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This is a question that I have enjoyed asking... When asking the question myself I have found some wonderful and fun stories. Some like me got into motor homing because of our pet(s). Some through the company they worked for and enjoyed it so much that they stayed with it. As the story starts, you see a question in each face, seemly wondering why are you asking me this question. Some try to make it short. However, once inside their head you find their true love for the outdoors, the open roads and to see this wonderful country with it's rich history and much more. As I said, we got into RVing because of our pet. Our story, like most we wanted to go on a vacation, but with our dog it made going anywhere a problem, Most hotels will not permit a pet and some will. One day out of the blue, I got a call from an old Air Force friend asking if we would go to the dedication of the Vietnam Dog HandlersCanine Memorial to be held at Fort Benning, GA. He also informed me without asking our pets were welcomed and could stay at the hotel with us. After it was over my wife and I talked about taking some vacation time, which we had not done in years. We started to explorer the question with friends who had pets. Some were like us with nowhere to leave a pet., until he got a motor home. We explored the idea of owning a motor home and that is another story. We loved it the first time out on the open road. We drove from Florida to Texas to watch my sister’s boy get some Navy wings. He now is a pilot flying the F-18. My wife loves Football and I enjoy baseball, we found that the university Florida State University (FSU) had an RV parking a cross the street from both ball fields. We enjoyed the home games until we lost our pet from old age. She was the beat, always near my wife keeping her company. We found a RV park in North Georgia. Then a short 7 mile drive back into the hills near Blairsville. Now, I am retired and always looking for the next road trip. I found a wonderful Motor home website called Movinon.netthey have wrote a few books on the subject of road trips along with tons of pictures. To complete this story let me just say, “It is the call of the open road. The total enjoyment and freedom to explor this rich and blessed country of ours.
 

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I personally have sooo many memories of camping with my parents. We started out in a large canvas tent. After a while, we upgraded to a Shasta trailer, i think it was 13 feet or so. Had little wings on it, I will never forget.

I can still smell the coffee brewing in the perculator of that little trailer, man did I love it. Me and the ol man would get out and do some fishing, then do some swimming.

Now my mom wont even go camping anymore, unless its in a holiday inn. But i am sure glad she enjoyed it while I was a kid, cause its some of the best memories I have as a kid.
 

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I really have grat memories of camping in my school days.I enjoyed my camping with school friends and with my parents.
 

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We started camping when all of us kids were babies. The real reason my parents camped was there wasn't any money to do anything else. My parents weren't too big on fussy things and fancy hotels so camping was the way we vacationed.

I have to admit, it was so much fun and in those days, kids could just run along doing their own scouting finding mysterious trails and cute little animals.

I think about the routines we had which now I cherish - like picking blueberries for the breakfast pancakes, finding long sticks to roast our marshmallows and even smelling the food on the Coleman stove which smelled better than the food at home.

Looking back on those camping trips, I realize that we were very lucky. We travelled to so many places each year on my father's two week vacation period and we learned an incredible amount about american and canadian history plus local nature.
 

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I can't remember when we started camping. My Dad took us at a very young age. He taught us how to swim and fish, and enjoy ourselves. We just did what he did. He absolutely loved it. He was happiest in a boat somewhere. So we got our love of it from him.
 

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You know... my first camping trip was with my father and by today's standards... it would suck.... but... looking back at it now... it is one of my fondest memories. (Metered showers with no quarters, a tent that would not stay upright, a campstore that was "for sale" and closed, and a hammock that was dry rotted!)

This is what lets me know... that camping is really what kids are "meant" to do. You take their natural curiosity and give them an ENDLESS opportunity to unleash it!

I mean... nature is never "closed" or "over booked". I can plan a HUGE trip to Disney, or a trip to some other landmark or amusement park... and when I get there... THE thing my kids want to ride, see, or do is closed.

I can take them camping, and there it is never disappointing. Even if it rains... it is building memories they will have FOREVER!

How I started... and why I continue... are the same reason... taking children into nature ALWAYS leads to great memories!
 

