“Unfashionable, but for once happy!”: Camping Vacations

Cindy S. Aron

in Working at Play

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195142341
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849024 | DOI:
“Unfashionable, but for once happy!”: Camping Vacations

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The last quarter of the 19th century witnessed the emergence of camping as an increasingly prevalent form of vacationing. As early as the 1850s, some members of the elite began tramping off into the wilderness for rest and recreation, sometimes taking with them an entourage of friends, family, servants, guides, and equipment. Camping seemed to fit perfectly the needs of a growing vacationing public. It promised health, rest, and enjoyment—all for a moderate price. While much less self-consciously a time for intellectual self-improvement than a vacation at a chautauqua or even a touring vacation, camping nevertheless offered the spiritual benefits that allegedly came from close contact with nature and the physical benefits that accrued from fresh air and healthful outdoor living. The camping vacations of the upper and middle class with which this chapter deals differed from the hunting ventures of rural people.

Keywords: camping; vacationing; 19th century; wilderness; nature; recreation; middle class; vacations

Chapter.  9792 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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