Updated December 20, 2016
Finding and purchasing camping supplies online is a wonderful convenience not enjoyed by earlier generations of road trippers.
Outdoor adventures with my family using vintage camping supplies are among my best road trip memories. For vacation my Dad packed us up in the car and hit the open road, driving two or more hours away from home to the seaside, to the mountains or to a high desert lake destination.
In those days, our camp gear was mostly military surplus, relics dating back to World War II and the Korean Conflict.
Our family squeezed into a dark green canvas umbrella tent and bedded down in military brown (a hideous mustard color) down-filled mummy bags that slipped off the rolled battens of leaky air mattresses. We’d wake up in the morning shivering, and stiff and sore from sleeping on the ground.
Why we even bothered with that tent, I’ll never know. It leaked like a sieve in the rain. The screen and canvas doors tied shut making us sitting ducks for blood-sucking mosquitoes and pesky no-see-ums.
When we out grew the old green tent, Dad stuffed us older kids into a tiny pup tent. We fought like cats and dogs in the close quarters, but wouldn’t have traded the independence for the world!
When the umbrella tent was finally laid to rest, a good-sized canvas cabin tent replaced it. By that time we were pushing the teenage years and stuck with the pup tent.
Every meal was an occasion . . . more like an ordeal.
Dad wrestled the ancient Coleman™ camp stove using his magic touch, peppered with ear-burning explicatives, to coax hissing flames from the rusty burners. We loved the charcoal edged, smoky flavor of camp toast, eggs, sausages and hash browns.
Sometimes the old camp stove wouldn’t light. Then, it was dinner over the campfire. We’d venture into the woods to scrounge for long sticks from the dead fall. Whipping out our pocket knives we’d whittle the ends to sharp points.
Any number of mouthwatering foods roasted at the ends of our pointed sticks, blackened hot dogs, torched corn on the cob and browned Pillsbury™ biscuit dough balls. For dessert we schlepped flame-kissed marshmallows at twilight.
We didn’t know what S’mores were, until I joined the Brownies and worked my way up through the ranks to Junior Girl Scout and learned more camping skills.
Back then, choices in camping supplies were very limited and very few stores stocked them on their shelves.
Current day advances in textiles and materials have yielded high tech equipment that can take what the outdoors has to throw at it and keep campers comfortable. The choices are tremendous and the innovations seemingly limitless.
With the dawn of the information technology age outdoor gear dreams can be had simply at the press of a computer button or a smart phone touch screen icon . . .
. . . amazing camping supplies online!
Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads—Sleeping Under the Stars Backpacking sleeping pads are designed to protect the body from cold, damp and uncomfortable ground conditions; it’s all about weight and pack size . . .
Best Camping Hammocks--Sleeping Under the Stars Are you looking for the best camping hammocks? You’ve come to the right place to find them!
Camping Bed Roll—Sleeping Under the Stars Remember the old-time camping bed roll? It was the original “sleeping under the stars” shelter used by mountain men, soldiers, cowboys and emigrants of the historic North American West.
Gear Reviews for the Adventure Camper, by a friend of RoadTripExplore.com, Shawn Michaels.