Do you Remember your First Camping trip and what year was it

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Do you Remember your First Camping trip and what year was it

Postby Wild Bill » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:50 pm

In 1969 when I was in the 1st grade, my mom and dad bought an old white Puma pop top travel trailer, I still have a few pictures of it somewhere. It had rusty baby moon hub caps on it that dad painted yellow for some reason, Do not know what year it was but it was old when we got it. Dad pulled it all over with a 1966 Ford Galaxy 500 sedan. My sister and I had a lot of fun, they got another popup and then graduated to a trophy travel trailer in the late 70's. They ended their camping career as a seasonal at a Yogi. I still have the ice chest that we used back then, and the coleman stove. Plan to use it again in my trailer when I get it done, I have a jayco popup that I use now and then, I camp with my sons boy scout troop, He is now an eagle scout with 2 palms. I now only have time to go a couple times a year. I hope I have started what will be an interesting biography of how some of you started camping. Happy Campin! Bill
Last edited by Wild Bill on Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:32 am

Other than boy scouts never camped in the 1st 50+ years of my life. Always worked 2 jobs and had no spare time for anything. Started in this madness and after building my 1st teardrop started getting involved with the gatherings and it just happened. Looked at Ol' what's her name and said we are gonna start enjoying life and we are :D

P.S. congratz on having an Eagle scout in the family it takes a lot of effort and showes the support of a good family behind him helping. :thumbsup:
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Postby Alfred » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:30 am

Hey Gang,

I never went camping as a kid, my Dad didn't like the outdoors. He'd take us to the library, museums, lots of good stuff, but no camping, fishing, hiking or anything like that. This is a gap in my upbringing that my kids will not have to endure!

Anyway, my first camp trip was through my first job out of college in 1992, I was 27 years old, working at a residential long-term behavioral health/substance abuse treatment center.

Once a year, they took everyone in the facility, about 100 clients for a 4 day therapeutic camping trip. All staff was expected to camp out to help with the supervision, cooking, group activities, etc.

So I bought a 2-person K-Mart tent and picked up a Coleman lantern at a pawn shop, and that was my first camping trip. I went every year for 4 years after that. Some of the other, more seasoned staff, taught me the finer arts of camping, including how to make S'mores, how to make camp doughnuts from those tubes of biscuit dough, how to use a camp stove, etc. Along the way, I picked up more gear...

Started going camping on my own sometimes. Before the kids came along, sweet Wife and I had a music duo, played a lot of art/music festivals around Florida (G'ville Spring Arts Fest, White Springs, Starke Art fest, etc.) and would often camp out at these gatherings as the real music is never on the stage, but back at camp at night when all the musicians sit around the campfires and jam.

Then the kids came, don't do music as much, now camping at Myrtle Beach fairly routinely. Got a bigger tent. Other camp trips as we can...

Until in 2007 or so, decided I was tired of tent camping and wanted to build a camper!

AL in Asheville :thumbsup:
Last edited by Alfred on Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 48Rob » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:42 am


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(I'm the cute one in the middle...)

I was 4. We went on several camping trips each year until I was 14.

Camping was fun back then.
These days, I prefer a trailer over a leaky tent.

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Postby madjack » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:09 pm

I guess I grew up with camping as part of our lifestyle...we had an old, tar paper shack on stilts, over looking Little River...we stayed there full time 6mos out of the year(spring/summer/fall) and all of hunting season...yes this was the proverbial Louisiana "shack on stilts" and the lifestyle was VERY Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn...on any given night, we might be camped on the banks of a river/creek/lake, running yo-yos(auto reels), trot lines, or giging for bull frogs and small gators...this was during the 50s.

When I got older, and was in the Boy Scouts, we had a campout, at least once a month...and we still hung on the river...this was during the early 60"s, 65, when I was 12, Dad showed up one day with a Nimrod popup behind our 64 Rambler Classic 880...we loaded up and spent 3week going to the Smokies and coming back on finished parts of the Natchez Trace...the following year, we did the same but went for a month to the Rockies, at Colorado Springs and upto the National Park, swinging back down thru Durango, Mesa Verde, NorthRim of the Grand Canyon...then the Ozarks...then Florida...and finally we did the East Coast(Myrtle Beach, Cape Hatteras) upto DC, Williamsburg and back on the finished portions of the BlueRidge I guess I have always camped and hope I always will!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Miriam C. » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:07 pm

:thinking: 1966 or '67 my friend girl and I camped out under the huge shelter behind her house. This used to be a worm farm so the peat was clean and dry. Probably shouldn't have had the fire. Did dig a hole for the fire though. We had a blast and slept like babys.

Next time I was almost grown. Used to take a small tent to a mangro grove in South Miami Fl. I found some shelters at an old blimp base in S. Florida and slept in one of those sometimes. Just escaping! Oh and free mangos.
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Postby Nathan N » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:14 pm

1969. We never went on vacations and mom decided that was going to change. She rigged up a platform with folding sides, pipe flanges and pipes and a 2x4 cross member, and a couple shelter halfves. This was mounted on the family car a 1957 Chevrolet station wagon:


We three kids slept up in the platform and mom and dad slept in the back of the car. The gray box was the "kitchen" that housed everything she needed to feed us. You can make out the propane cylinder stove under the percolator. We had two of them as well as pots and pans stuffed into the "kitchen".

