GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted June 2nd,


    Camping Gear has sure come a long way!


    Happy Camper Blog



    The wide choice of high-tech camping gear and
    gadgets we have today definitely makes the camping experience more convenient
    and enjoyable. But it wasn’t always this way. So we thought it would be fun
    to take a look back at the way camping equipment used to

    Sleeping Bag

    Sleeping Bags –  One of the more unusual sleeping bags in
    history was a three-man model made of buffalo hides that was used during

    Arctic exploration
    around 1880. (Let’s hope they weren’t restless sleepers!) At the turn of the
    th century, sleeping bags were still nothing more than a
    blanket folded in two and sewn together.

    Flashlights – Ever wonder why it’s called a “flashlight?” When the
    “Electric Hand Torch” was introduced in 1889, the batteries were so weak that
    the electric torch w
    ould only create brief
    flashes of light, which is how it earned its


    s – Here’s
    one piece of camping equipment that really hasn’t changed much. The air
    mattress was introduced in 1889 by the Pneumatic Mattress & Cushion
    Co. that offered a free 30-day trial and free delivery east of the
    Mississippi. The design of air mattresses has remained virtually unchanged to
    this day.


    Camping Attire – In a 1902 issue of Sunset magazine, author Katherine Chandler recommended that
    women pack the following items for what she described as “a full month
    tramp”: two short skirts, a warm jacket of corduroy or denim, a cape or heavy
    shawl, bloomers and leggings (that match), a sun hat, a few dark-colored
    shirts, some good gloves, a nightgown, two pairs of underwear, comfortable
    shoes to wear around the campsite and a studier pair with a thick sole
    containing Hungarian nails for tramping. Whew! And then they
    had to load it all onto
    a horse or pack mule!


    Travel Trailers – The invention of the automobile quickly
    led to the invention of the travel trailer, but at first, they didn’t have
    the comforts of home like they do today. The very first travel trailer was
    actually a “spacious” three-foot square open box about 12 inches high mounted
    on an axle.


    RVs – One of the very first RVs, Pierce-Arrow’s Touring
    Landau that dates back to 1910, came complete with a fold-down bed and
    chamber pot!


    TentTents – When pup tents were first used during the
    Civil War, the soldiers thought they looked more like dog kennels and would
    stick their heads out and bark to prove their poin
    t. In the 1920s, before the invention of nylon
    and fiberglass that make tents as lightweight and easy to set up as they are
    today, tents were very bulky and heavy since they were made of canvas, cotton
    or even wool.


    Picnic Coolers – In the early 1950s, coolers (or picnic
    chests as they were then called) were made of steel, which meant they would
    sweat and rust (not to mention they were heavy). But when a Coleman engineer
    saw a child blowing bubbles, he was inspired to create a lighter, more
    efficient model made of molded plastic, a process that is still


    Leatherman Multitools – These handy gadgets have evolved into
    multiple versions over the years, but their origin is an interesting
    story. When mechanical engineer Tim
    Leatherman developed this versatile tool in 1975, the knife and tool
    companies he contacted simply weren’t interested. He found a mail order
    company that was, though, and he sold 30,000 units his first year. The rest,
    as they say, is history.


    So the next time you go camping, take a
    moment to remember those who came before us. They paved the way for the way
    we camp today!