Have you always liked camping, even as a kid?

Something I was reflecting on while driving yesterday. I was not an outdoorsy kid at all, and now it is arguably the most important part of my life.

Curious if others grew into their love of camping or had it from an early age?

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That’s a very interesting question. While I spent time outdoors riding and racing motorcycles as a kid, paddled a little in nearby lakes…I was raised in a city and hung out in back alleys all hours, up to no good. Oddly I felt more comfortable in the streets as a youth than in the woods (especially when things go bump in the night).
My wife introduced me to camping upon marriage, where with little income we bought cold weather gear and started camping throughout the winter in Yellowstone, northern Michigan and NE Ohio. Missed out on camping as a kid for the first 22 years of life to become obsessed with it for the next 40 years.

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Some of my best memories as a kid were vacations & camping with my family. My folks bought a new 1959 Dodge station wagon, the kind with tail fins as tall as I was as a ten year old kid. Packed a lot of gear in it, and visited many places that weren’t even on the map yet. For instance, we camped by ourselves in Arches National Monument (yes, many years before it was a park), as well as Canyonlands, which wasn’t anything at the time, except desolate. I guess that’s why I’m a little depressed these days when everything is overcrowded…Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Badlands, Mesa Verde, Zion…Wow! This ol’ man’s memories are flooding back…

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Growing up, my family did not camp. I was in Boy Scouts for a very short time (3 camping trips). My dad came on one of them (looking back, that was pretty much out of his element so it was cool he did that). During high school, my best friend’s family camped (RV) and I went along a few times.

Then I started dating my wife. She was the poster child (literally) for the Girl Scouts (her picture from a backpacking trip was used on the Girl Scout calendar). So, I became a camper.

Backpacking, car camping (that’s when our sons arrived on the scene), campervan, tent trailer, hybrid, truck camper (after our sons flew the nest), back to van camping and, soon, A-Frame trailer.

We’re still going strong and our sons both camp with their wives and friends. We’ll be camping with our older son and his wife next month. Planning a trip with our younger son and his wife in the spring. We love camping (leaving tomorrow for a week in the eastern Sierras) and our sons do as well.

Looking back, camping with our sons was one of the greatest gift we could have given them.

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My dad loved camping. He would take us to his favorite spot at least once a year, but since my mom didn’t like it as much we often camped in the backyard. They had a nice wooded lot, it felt like being in the wilderness even though the house was a short walk away. We’d spend almost full summers out in the backyard!
I definitely got the bug from him; who in turn got it from my grandfather who was a Scoutmaster and also loved to camp, especially if it allowed him to hunt or fish too.

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Good question and interesting responses! My parents never took us camping and then for reasons I cannot remember, I joined the Outdoor Club in high school (in NJ). One overnight camping trip where it got so cold that everyone except me escaped to the heated cabin while I burrowed deep inside my sleeping bag. This was followed by a four day trip to Shenandoah NP where it rained everyday and not even the bears would eat the stew we made! Many years later friends invited us to go camping in Utah with them in their pop-up and we had a great time. When our oldest daughter turned a year old, we bought a VW camper van and explored much of the western US. As our girls got older and we sold the VW and moved to the Midwest, we took a hiatus from camping. But we are back at it again with our new camper van - over 90,000 miles in three years and we hope to be back at it again soon!

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I am from a big family- #2 of 11 kids.
The only vacations we could afford were camping.
The first camping trip I remember was In the late 1950s when I was 6 or 7.
My dad Borrowed a tent, a coal oil lantern and some other things.
We went to New Salem SP in Illinois.
It poured down rain the first night.
We had not put things away properly the night before.
Everyone and everything got soaked.
We had a blast cleaning up everything the next morning.
Spent the next 10 years camping through out southern Illinois and Missouri.
I have been camping ever since.

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Some of my earliest memories were of camping in the Sierras. Somewhere in the pile of photos we have from my parents are me in a playpen. I remember my father catching a fish and putting it in a bucket for me to play with. Probably torture to the fish, but I can clearly remember it’s cool, slick skin in my hands. When I got older we began desert camping along the Colorado and Lake Mead. Camping from a boat I should say. I would call it a cheap entertainment compared to camping these days. Still love it, though the remote destinations are now my favorite.

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Some of my sharpest memories are of camping on the Lost Coast during Presidents Day weekends in the pouring rain with my parents and all their friends.

I went through a long period of not camping or doing anything outdoorsy at all, sadly it was most of my 20s and 30s. Luckily, I got away from spending most of my time playing videogames and have been really enjoying hiking and camping again in my 40s.

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I was born for it. Both parents instilled a love for the outdoors and as an adult, it’s where I’m happiest.

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I enjoy reading these different stories, which prove the point that we call come from different backgrounds and opportunities. My grandparents and parents all loved spending time outdoors - camping, fishing and exploring - and I had the good fortune to grow up spending time in the outdoors, enjoying all of those activities. I worked a couple of summers guiding flyfishing pack trips on horseback along the Selway River in Idaho. I took my kids camping years ago, and now my new wife of two years and I love camping and hiking. It’s a good way to stay young. This past weekend we paddled our kayak and hiked the Ozette Triangle in Olympic National Park.

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