Recently I reflected on my parents camping over 60 years ago. They traveled around Holland and Belgium by tandem bike. Yet I am still amazed, when I go on holidays, and I see the amazing rigs that people take with them.
I remember being on the way to the Grand Canyon on Martin Luther King Day in 2003. We encountered hundreds of “Snowbirds” driving their huge, coach sized RVs from the north, heading towards the warmer climes in the south towing the family car or truck behind them. No comfort was spared on the trip. On one evening, camped at Lake Havasu (the town in Arizona that has London Bridge straddle part of its man made lake) we had our little 3 man tent surrounded by RVs and campers. Sadly I don’t have a photo of that but it looked very ironic. What I found sad is that people don’t even leave their motor-homes. All they do is relocate their isolation! To me that defeats the purpose of venturing out into the world.
I would like to argue that camping should be a simple exercise – getting close to nature and other people. The fewer encumbrances the better. My wife and I don’t use a tandem but we try and get some long hikes into our camping schedule. As far as equipment is concerned, if it doesn’t fit into the VW Golf it doesn’t come.
I feel blessed that I have a “cheap” wife. I must explain. A friend couldn’t go camping unless all the mod cons came with them. He had to buy a very expensive caravan and a 4WD to tow it. My wife is happy with fewer comforts than I am. That is why I am blessed. A tent, a stove, a small table and two chairs and we have our home away from home, and when we hike we leave the furniture behind.