Camping makes for easy friends

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Dennis Clay

This is the first of a two-part series about making friends while camping.

The act of camping is only part of the process. It doesn’t matter if a person or couple erects a tent or parks a pull-behind camping trailer or drives a motorhome, the experience can be the same.

The experience is stated this way, because the rest of the event depends upon the willingness of the camper or campers to socialize. A young couple places a tent in their camping spot next to a 35-foot long motorhome. The man from the tent campsite notices the man from the motorhome is having trouble with the process of setting up the motorhome.

The tent guy helps the other guy and they establish a simple relationship. One is from Chicago and the other is from Othello. It doesn’t matter which is which. One invites the other to evening snacks and cocktails. A relationship has started, which will last for a couple of hours or a lifetime.

Camping is defined as erecting a shelter, tents, RVs or simple buildings, away from urban areas, for a temporary shelter and for a temporary period of time. This could be a fishing camp, hunting camp computer camp, chess camp, church camp, etc.

Perhaps the most famous campers were known as The Vagabonds. This group consisted of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John Burroughs and Harvey Firestone. These were The Vagabonds.

This group began camping 100 years ago and continued to do so, for a decade or so. On one trip they traveled from Pennsylvania to Tennessee traveling through the Great Smoky Mountains.

From the internet: “At campsites, the competitive Ford challenged his fellow adventurers to races and contests involving everything from high kicking to tree chopping. In calmer moments, Burroughs taught Ford birdcalls and tutored Edison on flower identification. The inventor relaxed by reading newspapers and curling up under trees for naps. At night, the collective brainpower crackled around the campfire as Edison recited chemical formulas and told tall-tales, while the men debated a range of topics from current events to the merits of Mozart and Shakespeare.”

Also, “Among the 50-vehicle caravan on the 1919 camping trip was a specially designed kitchen car, which Burroughs called a “Waldorf-Astoria on wheels,” that featured a gasoline stove and a built-in refrigerator that stored everything from fresh eggs to rib-eye steaks. Inside the spacious dining tent, jacketed waiters placed bowls of food and pitchers of beverages on the lazy Susan that spun around the enormous round camp table capable of seating 20 people.”

Next week: The conclusion of making friends while camping.

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