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As camping's appeal widens, retailers stake their ground

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As camping's appeal widens, retailers stake their ground

When the sun goes down, it's story time at the nation's campsites. Here, lanterns illuminate families' tents as they get together over barbecued meals. JoongAng Ilbo

At a campground in Gyeonggi last month, 100 families packed together, their accommodations blanketing the area. The recently opened venue was dotted with tents, campers and RVs where people could eat and sleep. Huge tunnel tents offered slightly less luxurious shelter to families, and singles settled down in one-person tents.

This scene at the Yibopo Auto Campsite would have been almost unheard of in Korea just a few years ago, with camping considered a pastime for the wealthy few who could afford the posh equipment it came to require. But in recent years, the number of campers in Korea has exploded, fundamentally changing the perception of the activity as it opens up to everyday people.

The nation's camping population is estimated to be around one million this year, a five-fold increase over the previous two or three years, according to industry insiders. Today, there are four Internet communities for campers to join and share information, each with between 100,000 and 200,000 members.

This growing market has attracted the attention of global camping equipment companies eager to cash in on the rapidly growing market here. The event in Gyeonggi, for instance, was organized by outdoor clothing and equipment brand Millet Korea.

"Korea is probably the only country that enjoys camping when it rains or snows", said Richard Guilfoile, the president of Coleman Asia-Pacific, another camping brand. "The United States and Japan have longer histories when it comes to camping compared to Korea, but Koreans' passion for camping is second to none".

As camping grows in popularity, meals other than samgyeopsal (pork belly) make their way onto grills at campsites.

There are about 500 camping sites in Korea and those within arboretums are highly preferred by the newest participants of the pastime. Outdoor sites that include sports facilities such as miniature golf courses are also popular.

As the popularity of camping increases, so does profit for companies who produce basic camping necessities. Winter camping has been a boon for local makers of kerosene heaters, which have seen their domestic sales shrink as the country adopts more advanced heating systems.

But just as these companies have begun to adopt more export-based operations, the demand for kerosene heaters at home jumped up as more campers began using them to heat their tents. Some companies even needed to reimport heaters that they had shipped abroad for sale overseas.

Today's consumers aren't quite the same as those who were the mainstay for camping equipment companies in the past, though. As more and more average citizens take up the activity, veterans are recommending that newbies start with less expensive or secondhand equipment, increasing demand for these materials.

Except for kitchen tools, veterans say it takes time to get a good grip on how to properly use camping equipment, especially tents, and that flashy and expensive tools are not for everyone.

Large and high-end camping gear from Coleman and SnowPeak used to dominate the market a couple of years ago, but now the types of tents used at campsites are much more varied.

Seeing this new opening in the market, companies like Millet have begun organizing camping events and festivals to educate new consumers, providing information about the various products they offer for sale.

Coleman Korea organizes more than 10 such camping festivals every year, and online communities from Web portals such as Naver and Daum also hold camping festivals every spring and fall.

"Everyone starts camping by imitating other campers in the beginning, and they come to enjoy camping with their families", said Bang Min-ho, who's been camping for eight years. "And then there comes a phase when they feel bored with similar camping patterns. I recommend these kinds of camping events for those who want to perk up their camping routines".

Campers gather in a tent to enjoy dinner.

Last month's Millet-sponsored event consisted of many different activities that campers could take with them on their next trips.

During the day, families came up with their own recipes that could be easily enjoyed at camping sites and entered them into a friendly competition.

The first-place prize went to the family of Park Wu-sik, who prepared a scotch fillet steak that was first boiled and then skewered and grilled over a charcoal fire. Greens that are only available in the spring, such as wild chives, added a sophisticated flare to the dish as a garnish.

Like many Korean men, Park hardly visits the kitchen at home, but he becomes a different person when he leaves for a camping trip with his family.

"The children are watching me. I have to cook and prepare the dishes well", Park said with a grin on his face.

