Is “camping” at all popular among India? I know India has national parks and all kinds of resorts aimed at overseas and domestic tourists. So is “camping” (ie sleeping outside/in a tent/caravan) considered something only poor people or soldiers do? Or do Indians (middle and/or upper class) go camping? Is the idea considered something completely insane and bizarre? Are there actual campgrounds? Or resorts offing something they call camping which involves staying in fully serviced cabins?
I do know that I had an Indian roommate once who said his family liked to take vacations to the mountains (where it was cooler) in the summers. But I’m not sure what the accommodations were like there-- Tent? Cabin? Luxury resort hotel?
:smack: I know someone from India. I’ll try and contact him ASAP and inquire about his knowledge, on the subject.
Hey, here’s an idea. The next time anyone calls “customer service”, and you get someone on the other end of the line with a decidedly “Indian” accent, ask them about it! Just a thought…
I don’t know if Indians go camping, but… it looks doable if they want to:
This is going to sound like a flip joke but look at the pictures on that website and tell me the what the people look like. The real question isn’t whether Indians go camping but rather, if any people other than white people with some money treat it as a goal and a sport.
The satire website Stuff White People Like put it on their list as a white person’s pursuit and the reasons for it. I don’t think they are that far off from my experience. Camping is basically simulating poverty in a very expensive way and that isn’t a popular pastime among people that are poor or come from countries where lots of people live under similar conditions full-time. Camping is not popular even among American minorities like blacks for example.
People all over the world live semi-outdoors but I think camping as recreation or a vacation is mainly a white American and Canadian thing. I would love to know other examples of it around the world if anyone knows. I am referring mainly to tent camping for sport and pleasure with specialized traditions or related things like long distance hiking and mountaineering and not activities out of necessity or visiting houses in the countryside.
My company did some business with www.greatindianoutdoors.com once. They do “adventure packages” in India (rafting, hiking, etc.) but I can’t tell from my phone if the folks on their pictures are Indian or not. In the one rafting pic i saw, they were.
I looked at the pictures. I see white people although it looks like some Indians there too. They may just been guides.
That is typical though. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary scaled Mt. Everest. His daring feat gained him Knighthood as an incredible triumph of man over nature. The people that carried gear were called Sherpas who thought the job was a pretty good way to make a decent wage but a little strenuous at times.
Pakistanis certainly do. Especially in the foothills of the various mountain ranges and in national parks (the mountains themselves are too bloody cold). I suppose Indians would too.
My mom grew up ‘dirt poor’ in Arkansas and their summer cabin was a shack with dirt floors and gunny sacks over the windows. Woman never would take us kids camping.
“I camped! My whole damn life and I ain’t doing it no more!”
Or something like that would be her response to the idea of going camping.
Camping is popular in Thailand, but since there’s no air-conditioning I say screw that! And I get enough insects just walking down a Bangkok street.
When I saw the thread title, I thought the OP was referring to Indians in the dated American sense of the word. I came in just to see how badly this thread was going, and whether the word “teepee” had been thrown around yet.
I think it’s more a question of class, than anything.
Indeed, I think before the rise of the middle class, the equivalent of “camping” was going to one’s “country house,” which had fewer luxuries (and fewer servants), but was “away from the maddening crowd,” (i.e., the beggars in urban streets). In your country house you had to do basic things like start your own fire in the fire place, etc.–it was an “adventure.”
I imagine that especially in an economy like India’s–where the burgeoning middle class is relatively new–the idea of camping must seem kind of silly. The whole point of being middle class in India is to be able to pay someone else to do those things, or buy an electronic device that will do those things for you. As for simply being away from the dirt of the city, there are usually relatives in the countryside who’ll put you up during a visit.
Actually trekking is popular among certain segments of Indian society, often to or between places of religious significance. http://www.whereeaglesdare.in/gallery1.php?id=2
One big difference is that India is chocked full of people, so it is not like you can easily pop out of the city to somewhere with low population density to get away from people. The first thing that struck me about India was all the Indians, they are everywhere!
Trekking (hiking) and camping are not precisely the same thing.
No, not exactly, although what trekkers do after they are done hiking for the day is pretty much camping. More Indian style “camping”.
My friend from Delhi, who spent a lot of her childhood in Rajasthan, has never camped in her life. I was to take her camping last year (I have been introducing her to things she’s never done over the years, including sailing and hillwalking), but at the last minute she pulled out, having a panic attack over it. I mean really, a genuine panic attack, hyperventilation and all, at the thought of sleeping in a tent and not being able to wash.
Back when my undergrad university’s Anthropology Society used to go camping in northern New Mexico a lot, we had one guy who would bring along a couple boxes of Handi-Wipes to rub all over himself. She could try that.
Trekking and hiking, yes lots of people.Camping , not so many. The websites that you see are probably geared towards tourists, and are probably not camping per se, but rather something like a resort in the wilderness.
Although it would not be considered insane. It might make the older folk talk about stuff like, “Is it safe”, “What’s the point”, “Why don’t you stay in a nice hotel” and so on. I could get my family to go on some hiking day trips, but my mother would complain incessantly about missing something or the other.
I used to have a roommate who had his own sleeping bag and a canvas tent, and we used to go camping around here. But usually not for more than 2-3 days. The longest I ever camped was way back when I was 12 and we went to the North east of India.
There are some problems that would put me off camping in India.
Needs equipment - Back in the day I remember how horribly expensive a crappy sleeping bag would be. I would think they are more easily available these days.
Lack of reserved camping grounds - Without a proper campground, you have to do all the work of clearing an area, checking for ants and creepies, etc.
Location - Although I wouldn’t think twice about sleeping in some place that I am familiar with. I sure as hell wouldn’t, in some unfamiliar place. Lots of places are not as isolated as I would like them to be, unfortunately.
Transportation - Tradeoff the comfort of using your own car, or the freedom of not worrying about vandals and nastiness happening to your car. Either choice has some difficulties. Personally I prefer using a bus and carrying my gear, instead of using my own transportation.