Another fine example of corporate largesse: we only want to make your camping experience better, and it’s especially better if you use yards and yards of Reynolds Wrap!
This pamphlet is from 1950, with methods “field tested by recognized camping authorities.” I like the dark green they use for cover and the two-color illustrations, the better to evoke that deep forest Scouting vibe. I especially love the black-and-white photos with green illustration behind.
The opening photo-illustration (see at bottom) is the best: two fun guys getting ready to eat… something, I don’t know, over some furniture hewn from the living forest around them. No Coleman gear here, nor even a semblance of neatness or order. They’re using what looks like paint cans and buckets, and Mr Serious on the left has his sleeves rolled up — good thing, too, because his hands are filthy. Mr Clean and Smiley is preparing a cookpot, because “pots, pans, and dishes are no longer necessary on a camping trip.”
You see, pure aluminum foil isn’t just for wrapping food, ho no! You can make a quick drinking cup from a small piece while on the trail. You can wrap matches to keep them dry, and wrap film to avoid exposure, and wrap small objects to keep them from getting lost. You can wrap your hunting rifle for the off-season. Wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap.
Feeling more ambitious? We can make an aluminum foil cookpot from a bent sapling — make sure you double the foil for extra strength! Or make a small, multilevel baking oven from sticks and foil.
Really, they only missed having us construct a canoe, a lean-to, or a suspension bridge.
The best part is the disposal advice: Used Reynolds Wrap MUST be buried as it will not deteriorate for many months if left above ground. So, put the used wrap in the fire to burn off the food, let it cool, and roll it into a small ball. Dig a hole with your boot and bury it! Voila, no more unsightly trash in the campsite. Brilliant.
A little company history: Reynolds was started by the nephew of the tobacco baron, R.J. Reynolds, who needed a lot of foil wrapping to wrap the suddenly popular of cigarettes he was pushing. Just before WWII, they expanded when they deduced that Germany had increased its aluminum capacity in preparation for war, but after the war they found lots of other exciting aluminum opportunities, including the aluminum can in 1963.
I haven’t learned the origin of the terrific logo on the back cover, a stylized St George and the Dragon motif.
Some more scanned excerpts here: