Camping in Les Landes : do you know the etymology and the history of camping ?
A latin etymology
Campus means « field » in latin and “ doing campos “ (faire campos) was an expression in the 19th century which refers to schoolchildren’s holidays. In fact they went to the country to help their parents harvesting and it was said that they were “ doing campos “
Extension of an English word
It is often said that the word « camping » stems from English : “ pitching a camp, a tent, camping”. And as a matter of fact, in France it was Lucien Baudry de Saunier, traveler and travel writer who was the first to speak about camping in 1898. He wrote about one of his travels in England in a magazine and talks about English aristocrats who used to drive leisurely around in horsedrawn caravans.
Camping : a recent history related to the new-found delight felt for nature
At the beginning of the 20th century, it was mainly hikers who camped out : that is, men who were sufficiently wealthy to be able to leave for long periods. They were looking for a “ back to nature “experience and finding true values which was in contrast to their urban and … polluted environment.
Family camping first appeared during the interwar period with two distinct phenomena :
- The first paid holidays (in 1936)
- The development of the scouting movement.
From the 60s, camping became a complete way of life and kept on growing. Little by little, families even became selective and chose their campsites carefully – location, environment, activities proposed, classification …
photo credit: Bill Ward’s Brickpile via photopin cc