Garner, Bill: Born in a tent

Garner, Bill

Born in a Tent: How Camping Makes Us Australian, New South, Sydney, 2013

The sub-title emphasises the multifarious influences on Australia and Australians. The author

shows that the history of Australia can be told through a history of camping… Australia was settled as a campsite – the nation was born in a tent. But while Europeans brought tents, they did not bring camping. Australia had been a camping place for millennia. And so it continued to be. For more than a hundred years, settlers – women as well as men – colonised the country by living under canvas. It changed them into a new sort of native Australian. It gave them a feel for the place, a wry can-do attitude, and a lasting taste for equality. And it led to a sense of belonging.

Born in a Tent takes the story from the campfire to the gas bottle, from a tarp slung on saplings to polymer tents and aluminium poles. It reveals how deeply our camping holidays connect us to the land, to the past, and to one another. (blurb)

There is a review here and the author talks about the book here and here.

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