Young likens camping to a pilgrimage to nature but notes that, after more than a century of increasing popularity, the number of campers is declining. Although camping remains among the top five outdoor recreations in the United States, the rate of participation by Americans sixteen and older is down from its peak in the late 1990s. Automobile, trailer, and motorhome camping at developed locations and at primitive”locations has decreased approximately 7 percent overall. He argues this is due to modern camping, with its gadgets and more comfortable accommodations, not offering a meaningful break from everyday life, and also to efforts to rewild cities so that urban dwellers no longer need to escape to find nature.
The End of Camping: Coming home to the city
Terence Young is a professor of geography at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and the author of Building San Francisco’s Parks, 1850–1930. His new book, Heading Out: American Camping Since 1869, will be published in 2015.
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Terence Young; The End of Camping: Coming home to the city. Boom 1 September 2014; 4 (3): 70–75. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2014.4.3.70
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