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I got started camping with my parents when we were kids. We didn't have a lot of money but my mom and dad always packed up our car - Buick Century- with all of our sleeping bags, tent, ice chest, etc. I was always amazed when we unloaded how much my mom was able to pack in our car. We went camping all over the country spending anywhere from a week to two weeks camping at a time. We moved up to a Pop-Up camper when we got older and then my parents took my kids every summer as they grew up. I took them when they got older and let their friends come along. Now I am getting ready to live fulltime in a TT while I go to school and then I have plans to take my grandson camping when he gets older. (just 8 weeks old now!)
 

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Like most of you I went camping with my family as a kid and am sure that is what influenced me to like camping so much.
My favorite trip, I was 13 , my dad took the family up to Alaska for a summer long trip, we drove up the Alaska Hwy and camped in so many different campgrounds I cant remember them all. Made it up to circle city then drove back. Caught my first fish and many more that trip.
I think the reason I like camping is because I am always searching for that trip again.
 

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Just reading through all of these, one thing is for sure. Its all about the kids! Many of us have the memories of camping as a kid, and now we have the opportunity to share that with our kids. It just does not get any better than that, they will remember it forever.
 

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Almost lost memories about

when I started camping. I guess it started with sleeping out in the back yards of the neighborhood. We kids would do this every summer. Then my parents rented an Apache pop-up to camp at the ocean (Twin Harbors, WA). The next year they bought one as it was a cheap vacation. Mom probably didn't care that much as she was still cleaning and cooking. We did this every summer and then my Walther League church youth group started doing retreats each year in tents. I always seemed to have the spot by the tent door that faced the ocean (wet by dawn without rain). Not much camping went on for me after college and marriage until last year when DH decided we needed a fifth wheel to enjoy our semi retirement years. I don't mind this kind of camping. The tent was miserable and the Apaches were very vulnerable to bears in most WA parks. Just hope I can get some great memories for the two of us.kkd
 

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I grew up in a family that spent several weeks a year staying in a cabin at a resort--same place, year after year. It was wonderful, but...My first "camping" experience was with my then-boyfriend (now DH), and we just slept in the back of his van. (His parents thought he was going with a guy friend. Shh! Don't tell!) We both got food poisoning from trying to eat bratwurst that were more than a day old in the cooler. That taught me to be food paranoid, and how to buy non-perishables for camping, since coolers aren't the best option.

We started tent camping when the kids were fairly young because it was inexpensive (after the huge outlay for all the camping equipment), and we wanted to be able to take vacations (after having none for the first several years of our marriage because we couldn't afford them back then). It didn't take us long to get the hang of what equipment was essential (spend a night in a wet sleeping bag because you didn't have a tarp to cover your "waterproof" tent and you learn quickly!) We upgraded our tent two times after the original one (which took the better part of an hour to set up).

After spending one horrible week tent camping in South Carolina in July (during which we packed up, drove south to Florida and got a hotel room with air conditioning), we decided it was time to move up to a pop-up. We absolutely loved it! For us it was pure luxury. For the first time we had electricity and water! (What a concept!) Best of all, it had air conditioning, and a shower and toilet! It even had heat so we could go camping in the fall. We used that thing for years and years...until our backs were no longer happy about cranking it up and sleeping on thin foam mattresses.

We just brought home our new baby--2008 Gulfstream Ameri-Lite LE--on Friday, and are looking forward to Camp Driveway this weekend while we de-winterize it.

I never thought I would see myself as a camper, but I love being able to be in a different place every night, yet still sleep in the same bed and know who has been sleeping in it and how clean the bedding is. I love the camping community, and the way people will help out complete strangers, be it in helping direct their campers into their camp spaces, offer you their leftover wood when checking out, or even give you a tour of their rig if you ask. You couldn't meet friendlier people than you can when camping.
 

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I had a friend of mine who's daughter (4 at the time) wanted to go to HER lake (Lake Le-Aqua-Na in Lena, IL. Her name is, of course, Lena!) for her birthday 2 years ago. Since it was on a weekend, my friend decided to make a camping trip out of it. And even though I got one of the worst sunburns of my life (YES, I wore sunscreen.:bang:) and came back with 39 Mosquito bites on my legs (yes, I wore repellent with deet!), it was the best time I have ever had. Since then, I have gone with them again, and once solo. This year, I have my own tent, sleeping bags, etc. It's my stress reliever, my relaxing time, and it recharges me. :icon_smile_campfire
 

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Bears

I wanted to buy a pop-up back in 1965 but my wife said no way bears could get us in that thing.....So I bought a pickup camper....It was 1984 while in Yellowstone that we saw our first bear...and he was crossing the road in the middle of the day......We have now been camping for 44 years and that was the only time we ever saw a bear....:rotflmao1:
 

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My family camped a few times when I was a kid, but my husband's family was really BIG into it, with boy scouts, and his father wanted to be a national park ranger.

