Thomas Hiram Holding

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Thomas Hiram Holding
Outside his tent

Thomas Hiram Holding (c. 1844 – 1930[1] ) was a British tailor and often considered the founder of modern camping. He wrote the first edition of The Camper's Handbook in 1908 and founded the Association of Cycle Campers, now the Camping and Caravanning Club.[2][3][4][5]

His passion for camping developed as a child when he crossed the United States with his parents in a wagon train.

He was also passionate about sailing, designed his own sailing dinghies, and published Watery Wanderings 'mid Western Lochs. A practical canoe cruise[6] in 1886.

In July 1897, at the age of 52, he designed and made a very small, lightweight tent which could be carried on a bicycle, and set off on a three-day cycle-camping tour in south-west Ireland with his son Frank and two friends, all of whom had spent much time together camping and sailing for many years. By December of that year, he had written Cycle and Camp[7] detailing how the four made that pioneering journey and how this kind of holiday could be enjoyed by anyone for little cost.

Some of his published works on tailoring, advertised in the journal Tailor & Cutter in 1897, included: Ladies’ Garment Cutting; Breeches, Trousers, Vest, and Gaiter Cutting; Coat Cutting; Stout Cutting; Livery Cutting; Uniforms for all Services; Tailoring: How to Make it Pay; Alterations; Diagram Book; London Tailor, and Gentleman's Magazine.


  1. ^ "Thomas Hiram Holding". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  2. ^ Wills, Dixe (16 April 2011). "Camping? It should be about the simple life". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Thomas Hiram Holding". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Guys and poles". The Economist. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Club History". Camping and Caravanning Club. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  6. ^ Holding, Thomas Hiram (24 March 2011). Watery Wanderings 'mid Western Lochs. A practical canoe cruise. British Library, Historical Print Editions. ISBN 9781241314309.
  7. ^ Thomas Hiram HOLDING (1898). Cycle and Camp. London: Ward, Lock & Co.

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