After the cooking competition, campers prepared dinners by themselves, mostly on charcoal barbecues like the one Park used. After emptying their dinner plates, another staple in Korean camping was put onto the fire: sweet potatoes wrapped up in shiny aluminum foil.

"The most exciting part of camping for me is nibbling sweet potatoes with my younger brother", said 10-year-old Bang Eun-ji, who was at the event with his family.

Famed mountaineer Um Hong-gil, center, poses with campers at an event organized by Millet Korea, an outdoor clothing and camping equipment company, late last month.

As the sun went down, the flickering lights from lanterns began to illuminate the tents one by one, setting the mood for storytelling. That's when mountaineer Um Hong-gil started talking.

As a paid endorser of Millet Korea, Um, who has some of world's tallest mountains under his belt, drummed up excitement for camping among the attendees.

Speaking to the crowd, he shared some of the many adventurous moments he has experienced while venturing to climb some of the toughest mountains in existence, from Mount Everest, the world's highest, and K2, the second highest.

When Um discussed losing some of his fellow mountaineers, young campers began to sob. Um's eyes filled with sudden tears when he recalled the moment he broke his ankle while climbing Annapurna in the Himalayas.

Although the scenes described by Um and that at the Yibopo Auto Campsite couldn't have been more different, the veteran climber did his job - drawing in his audience and focusing their attention on the excitement of camping.

Though he's conquered more serious terrain than his audiences will likely ever see in their lifetimes, he's a successful guru of sorts, using his 24 years of camping and hiking experience to reach out to Korea's new campers.

He's likely to be especially popular with the more serious outdoor types, who have started camping in recent years.

Recommended campsites

For instance, some experienced campers now choose backpacking instead of settling down at preselected camping sites, which are often crowded with families who are out for a different kind of experience.

These backpackers walk until they find suitable and tranquil places to set up camp. The so-called "Indian tents" often used by these backpacking campers weigh about two kilograms (4.4 pounds) and cost about 100,000 won ($87.8).

"Backpack camping costs about half of ordinary camping, and it also promotes self-esteem for your children because they have to carry their own backpacks", said Sohn Han-seok, who runs a camping community called Snopy.

Going on a backpacking trip has become a monthly ritual for Lee Jung-hwa, a 37-year-old office worker.

She fills her backpack with camping gear such as a tent and camp stove before hitting the road. Since national parks do not allow camping and cooking, she often goes to small islands around Incheon.

"Most islands have mountains. I walk up to six hours from the landing place to a mountain and then set up my tent when I find a suitable, flat place", she explained.

"If you head to the western islands of Korea, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset in the afternoon and a sunrise the next morning while sipping on a cup of coffee. I can't ask for more than that", Lee said.

A similar sense of anticipation likely came over Um's crowd as he described in detail his favorite parts of camping.

"After tossing around in the tent all night, watching the sun come up is one of the most grateful moments at the Himalayas", Um said.

And that's just what he was hired to do.

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Watch: BTS’s V Reunites With Kim Min Jae And Talks About Crying At Concert On “Celebrity Bromance”

Watch: BTS’s V Reunites With Kim Min Jae And Talks About Crying At Concert On “Celebrity Bromance”ilmare42 Would possibly 26, 2016 0 On Could 26’s special episode of “Celebrity Bromance,” BTS member V and Kim Min Jae reunite to chat behind the scenes at “Music Core”!

Kim Min Jae and V prior to nowprinted their close friendship as the primary duad of celebrity palson the net series Famous person Bromance. The maximum recent episode first follows V as he arrives at the Track substance studio and rehearses “Butterfly” with his bandmates, and then presentationsthe gang taping a functionality of “Fire.”

