Camping has a long and varied history, with its roots stretching back to the late 19th century. Initially, it was a way for upper-class white men to escape the perceived feminization and industrialization of cities. However, over time, queer people have taken up camping as a means of escaping the strictures of everyday life. Camping has become a way for marginalized communities to find solace in nature, even if it is never a complete escape from the world. Camp is an aesthetic style and sensibility that finds something attractive because of its bad taste and ironic value.
It alters many of modernism's notions of what art is and what can be classified as superior art by investing aesthetic attributes such as beauty, value, and taste through an invitation to a different type of apprehension and consumption. Feminist critics have questioned the notion of a one-way exchange in the camp in which gay men supposedly appropriate female stars and feminine styles, but women don't appropriate gay male aesthetics. Camp emphasizes that all behavior is artifice; it is both artificial behavior and celebrating and drawing attention to artificiality in everyday life. Susan Sontag's 1964 essay Notes on Camp was one of the first to recognize the camp's sensitivity, noting that it appropriates low, vulgar, tasteless, and extravagantly tacky artifacts as beautiful. Cross-dressing is a camp by its very nature and is the hallmark of many queer fields in cinema. The military has also had an influence on camping.
Many technological innovations, such as the Coleman lamp, became camping staples. Camping was also promoted as a way for men to become strong Americans. It could also be a way to avoid persecution through escape and meet the expectations of an American national person. In the early 21st century, much of the film cult may lack the critical context or political basis embodied by cultists in the queer fields. However, it was the drag queen camp that would ultimately triumph in the counterculture and claim the camp's legacy for the next decade. Camping has become an important part of LGBTQ culture.
It provides a space for queer people to find solace in nature while also creating a sense of community. Youth single camps were regularly converted into areas where queer spaces were established and enjoyed during leisure hours around the camp. Despite its origins as a way to escape feminization, camping has become a way for marginalized communities to find comfort.