camped for as long as I can remember, in one form or another. First tent camping in an old canvas military surplus tent. You probably never forget the smell of those old tents - not bad, just unforgettable.
When I was 8 yrs old my dad made a camper. He would make trips down to the local RV dealer and get ideas to incorporate and to see how they were constructed. It turned out very professional looking and well constructed, even for an SOB. It is partially pictured below at Wrights lake, CA in 1964, the year it was finished.
We used the camper for the family car (7 kids) as well as annual camping trips to the Sierras as well as other locations. I have many fond memories of those times. We also took 3 trips into the mid west in that camper in the late 60's/early 70's.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:47 PM   #39
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I never camped as a kid. Our 4 boys were all in Boy Scouts (the two youngest are Eagles). I got started tent camping with them in Scouts. The boys and I made a couple of epic camping trip in our Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40 pulling a small utility trailer with our gear. I never did any more camping until we got the Airstream bug and bought Lucy last year. We love it.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:42 PM   #40
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2000 25' Excella
Dunlap , Illinois
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How I Started Camping

Before I was 6 yrs. old my father and uncle took me camping and taught me fly fishing in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. When I was 8, I got a real cowboy bed roll, which I was so proud of. I tied it on behind my saddle, rode out to a place out of sight of the house on our ranch and picketed my horse. I carried food for an evening meal and for breakfast the next morning in a flour sack tied around the saddle horn. By turning my saddle over and standing it on end, it became a chaise lounge when leaning back against the fleece underside, then for bed, turn it around and use it for a pillow. All I had for light was a candle in a glass, which the wind blew out too easily. The heavens were so spectaculer! Sadly the mountain lions are so thick in that ranch country today it would be too dangerous for a kid to do. My dog was my protector then.

Later we car camped in an umbrella tent for many years. When I moved to Switzerland we bought high quality back packing gear and carried everything on our backs. Our North Face tent only weighed 6 lbs. We hiked and camped in every season including snow and were never cold.

After returning to the U.S., we bought a new Westfalia VW bus camper. After 10 yrs. we traded it in on another new Westfalia Vanagon camper which still looks brand new. As we got older we began to appreciate more space and luxury so we bought a 25 ft. Classic. We became WBCCI life members and hope to get our money's worth out of it.

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Old 07-20-2007, 09:30 PM   #41
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I always remember camping. My earliest and fondest memories are of camping in the foothills and mountains of AB/BC and fishing the creeks and rivers and beaver ponds. My parents always had a trailer and the youngest also slept inside while the older ones who had "come of age" got to sleep in the tent directly below dad's window which kept things pretty quiet and controlled. We did a lot of touring as kids (family singing group) so saw most of Canada and the eastern and southern US out the windows of a station wagon with a trailer in tow. The trailer was also the instrument carry-all so if it was raining to hard for the tent to go up the car would be stuffed with kids and instruments at night and the trailer was reserved for my parents (and my mom's mom who lived with us). As soon as I was married we bought a truck camper, then fold out trailer, then fold out truck camper, and a wide array of vintage SOB's while we searched for just the right Airstream and during that time we acquired a '58 Silver Steak that heightened our desire for an Airstream - that search took from late 70's to 2004. It's not that we are fussy but the Airstream had to be just right. I can't imagine not having at least one trailer out back ready to go.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:14 PM   #42
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Whittier, California , Depoe Bay, Oregon
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Started Early--Never Stopped

The folks took me trailer camping in Yosemite when I was one year old. Wife had similar experiences including backpacking and fishing in the High Sierra. We trained the kids up the same way and now they are training up the grand kids in this fine tradition and activity. Some of our most memorable family experiences revolve around camping.


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