I have been camping a lot this summer, and I started wondering how different cultures approach camping. Personally, when our family camps, we do car camping. Our favorite campsite had flush toilets, hot showers, playground, basketball court, and even fully furnished cabins for folks who don't really want to camp at all. We pitch a tent that is big enough to stand up in straight (OK, we're not real tall, but still) and room to walk around all the air mattresses. Heck, it even has cloth "walls" that we can button in place to divide the space into 3 "rooms."
A coworker told me about taking his Russian-born wife camping for the first time, and how she laughed when arriving at the car-camping site. To her, camping meant a sleeping roll and a shotgun, period. Of course, there are more rugged Americans too, who camp out under the stars, and cook their food over open fires, not propane fold-up stoves.
When I lived as an exchange student in Seoul for a year, the closest I came to camping was a day trip to Soraksan. My friends packed daypacks with a one-burner stove and extra fuel. They also packed whole carrots, onions, and potatoes. I was a little puzzled by all the gear, as I expected we would just bring sandwiches.
We got up and boarded the bus at 5:00am. It was several hours to get to Soraksan, and then we hiked around the whole day, stopping to take pictures. There must have been places to buy lunch, but we bypassed all of them. Instead, my friends found a nice spot in the shade, with a dry patch of dirt big enough for us all to sit around. They opened up all the bags we had been carrying, and they proceeded to prepare Curry-Rice right there on the spot! Never having camped as a child, I was amazed at the process. Nothing was pre-chopped. They peeled the potatoes, chopped the carrot, diced the onion right there in the wilderness (next to the sidewalk, anyway). They opened the curry mix, added water, and in a short while, our hot tasty lunch was ready. I can't remember if we had bowls, or just picked out of the pot with our chopsticks, but it was very tasty. They wrapped up all the waste, in efficient Korean woman style, packed up the gear, and we were off again. This was one of my favorite days in Korea.
Nowadays, our family's car camping expeditions have nothing Korean about them, unless I packed some gim as a snack. I am the only one who eats kimchi, and while I suppose I could bring kalbi along, beef stew in my thermal cooker just seems easier.
Does your family camp? If so, are there any things you do, or bring along that are uniquely Korean? Have any of you ever camped in Korea? Just wondering...