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19 Wonderfully Nostalgic Vintage Camping Ads

When you look back at old magazine ads, you’ll see lots of uptight people wearing polyester and smoking cigarettes — oh, so many cigarettes — so it’s easy to brush them off as outdated or out of touch. But that was also the branding back then! However, when you look at vintage camping ads, in many ways, the messaging was on point — ageless even — in that they’re always trying to get you to enjoy the great outdoors. As you scroll through the images, you’ll see how companies tried to make outdoor products appealing over time. In this gallery, we’re highlighting ads for vintage outdoor gear, clothes, and vehicles — oh my!  Enjoy!

sleeping pocket ad
We’re pretty glad they decided to change the name “sleeping pocket.”
Pendleton
Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Pendleton has been making flannel shirts from virgin wool since 1863.
plymouth horizon
Many consider the Plymouth Horizon “junkyard treasure. Can you imagine jamming your family into something that small for a cross country road trip?
dole banana
Most of the time we’re reaching for trail mix. Looks like we’ve been overlooking bananas!
mazola corn oil
What does cooking oil have to do with hiking? Well, you had better ask your doctor.
chevrolet station wagon
We’re not sure if this is a family road trip ad – or the line to get into an insane concert in the desert.
van camp's pork beans
Ok. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to spend 16 hours preparing a meal…it’s probably not pork and beans
spam
It’s a wonder that SPAM was the canned meat that made it out successfully – mmmmm, Camp Pie.
ray-o-vac
Feel the steel — and don’t mind the stranger in the woods with a flashlight.
apache camper
We’re not sure we want to know the answer…
flamingo trailers
In 1959, Flamingo Trailers asked you to “Travel The Modern Way.” Now, a person just needs a van.
7up
Even deep in the wilds of the north country you can enjoy the comfort of a fine Tom Collins. Thanks, 7up!
jantzen swim trunks
Sure, they only cost $4.95, but I don’t think I want to be seen at the campsite in side lace-up swim trunks.
coleman
A bold claim, but early. Coleman put their stake in the ground: “The greatest little portable stove a sportsman ever owned.”
kraft marshmellow
What we wouldn’t give to spend just one more night in a Kraft Marshmallow sleeping bag.
camping coaches
Camping coaches sound cool and all, but what happens if a train comes?
rough it
If you plan to “rough it,” don’t forget your bathrobe. Thanks, Volkswagen.
travco
Proof that van life has always been a thing.
bic lighter
Every campsite has a Bic lighter, and in the 1970’s – they were just “disco fashion.”

What’s your favorite vintage camping ad? Tell us in the comments below. 

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