What really jump started us was a canoe trip with the teens at our church in 2007, and we camped at Low Water Bridge Campground in VA at night and canoed down the Shenandoah during the day.

Heath & Charmaine
4 boys, 2 dogs, 6 bikes & a lot of food
07 Fleetwood Sequoia/99 GMC Sierra 1500
 

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when i was a kid my dad had a old (old) homemade utility trailer that we loaded up with a tent and supplies. the kids slept in the trailer and the parents had their privacy in the tent. i've traveled from ca to sturges sd on my motorcycle using a tent.then i had a nice old apache hard sided popup. my wife and i bought a fun finder about 12 feet.then we went to a trail cruiser 23qb. now we just got a weekend warrior fs2300 that we haven't even picked up. now we can take the bike or not. i play music on weekends and we can haul the pa and amps in the truck then stay at a local campground for and extra day or so.
 

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dogs are the best kids (nothing personal)

when i read your story i decided i had to respond because i didn't see any other pet stories.

about 12 years ago we got interested in camping because my wife didn't want to leave the baby (a peek-a-poo named Tiffany) at home or at a kennel. i bought a $500 junk camper some one had left in the woods as a deer camp. after about 3 months and $1500 i had something we could camp in. Tiffany loved camping more than we did, didn't matter if it was an hour trip on the week-end or a 10 hour drive, she sat in the back seat and watched out the window the whole way. all it took was to start packing up a bag and she knew it was time to go camping. she loved to sit out in the dirt by the campfire and watch anything and everything that was going on. one trip to arkansas she got to go rafting with us on the buffalo river, sat on the side of the boat with a hat on for 4 hours. we still talk about all we did and the places we went with "Tee" and i think we always will.

she passed a little over 5 years ago (she was 16 and i know she enjoyed her life) and it took 2 new pups to fill the hole. not take her place, nothing could do that. we now have Suzie and Sammie, they have learned to love camping too, but not the same as Tiffany. i guess it's all her fault that my $500 investment turned into a new dodge truck and 30' fifthwheel.

Keep on Camping, Bob & Beth & Sue & Sam:yippie:
 

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We got started camping when DD was still very little - as in less than 4 mo old. Borrowed my BIL's tent camper. That thing was HEAVY. Pulled it w a '72 Nova 350 Rally, stick shift. Went to Jenny Wiley State Park in Ky. We had a blast. Well, with the exception of the next door neighbor using her rig to - how shall I say this - make money. She also had a green 3" hose running over the creek bank. Hmm. Wonder how the state trooper discovered that. But we really had a blast. My parents camped a few sites away. Mom showed DW how to starve everyone in the park by fixing fresh fried apples and home made biscuts over an open fire. Then, a few trips later we camped there again, about four sites from some dudes who tried to sing. Oh, yes! They clled themselves "ALABAMA". The first time they hit number one was on Friday of that week. Since then we have gone thru a '51 "Zebra" a 13' Shata, some tents' 2 popups and now have a new Wildwood 26BHXL. How time flies.
 

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This is a fun thread. I never went camping with my parents except at the summer cottage until Dad bought a truck and camper when I was 16. His idea of roughing it was going without the tv, he had spent too many years with the military. The camper was o.k but a little crowded for four.
I tented off and on for years but that has it's limitations when the weather is poor then graduated to a truck and canopy. Now too old and cranky to be crawling in and out especially in the rain.
Last summer my soon to be bride and I bought an old Vanguard fifth wheel from a shirt tail relation to see if this was something we wanted to do. That was the ticket, we had a blast. This what camping should be. Now we spend our time collecting brochures and planning next summer's honeymoon on the Washington/Oregon coast.
 

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bunch of neiborhood kids built a fort on a hole in the ground. put a roof on it. that's where it started. scouts with my father. mother wasn't much for camping. tent camping with my wife and kids, can't forget about my uncle ronnie and his family. they came too. pop up to a fifth wheel. still a family thing. just got bigger, grandkids are coming now too.
 
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