Going Camping in 1900: From Lay Asceticism to Elegant Entertainment

From Lay Asceticism to Elegant Entertainment
By Catherine Bertho-Lavenir


Before 1914, the Touring Club de France explored several forms of camping: educational hiking, hermit life, and fixed campsites. Its officials attributed to camping very common values?in the cultural context of the years 1900?1914. By enabling people to get closer contact with nature, and to show their autonomy, sense of responsibility, and their ability to integrate into a collectivity, this new leisure activity corresponded to the image the "talented middle classes," from which the Touring Club gains recruits, had of themselves.


  • pedagogy
  • middle classes
  • open-air leisure activity
  • nature
  • Touring Club
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