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History of Camping: From the Beginnings to Today

History of Camping: From the Beginnings to Today

Camping has become increasingly popular since the beginning of the 20th century. Today we camp with converted camper vans, luxury motorhomes and mobile homes on campsites that offer the perfect holiday experience for every age and every type of camper, from a children's playground, fitness studio to an aqua park. In this blog post we would like to look at the beginnings and development of camping.

In 1885, the Englishman Gordon Staples invented the first luxury touring car “Wanderer”, which was still pulled by horses.

The inventor or forefather of camping is Thomas Hiram Holding, who traveled with his family along the Mississippi River for several weeks at the age of 9 out of necessity. His book “Cycle and Camp in Connemara” is now considered one of the first camping handbooks.

Camping then quickly developed into a widespread hobby in society, initially especially among teenagers, young couples and families. The proximity to nature and the feeling of self-determination and the relatively low costs were the main reasons why many decided to spend their new statutory holiday entitlement on a camping holiday.

In 1931, German Arist Dethleffs built a caravan, the “Wohnauto”, so that his family could accompany him on his numerous business trips. Dethleffs is still considered one of the best-known brands in the camping industry.

After the interruption caused by the Second World War, the nature-based form of vacation experienced a renewed boom in the 1950s. During this time, many camping clubs were founded and official campsites were opened, which now attracted more and more visitors, especially people from the city who were long-term campers looking for relief in nature.

In 1950, Volkswagen achieved its breakthrough in the camping scene: the VW T1 bus, also affectionately known as the “Bulli,” developed into the most popular camping van from the 1950s to the 1970s and a colorfully painted symbol of the flower power movement.

The first official camping trade show took place in Münster in 1954, with innovations such as folding chairs, camping stoves and other practical gadgets for a more comfortable camping holiday being presented.

Today the camping market is huge and incredibly diverse. The selection is large: whether it's a camper van, luxury motorhome, simple caravan or accessories, the market offers everything a camper's heart desires and even beyond.

So, join the community and get ready for your next Adventure with PIA Camper!


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