Laid-back Camp Reminds Me of Pickup Truck Culture

The first two episodes of Yurucamp (how do people feel about using △ and romanji LOL) remind me of what some people do with their pickup trucks on weekends in America. Instead of a high school girl biking up a mountain and camping, enjoying the outdoors, the typical “Heartland America” use case is maybe a small family or some bros up in the wilderness and enjoying the outdoors on their boat or something. I think this recent ad is a good summary.

What’s neat to me in Laid-Back Camp is the low-fi, high-tech nature of the form of camping demonstrated. It’s like, they can only bike to a local campground, so all the gear has to fit on a bike. The gear can’t be too heavy because they’re biking up a mountain. The tent is something that can be setup by one person. Since the camper is just solo, all the stuff she rides with was small and work with just one person. (Relevant but aside, camping at a managed campground is great because you get water and a restroom, which is way better than hauling your drinking water and taking a spade with you every time you go take a dump. It’s a cute-girl-does-cute-things compromise in the anime but it’s a worthy one in real life too.)

With a car or pickup, you can carry a lot more, heavier/bulkier things to camp. These low-budget, low-quality collapsable chairs with drink holder, for example, will be fine on a pickup truck but it would weight as much as half of the gear we see Rin carries with her in the first two episodes. I’m amused and jealous of her collapsible, low-height table; I’d like to have one?

The nature of these niche solo-camp gear is also a bit feeding into pickup truck culture. Since it’s a multi-billion dollar industry in the US alone, a lot of market research and consumer research go into selling pickup trucks (and SUVs, too, more and more). It means there are news and other literature about exactly why car brands sell pickups equipped in these sort of ways, with different trims and Texas-specific models. It’s like if you shop for tents for solo campers, there are all kinds. The one Hanamori Yumiri used in the promo video is a light-weight one good for newbies, and it’s inexpensive. However it is very basic and lack some key features. The ones in the anime are not.

It’s like, I spent maybe $100 in portable chairs last year (to sit during various forms of buppan and queues at cons or what not), trying out two different types. Considerations include weight, height, max load, portability, and is it on Amazon Prime. Now that I think I found a decent compromise, I’d totally bring that to camping.

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