Here is an image with the setup for travel, although I didn't hang out the door all the time :

We were gone from Missouri for a week and visited:
- Lincoln's birthplace,
- My old kentucky home,
- Frankfort, Ky capitol,
- Cumberland Falls,
- Cumberland Gap,
- Chattanooga (ran out of gas going up Lookout Mountain),
- Chickamauga Battlefield, GA,
- Grand Ol Opry at the Ryman Auditorium
forgot to add
- Parthenon
- Nashville, TN capitol
- a great museum just down the street from the TN capitol

I remember it fondly. One of those "memory makers" that my mom talks about. :)

That family car is long gone.. :cry:
Last edited by Nathan N on Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:39 pm

Mid 50's some time, in the Sierras. We still have the Preway stove Coleman lantern and folding wood table my parents bought back in the 30's, and used them until last year.
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Postby bc toys » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:25 pm

When I was 10 or so I got to go to squirel camp with the big folks thuoght I was the king of the world. No women was allowed to come down tell the 1st saterday after opening of squirel season. I got to slept outside on a cot one of those old army wooden folding cots. It was on a river in East Texas called Thomas's lake part of Sulpher river. Those was the best camping trip. We had a old trailer with a build on screen portch with a big old cast iron stove on the portch. were we did all the cooking wish I was there this October 1st . Just want to thank my dad for all the good memorys of camping.
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Postby grant whipp » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:40 am

Cool Thread!

I doubt that this was my 1st camping trip, but it's certainly the first one I have strong memories of. I don't remember the year, but it must've been mid-to-late-'50s, 'cause Dad still had the '54 Ford Ranchwagon ... my older cousin (he's got 6-8 years on me, can't remember exactly) was an Eagle Scout, and he needed some kind of "experience" to reach some kind of level or something, and I think it had something to do with providing meals for more than himself ... Dad volunteered to take him "out in the woods" and I got to tag along ... Dad got the back of the 'wagon at night and I got the front seat, so I guess that left Herb out in the sticks ... the two things I remember most are Herb cooking trout in a frying pan over the open fire, and Dad showing off by shaving at the creek with his WWII machette!

Old car seats played a big role in my early camping adventures, it seems ... a couple of friends had 'em in their back yards when we "camped out" there, and it is what I slept on during the summers while working my uncle's ranch (imagine getting woken up every morning by a billy goat butting your feet or back-sides ... :o ...!).

I was lucky ... my Dad never really did care for camping out (always says he got his fill of it in the Army Air Corps during WWII), but he made sure my little brother & I got every opportunity to get out an experience the great outdoors, and I'm grateful for that ... Thanks, Dad ... :thumbsup: ...! But, he still thinks I'm crazy for wanting to stay out on the salt flats in my teardrop while he's all cool & comfy, "roughing it" in a 2-or-3-star motel with free cable and a continental breakfast ... :? ...! But, guess who gets to witness firsthand the glory of every sunset over the mountains and every sunrise over the vastness & curving flatness of the lakebed and smell the crisp morning air as it fills my lungs, and if I'm lucky enough to be up early enough, the utter silence that can only be found in the middle of a desert. Thanks, Dad! ;) ;) ;) ;)
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Postby Beachbuggy » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:56 am

My family didn't camp, I got to go with my best friend on one of their family camping trips. It was to a lake in SA TX. I saw that car that goes right into the water like a boat.

I was hooked....couldn't wait to grow up and go again! :D
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Postby chorizon » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:00 pm

It was 1980 and Mom and Dad had just bought a brand new MGB. They threw a luggage rack on it and away we went. They told me we were going to Big Bend (National Park). I thought we were going to see the "big clock" in London. :lol:

That was the longest trip in the world. Austin to Big Bend in like 12 hours or so (the speed limit, even on I-10 was 55mph). I was stuffed behind the seats (on the lid that covers the battery). The back window of the ragtop kept hitting me in the back of the head!

When we got there I had the greatest time, never having been to the desert before. On one hike I fell face-first into a cactus, which was a bummer, but I quickly recovered. Our camp-shelter had a "ring-tail" cat living in the stone columns, and he'd peek out at night while we were eating dinner and playing games. We fed him of course and even named him "Kato", after Inspector Clousseau's man-servant in the Pink Panther movies.

I was only 6 at the time, but I still remember how much fun we had and a lot of weird details!
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Postby mechmagcn » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:41 pm

1968, Dad bought a VW camper van and we decided to camp out at the local lake. That trip ruined camping for my sister though, she had to go #2 and squatted into a bed of poison ivy :shock: she still will not go potty outdoors to this day :lol:
As a kid growing up on the mighty Mississippi River, we spent many nights on sandbars and would only carry a pot of oil, potatoes and onions, had to catch fish if we wanted to eat, remember a few times eating fried taters and onions though :oops:
Missed out on camping for a number of years, only to rediscover it in the early 90s, have been hooked ever since.
Now that my camping partner has passed on, it might take a little getting used to camping by myself :cry:
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Postby tk » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:25 am

Musta been about '68. Age 14, two buds and I spent about three days toting stuff about a mile down the railroad tracks. Spent one night under a railroad bridge over a little creek. Froze our a$$es off. Spent three more days toting everything back home. Without doubt one of the fondest memories of my youth.

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Postby JayM » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:07 am

The first time I remember camping was with a church youth group sometime around 1964. It was in a lot next to another church, and we all slept in a large canvas tent. My dad borrowed a sleeping bag from someone he knew who worked with a Boy Scout troop. We all cooked around a big fire, and I found out that you can't cook on a fire with plastic utensils. I also think that I lost one of my Mom's cast iron frying pans somehow :oops:. I was hooked and have been camping ever since, camping on motorcycles, tents, pop-ups, a motorhome, and now a teardrop.

Al, if you ever camped in the campground at the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs we probably passed each other at some point. My wife has been a participant there since 1971, and we have camped most years since we got married in 1974.

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