V provides Kim Min Jae a signed edition of BTS’s special album “Young Forever,” and the 2 guys discuss how V had purchased Kim Min Jae a price tagto peer their concert. “It changed into a once in an whole liferevel in for you,” says V. Kim Min Jae laughs and says, “Can’t I pass again?” yet 5 jokes that he shouldn’t even dream of it. “But perhapswhenever you do what I say,” he then adds. “I’ll consider it.”

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AOA’s Seolhyun Opens Up About Make Up Blunder At Awards Ceremony

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Netizens spottedthe pointy contrast between the colour of Seolhyuns face and her neck during the awards ceremony, which came aboutfinal year on November 26.

She also stocks about how her insecurity made her fear about performing on Law of the Jungle, Even ahead of leaving for Law of the Jungle I truly worried a lot. I had bad memories from the last time I published my dark skin, yetI used to be having to reveal my dark skin just as the ones were going away

SHINee's Key Sits On Jonghyun's Lap As Latter Promotes Solo Album

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SHINee's Key Sits On Jonghyun's Lap As Latter Promotes Solo Album

(Photo : Key Instagram)SHINee lead vocalist Jonghyun has after all released his first solo album, and it is onlyherbal that his longtime teamcontributorspop out to improve him.

On Would possibly 27, Key was once spotted sitting on Jonghyun's lap, with either idols wrapped in every other's palms and appearing their mutual affection.

On May just 24, Jonghyun released a new tune video for "She Is," the name track for his same-named debut solo album, which carries a overall of nine tracks spanning the genres of dance, ballad and RB songs.

Watch: Two times Stocks Out-Of-This-World Cosplay Edition Of “Cheer Up” MV

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Watch: Two times  Stocks Out-Of-This-World Cosplay Edition Of “Cheer Up” MV

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On Could 27 in the dead of night KST, JYP Entertainment shared a video entitled “TWICE AVENGERS,” which functions the TWICE individuals all dressed up in quite so much of fun costumes, comparable toa standard Korean hanbok, a stylishcelebration dress, and cowgirl and anime-inspired outfits, with just one of them in their same old cheerleader uniform.

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GFriend’s Eunha functions in Park Kyung’s “Inferiority Complex”

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GFriend’s Eunha functions in Park Kyung’s “Inferiority Complex”

GFriends Eunha functions in Park Kyungs Inferiority ComplexWritten through Pat On Might 26, 2016Park Kyung has returned with a solo liberate featuring GFriends Eunha. This isnt the primary fourth dimensionthose two have worked together. They've also seemedin combination every bit stars of the 2d one season of MBCs internet show, Oh My God! Tip, where they would give out recommendations on how to take care of awkward situations. This, of course, comprises acting as a couple in numerous situations. For the explanation that these two have the history and the relief level, it used to be a just rightwonder when it changed into announced that GFriends Eunha would feature in Inferiority Complex.

An inferiority complex is the sensation of total inadequacy in regards to something. It's faranything that Park Kyung would understandably have. Park Kyung is typicallyoverpassed by the overall K-pop target market for the maximumsmartly liked and prolific member of Block B, Zico. Park Kyung has the similar underground rapping enjoy as his best possible friend, yet does now not takean identicalcallpopularity amongstthose thatdon'ttake note of Block B. In the fandom, hes known more for being a greasy cucumber. This nickname is stemmed from his greasy nature tacky and slightly flirtatious and for his facial expressionwhich werein comparison to being a cucumber.

The MV plays upon this by pairing him with Eunha, a member of one of a trending woman group. They painting a couple in several date-like eventualities out in the park dining cotton candy, throughout the library on a find out about date, in a cafe making lattes, and so on. In one situation, Kyung turns the tv on and springs across a program, very very identical to the Oh My God! Tip program, speaking roughly something just like his inferiority complex. In nearlya majority of these situations, the feminine supposedly gets distracted by a male more good-looking and with largerpositive aspects than Park Kyung.

