The word "Camping"
It is hard to determine when the expression camping first was known, but it is an english word that includes all activities related to the expression.
What is known today as Camping and Caravan Club, was established in England in 1901 under the name Association of Cycle Campers, and later the name was changed. In 1907 the Caravan Club was established for people who were camping with Caravans pulled by horses.
I 1910 a similar club was established in France under the name Camping Club de France, and this means that Camping now had become an international expression.
Even the French did not bother to change the word and the word also came to Norway as an expression of these kinds of activities around the same time.
The first Norwegian Caravan was shown on an exhibition at Hamar and it was named a Caravan, meaning that this expression already then was established.
What is named as Dansk Camping Union (DCU) in Denmark today, was established in 1926 under the name Lejrklubben of 1926, just a slightly different naming.
Exact knowledge of the word may be able to obtain from Norsk Språkråd or maybe from one of the Universities where the origin of the word may have been investigated.
The word Camping was not changed during the revision a few years ago, except it may be spelled with a K instead of a C in the Norwegian language.
Camping in Norway
We believe that the first camping tourist in Norway went by car from Kristiania to Lærdal in 1901 and this was the start of todays camping life.
During the 1920’s the tents were shaped as pyramids, and the first Caravans were constructed in the 1930’s.
The 1960’s was the breaktrough for Caravan camping in Norway. The sales of big tents and Caravans went up tremendously during this decay and new Camping sites were built all over the country. In the 1930’s most workers had achieved 2 weeks vacation by law, but how was all this time supposed to be spent?
The authorities were concerned about this and established Statens Ferieråd in 1939. The council was supposed to work for good vacation opportunities and a reasonable spending of spare time.
However, most people managed to solve this “problem” on their own. Working classes and economy often determined their way of spending their holidays. During the 1930’s most city folks went to see their relatives in the countryside. Working class people often spent some days on their Union’s vacation home. People with more money to spend could be tourists both inside and outside the country.
The oldest Caravan in our Summer Exhibition is from 1936. At that time very few people could afford to travel by car, but a camping trip with a tent became very popular during the 1920’s and 30’s. You could go tenting by foot or by a bike or motorbike. After the second world war camping was more popular.
From the 1960’s car and big tents or caravans became more and more common. The sale of new cars were allowed in 1960 and then a lot of people took their families on camping tours.
Going to Sweden was the big thing for many of us, where caming had grown tremendously during the 1950’s. Swedish camping sites held a higher standard then the norwegian sites but by contribution from Distriktenes Utbyggingsfond also Norwegian camping sites were brought up to a higher standard.
Today, tourists can camp on 1500 camping sites all over Norway. Many of us like to come back to the same site year by year. A permanent placed caravan is a good alternative to a cabin. There are app 140 000 caravans in Norway but only 100 000 are registered for legal traffic.
The Right to Vacation
Norwegian employees right to vacation dates back app 100 years. The strongest Unions got this right first. Typograf-forbundet got 3 days of Summer vacation for their members at the end of the 1890’s. The Litografforbundet’s salary agreement from 1907 stated the right of 1 week paid vacation for their members. Towards the 1920’s most groups of workers had achieved the same. A legal right from 1920 gave a lot of workers 2 weeks vacation, but later on this was decreased to working days.
In Arbeidervernloven of 1936, the right to vacation for all workers, became legally stated.
From the year 1936 all people had the right to 2 weeks vacation. Ferieloven from 1948 extended this right to 3 weeks vacation and in 1964 this was further extended to 4 weeks vacation. All these extensions came after some groups already had got this right through their working agreements.
In 1981 the Government gave us the Gro-day as a first step towards 5 weeks vacation. This stayed on for a few years until in 2001 a gradually increase to 5 weeks vacation was achieved.
1920 : Motorbike and pyramid shaped tent
Open air activites was the big hit in the 1920’s. Childrens and youth organisations like the scouts made these activities to a major part of their program. Tenting was also a cheap alternative for youg people. Most of them packed their tent on their bike or in a backpack for walking. For those who could only dream of owning their own car, motorbiking was a good alternative. With a sidecar attached to the bike, you could bring tent and luggage and a good friend and go camping. The bike on the photo is an A.C.E. from 1926. The engine is a four cylinder air cooled straight engine of 1384 cm3.
1930 : Cesam caravan from 1936
Already in the 1930’s some people went on vacation in a caravan bringing with them a picnic set, a grammophone and primus. The Ceasam Caravn on this photo was designed by Johan Gedde and constructed by Drammen Skifabrikk in 1936. The skijumper Birger Ruud was a travelling salesman for this caravan. The roof may be raised up and the sides extended with bunks and the opposite packed for transport. The back window, hiding the kitchennette, may also be used as a table. See interior photo.
1960: With a big tent packed in the car
The sales of big tents raised to big hights during a few hectic seasons in the early 60’s, when you were allowed to buy your own, new car. Several Norwegian manufacturers had big tent models, but the tent on the photo were manufactured by ABC-fabrikarna in Kungälv, Sweden. It was bought during a camping trip to Sweden Summer 1962, and later on a bigger foretent was added. The last time this tent was used was in 1975 on a campingtrip around the southern part of Norway.
1960/70 : Lillebror – compact caravan
Many people tried to construct the perfect camper. Compact and easy to pull on the roads and big and comfortable at the camping site. The Danish Combi-camp was the big hit during many years but also the Norwegian manufactured Lillebror was a big success during many years. “Lillebror” was constructed and patented by Knut Rambøl from Oslo. It was firstly manufactured at Widerøes Flyselskap in Fornebu in 1958 and app 6000 campers were manufactured until 1971.