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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Cooks on Wheels: 1950s

Cooks on Wheels: 1950s

Bill Bliss and his family again, enjoying a little outdoor cooking sometime in the mid-fifties. I'm not sure where this is but I'm guessing somewhere up the Pacific coast. 35mm Anscochrome color slide. Here's another photo of their trip. View full size.

Little black ghost

The grey ghost is lovely, but the little black dog is the spitting image of my little dog Patsy, a Schipperke mix who lived to the ripe old age of 17 and enjoyed many a camping trip with me and my boys and many friends. This dog is even curled up like Patsy would, taking a snooze before somebody said, hey! Let's go for a walk! and then she would wag herself from top to bottom and head off for an adventure.

Camping, and kids, and dogs. Nothing like it.

Reply to: I never got it.

I don't think camping is a genetic trait, but it may have something to do with your past. Can I assume you didn't go camping much as a child? Or perhaps you went, and had a bad experience? I didn't get a lot of chances to go camping as a child, but I cherished the opportunities I had. There's something special about sitting around a campfire on a starry night; singing songs, often with people you just met, listening to the kids laughing, smelling the wood smoke, and eating s'mores. Peace and relaxation come differently to different people. Many of my friends enjoy camping, and for different reasons: some want to get away from "civilization" and kick back and just relax with friends; some enjoy "roughing it", and the challenges that nature brings; and still some feel they are working out the kinks in their preparation for a future world holocaust. Camping out can be fun, if you choose to let it be. I even have friends whose kids like "camping out" in a tent set up in the living room.

Billy has a boo-boo

Or at least what appears to be a bandaid on his temple.

Another use for Ritz Crackers

Making an apple pie. Well, more like an "apple" pie, as it doesn't actually contain apples, instead using crumbled Ritz Crackers as the main filling. But it *does* taste almost the same as a real apple pie. That's because when you eat apple pie you mainly taste the lemon and cinnamon, and the Ritz version has these in abundance.

I want that lantern!

I'm pretty sure the Coleman is a Model 220. The nickel-plated tank indicates that it is probably a Canadian model. It also rules out dual fuel, as that technology was then reserved for the military, and those lanterns were all green.

If it is a kerosene model, there will be a metal cup affixed to the base of the generator tube. You fill that with alcohol to preheat the kerosene to vaporization temperature. This is not necessary with the more volatile white gas.

Simple joys

Noting the lantern, it looks like a Coleman dual fuel or could be a kerosene type. I've just recently purchased a North Star dual fuel. It provides as much light as my two LPG lamps combined. Sometimes old technology is better than you expect. We still holiday like this as a family just as I did in the 60s. Canvas has given way to poly tarps & nylon tents; the ice boxes hold ice for 10 days; other than that it's still the same simple fun & we have no bears to worry about in Australia.

We had a English made kerosene Tilly lamp when I was a kid, you had to preheat the mantle with methylated spirits & pump the pressure tank up, the best thing about these kind of liquid fueled lamps is they are less noisy then the high pressure LPG lanterns

Gray Ghost

The gray dog is a Weimaraner, originally a hunting dog owned by German royalty. They were first brought to the US in the 1930s and became quite popular by the 1960s. I have owned two and helped train many. Their nickname as noted above is "the gray ghost."

[Also noted as the sweater-wearing models of William Wegman. - Dave]

I never got it.

I'm talking about the "craving to go camping" gene; apparently my physiology deleted permanently the instinct to want to live in the wild. I don't mind an occasional one-meal picnic or an afternoon at a civilized park facility with all the amenities but I could never understand bringing half of one's possessions on a trip to attempt to cook, eat, sleep, bathe and evacuate in the woods, especially when you have all the comforts of home (at home) and don't really need to live with wild critters, insects, nasty weather, lack of hot water and all sorts of possible unknown hazards such as being stranded alone in a primitive setting. Call me an old grouch, and there is no disrespect intended for those whe love it, but I still don't get why people do it.

Happy Campers

It's not cheating to bring the comforts of home with you camping. Still go camping all the time with my neighbor's VW Bus with kitchen built in and pop out tent (similar to what's pictured) and it's a blast. Oh, and new guy here. Been following this site for a week now, always one of my morning stops.

Kitchen on wheels

A decade or so later we crossed to country in an Impala wagon with a massive kitchen box in the back, more or less like this except that the Coleman stove had to find someplace else to sit when cooking. And our tent was, well, a bit more ship-shape (to mix a metaphor). Other than that, camping had hardly changed. The weight of all this plus parents-and-four-kids was enough that my father installed helper spring on the back, and even then on the road to Mogollon he bottomed out so hard that he stopped to make sure we still had a rear axle. A decade after that, and nylon had conquered all, and then came Gore-tex.

Eating at the "Ritz"

Actually, the teardrop style camper (so named because of its shape) was quite popular in the day. In recent years, it has made a comeback. Just do a search for the phrase "teardrop camper" and you can find hundreds of websites that offer everything from basic construction plans to fully macked out designs that are fit for a king. As for the Ritz crackers; from using them for mini-s'mores to crumbling them into my tomato soup to feeding the stale ones to the critters, they will always have a place in my camping supplies.

Catfood

I'm pretty sure it's just a box for holding stuff.

Meow

I see two Dogs, a Boy and two Women, no Cats though. I'm guessing the box was just being used as a container for other stuff?

Meals on wheels

I had no idea those kinds of trailers housed a traveling kitchen, this one stocked with Ritz crackers, no less. Bill Bliss and I could have shared wardrobes.

Cat food?

Tell us more about your selections for camping "eats."

 
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