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Camping out and cooking meals on an open fire is a popular form of recreation in Pigeon Forge. However long ago it was more than that. It was a way of life. Just ask chuck wagon competitor Mitch Morgan.

"They used to do the cattle drives back in the 1860s and the chuck wagon, that's the portable kitchen there. That was the doctor's office, that was the kitchen, that was the living room, in the evenings that was their place to be," he said.

Nowadays many celebrate these simpler times in the form of chuck wagon cook offs. Competitors are judged on many aspects of being a cowboy, everything from the food they cook to the clothes they wear to the authenticity of their chuck wagon.

"We stay as traditional as we can, yep. Especially, always in competition we stay traditional. A lot of places don't even judge potatoes because there weren't that many potatoes."

Whether it's the clothing, cooking or just plain fellowship, these cowboys keep coming back for more.

"We just go places and you meet new people and you learn new stuff. It's fun to do and a lot of work."

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