The Nanaimo Museum in British Columbia has opened a new exhibit centered around the regional history and folklore of camping.
As reported by the Nanaimo Daily News, the exhibit is a nostalgic look at how people took to the great outdoors in the days before bring-it-all-with-you travel trailers and RVs. Much of the displays were donated by locals, and museum curator David Hill-Turner, has even brought in and set up his own 1970s-era pup tent.
“I was a budget camper,” laughed Hill-Turner, who said the exhibit explores the world of camping from the 1800s up into the present. He said most of the portable ultra-light equipment we are familiar with today didn’t come onto the market until the 1950s and ’60s.
A cast-iron camping stove with chimney that appears almost child-sized sits in one corner, a far cry from today’s propane-portable standards. There is a variety of other tents, a small tin cookware display, a mesh metal campfire popcorn popper, a display case filled with a variety of cooking stoves, and an exhibit of oil lamps and portable lighting devices that explore the variety of pre-lightbulb and battery-operated options.
One wall tent, modeled on what people used in the 1800s on into today, is made from canvas and would have been lashed to small cut trees and waterproofed with linseed oil, said Hill-Turner. It was contributed by Bill and Donna Sainsbury, whose current camping practices actually extend back as far as the history of their tent.
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