Have you ever wonder how did camping started until it became almost like a culture we know today?
Yep, back in the day, camping was only for the wealthy people. Walk with me down the memory lane to investigate a theory of how camping started… once upon a time..
Circa early twentieth century, people started to practice sporting activities in the open air setting, realising the need to be close to nature as part of body care cult. Camping was considered as a sport activity then, living in the outdoor as compared to civilised living in the city. However it looked like in that age. Again, certainly not the stone age.
Modern Olympics Games first held in 1896 chanced for rapid popularity of outdoor sports. They develop practice routine to develop the strength of body and spirit to be in nature setting so young sportsmen would have to go to countryside to practice cycling or rowing for example.
Leaving the home for several days at a time increased the demand of accommodation rental and at the same time established small guesthouses in rural area.
At that point of time, the closest camping equipment available would the one sourced from the military provisions. Portable, yes, but also very heavy. So people started to invent more portable and lighter equipment for consumer mass market until what we can buy off the shelves today.
As the technology progress, camping too progressed. Access to means of transportation was essential to explore more remote destinations for camping. In 1901, Association of Cycle Campers was established in England uniting both cyclist and campers group. Today it is known as The Camping and Caravanning Club.
Years later, in 1932, l’Auto Campeggio Club Piemonte (A.C.C.P.), was established as the first Italian camping association, with the support of the RACI (Royal Automobile Club of Italy) where cars were only affordable to wealthy elitist. This rich and young group took up camping practice easily travel from one site to another with their cars.
The first camping site was actually an auto-camping site, which was obviously reserved by the more sophisticated campers then.
Only when cars become more affordable to middle class group, camping became more widespread it started to be a practical choice for many as a cheap and flexible way for holiday. Not just the rich, but families too buying cars and today, car camping is accessible to just anyone. A simple setup can be viewed here.
Especially when paid leave concept was introduced post World War 2, more people go travel for leisure. Much to Asian’s envy, many Europeans today get to enjoy few weeks off in summer where they can just pack the bag and some camping equipment and travel freely via the cycling route or driving across countries or fly cheap to less developed part of the continent and enjoy the green scenery while it still lasts.