Watch: Urban Zakapa Drops “I Don’t Love You” MV Starring Yoo Seung Ho And Lee Ho Jung

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Watch: Urban Zakapa Drops “I Don’t Love You” MV Starring Yoo Seung Ho And Lee Ho Jung

Watch: Urban Zakapa Drops “I Don’t Love You” MV Starring Yoo Seung Ho And Lee Ho Jungilmare42 Would possibly 26, 2016 0 Popular RB trio Urban Zakapa has returned with an exquisite new ballad entitled “I Don’t Love You”!

On May just 27 at nighttime KST, Urban Zakapa dropped their new mini album entitled “Still,” which is their first free up in over a year. It functions the namemusic “I Don’t Love You,” and the gang has now also shared the music video for this shocking and unhappy track.

The music video stars actor Yoo Seung Ho and actress Lee Ho Jung. It’s reported that even if Yoo Seung Ho is these days taking a spoilsooner than the release of his new movie “Seondal: The guy Who Sells the River” in July, he fortuitously agreed to big name in this video because he’s partial to Urban Zakapa’s music.

Watch: EXO’s Lay Sings Of Unrequited Love In Solo Tune “Monodrama”

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Watch: EXO’s Lay Sings Of Unrequited Love In Solo Tune “Monodrama”

Watch: EXOs Lay Sings Of Unrequited Love In Solo Music Monodramacrystalcove Would possibly 26, 2016 0 EXOs Lay has released his solo track Monodrama, the 16th unmarried for SM Entertainments STATION series.

Monodrama is a RB track with a close acoustic guitar melody. Lay participated in the musical and lyrical composition, in addition the arrangement, of the track. Generating team Divine Channel, which contains composers Im Kwang Wook and Ryan Kim also worked with Lay. Monodrama is STATIONs first Chinese song.

Lay seems in the music video as neatly and expresses the feelings of a guy feeling the pain of an unrequited love, and it's milesacknowledged he gained many compliments from the team of workers for his acting. Style Kim Jong Hoon and Shim So Young also are in the music video. You'll watch it below.

Epik High’s Tablo Says Even He Can’t Get Tickets To BIGBANG’s Concerts

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Epik Highs Tablo Says Even He Cant Get Tickets To BIGBANGs ConcertsJiwonYu Would possibly 26, 2016 0 Epik Highs Tablo hosted a special reside Naver V broadcast on May just 26 entitled Tablo Dreamed Radio, which is a throwback to his past radio display Dreaming Radio.

With fellow Epik Primeindividuals Mithra and DJ Tukutz as special guests, Tablo carries at theprovesimilar toa typical radio show, taking questions from the listeners and answering them.

While reading one of the most sent messages, Tablo says, Some folks are asking if I will give them tickets to BIGBANGs concert, yet YG never we could me have any. They stated they dont have leftover tickets.

Taeyeon of Girls' Generation Plans 1st Solo Concert

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As her first solo album swept quite so much ofsong charts after its unencumberclosing October, the concerts are expected to attract much attention.

Watch: SHINee’s Jonghyun Finds The Perks Of Going Solo And His Ideal Sort On “M!Countdown”

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Watch: SHINee’s Jonghyun Finds The Perks Of Going Solo And His Ideal Sort On “M!Countdown”

Watch: SHINees Jonghyun Unearths The Perks Of Going Solo And His Ideal Kind On M!CountdownJiwonYu Would possibly 26, 2016 0 M!Countdown has hosted a surprise fan assembly in party of SHINee member Jonghyuns solo comeback!

On the Could 26 broadcast of M!Countdown, the MCs ask Jonghyun what are some pros of going solo. Jonghyun is left to make a selection from3 choices: getting the camera all to himself, getting to dance with the feminine back dancers, and getting a massive number ofbenefit out of the songs.

Jonghyun laughs and says, I adore it because I make quite so much ofcash in out of the songs. He also explains slightly more about his album, saying, I participated in making many of the songs on the album. I participated in making the identify song She Is, and the alternative songs have a summer-like feel to them.