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Anyone (else) remember camping in the 1960s?
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Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Anyone (else) remember camping in the 1960s? on 05/05/2014 17:32:20 MDT Print View

Stumbled across this Better Homes and Gardens Family Camping 1961 and had a hoot looking at the pictures and reading the author's commentary.

This was the glory days of American Family Camping, even before the peak in the mid-60s. I vaguely remember this type of camping, where the goal was not just to insulate your family from the cold ground, but also to insulate them from the outdoors while keeping most indoor comforts. Many of these items are still available from REI and EMS today in their aluminum and plastic, maybe titanium, versions.

Most families back then (I guess even today's too) didn't have all that fancy camping stuff from that magazine; most of ours was (what I remember) army surplus. I remember the short squat beverage coolers, the propane lanterns (with super-fragile silk mantles), and the big gnarly cotton tents. We didn't have those fancy Coleman stoves; we cooked on open fires, on camping grills or mom's old cast iron frying pan. And I'm not sure, but I believe we used blankets instead of sleeping bags. Somehow we had eggs and milk, the former kept in a metal cooler, and the latter kept in the nearby stream. It was simple and we loved it.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
I was there too on 05/05/2014 17:53:44 MDT Print View

big canvas tents, flannel Sears sleeping bags on air mattresses. White gas Coleman stoves and lanterns. Metal coolers and stream assisted cooling too. We lived in Missouri and camped all over the Ozarks, drove and camped all the way to New Brunswick and back, to Colorado and back, To the Everglads and back in the old Ford or the VW Bus. Made me love the outdoors to this day.

Still had the Coleman stove when we moved into a tent here at the farm in 1982.

Edited by abhitt on 05/06/2014 06:43:58 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Anyone (else) remember camping in the 1960s? on 05/05/2014 19:25:30 MDT Print View

First, in my case late '60s.....

I can still remember the smell of the heavy canvas tent and the clank of the 123 color coded poles. Hmmmm..

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F

Re: Anyone (else) remember camping in the 1960s? on 05/05/2014 20:55:25 MDT Print View

My fondest memories as a kid was camping in Yosemite and watching the ranger light a huge bonfire and then dump the whole thing over the edge at Glacier Point creating the Fire fall!

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Anyone (else) remember camping in the 1960s? on 05/23/2014 18:58:49 MDT Print View

Yes, and it was the best.

Giant Sears tent which went on the roof of the car.
(What was the deal with all the color coded twist lock aluminium poles!)
Double Coleman white gas stove and lantern.
In the morning I would the stove hissing then smell the bacon.
I still have a cast iron Lodge skillet we used to cook breakfast.
And I take it car camping too. Cast iron.

We camped from Missouri to LA and back twice.
Rangers had sing-alongs at the camp grounds at night.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Anyone (else) remember camping in the 1960s? on 05/23/2014 19:36:36 MDT Print View

Damn, you people are old.

But yes, I even remember Dad putting a picnic table in the back of the pickup, and then us kids sitting around the picnic table while we drove to our camping destination. I am not making that up. Couldn't do that today, but we had a hoot doing it back then.

We didn't have heavy canvas tents, then again, we'd usually go backpacking (though the walk in was fairly short, only a mile or so) in the Adirondacks where they had wooden lean-tos and we'd sleep in those.

Those were the days, eh?

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Re: Anyone (else) remember camping in the 1960s? on 05/23/2014 20:18:52 MDT Print View

Oh, yeah. Here's a shot from our trip from CA to YNP in 1959 (the little one is me!). I still vividly remember when we had to toss our food in the garbage because a bear was coming, and I watched from the car as he flipped up the lid (garbage can was sunk into the ground in those days) and ate the rest of MY HOT DOG!!!!ynp2

P.S. I have that cast-iron skillet now. Had the Coleman two-burner, too, until a couple of years ago...

Edited by dkramalc on 05/23/2014 20:44:08 MDT.