Traveling Light – First Lesson in Camping Science

Wide Equipment Choice Offered for Benefit of Motor Gypsy

The Chicago Tribune, June 13, 1920

nashThis is the time of the year when the experienced motor gypsy begins getting out his kit and preparing for a summer of delightful living in the open. To the veteran he cannot, perhaps, offer very much that is helpful, but there are thousands of new owners who will want to try the most delightful and healthful way of spending a more or less lengthy vacation camping with a car. The motor car is ideally adapted to make the camping trip an experience of unalloyed pleasure, providing you know how to do it. In this article we shall try to offer some helpful suggestions along this line.

In the first place camping equipment of all kinds must be carried in the car or on a trailer. There is, therefore, a limit to the weight that can be carried and the equipment must not be too bulky, as carrying space is definitely limited.

The first consideration will be sleeping quarters, and here the manufacturers have done well by the automobile camper. There is almost no limit to the variety of tents that are available. There are ordinary tents, made of balloon silk, khaki, and special fabrics, which occupy little space when rolled up and may be erected in a very few minutes by means of special frames of steel rods. These will range in price from $15 to as high as one cares to pay. Special automobile tents designed for attachment to one side of the raised top are on the market. In this way the tent may be erected, the car used as a dressing room, after which the tourists step down Into the bed. There are a number of ingenious cots on the market designed to be stretched from the framework of the top, so that the body of the car is converted into a sleeping apartment. In special instances car owners have had the seats of the vehicle so hinged that they may be opened out to form a very comfortable bed.

Trailers are now offered so designed that a tent is erected over the body of this auxiliary vehicle and the sides let down to form single beds. This trailer equipment has many advantages for the motor camper at a cost running from less than $100 up to several hundred.

With the shelter provided for, the next thought will be where to sleep, and a number of solutions of this problem are available. There are the folding camp cots, which are so made as to fold and roll up into small compass. The pneumatic bed is an admirable thing to sleep on. It is simply a rubber mattress, which is blown up with the tire pump, and is truly more luxurious than your bed at home. The cost is, on the average, somewhat less than $25.

With living accommodations provided for, the next thought will be the method of providing food, and the first question here is cooking it. Camp kitchen kits are available in endless variety. There are stoves made of sheets of cast iron, which fold up when not in use into a thin package that takes ups little room and weighs less. Yet the most elaborate cooking may be carried out on these camp stoves, even the baking of bread and roasting of fowls.

The question of pots and pans in which to prepare the food is solved by ingeniously designed utensils that are made with removable handles, so that they may be nested to take up the smallest possible amount of space.

Having provided for the cooking of the food, the next thing is how to serve it. Camp table kits furnish the answer. These may be had in any degree of elaborateness. They include knives, forks, spoons, plates, cups, and saucers. These latter in white enamelware, with thermos bottles, salt and pepper shakers, etc., and usually they are packed in a hamper which makes for easy packing.

The question of what to carry is one that the newcomer in camping circles finds difficulty in solving. The temptation is to load the car with provisions and supplies that could really be more advantageously bought en route. The staples, sugar, salt, pepper, coffee, tea, packed in glass, with about a pound of butter in a tight jar, are about the only supplies needed for the ordinary camping tour in thickly settled districts. The ordinary supplies, meat, vegetables, bread, and eggs, should be bought from day to day.

Gossip of the Auto Trade

INTEREST in the Evans powercycle, the seventy pound motorcycle with a 100 miles per gallon fuel record demonstrated and sold by Ira. H. ‘Whipple, 1227 West Jackson boulevard has reached to police circles. Officials are considering its adoption for the patrol of the park system. The first motor bicycle tour of the season was begun last week, when Peter O’Day, aged 60, began the first lap of a 300 mile trip through Michigan.

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