A Tentrr campground, all set up for you. Via Tentrr.
The approach to the campsite was hidden in the woods of a remote Catskills neighborhood — we passed it at least once. When we discovered it, we turned our white minivan onto the dirt road and rumbled uphill through the trees. The road turned to grass, but we knew we were on the right track as we could make out two grooves that extended further through a grove of trees.
Beyond the trees was a large field on the crest of a hill. It was foggy and misty when we arrived — we could just make out the field’s size and shape by the line of trees that ran around it. At the far end the rough shape of a valley emerged from the mist. It was mysterious and beautiful, like something from an ’80s fantasy movie. Was all this ours? Yes, it was! At the field’s edge was what we were looking for: our own Tentrr campsite.
We pulled up to the site and hopped out to survey our new home in the wild. It was unmistakable: a handsome square beige canvas tent, like something out of a Napoleonic campaign, stood about three feet off of the ground on a solid wooden platform. Next to it was a custom wooden picnic table, benches and a little wooden cabinet. Nearby was a deep fire pit and a pre-cut pile of wood. Here was our weekend escape from the city, all set up and waiting for us. (more…)
Show the sun how much you truly appreciate it by never leaving it. Via Flickr user gigiwannaflickr.
This is it, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: The first day of summer. That magical time of year when all pants end at the knee, all drinks include coconut and you finally get to spend some time outside. All winter you’ve been staying inside for your movies, music and alcohol like a rube! Well not anymore — summer means barbecues, lawn games, outdoor concerts, long bike rides and of course these strict guidelines for fun. Now normally people just do one of those, maybe two if they’re a true innovator and then retreat indoors, but why? If you’re like me that’s just not enough to quench that summer thirst, summer’s short, your AC isn’t strong enough and you need to spend as much time outside as humanly possible before the next snowstorm.
Well, we’ve laid out the ultimate guide to making the most of your summer, soaking up the optimum sun and staying outside for fun all day long, and all night long too. That’s right, you’re an adult now, nobody can scare you with threats of sun damage and if you want to stay outdoors for maximum summer without breaking the bank, here’s how: (more…)
Not pictured: People being laughed out of existence for saying “glamping.” via Camp Rockaway Kickstarter
Sometimes near the end of a long day at the Rockaways, you might be beaten down by the sun and the alcohol you’ve enjoyed all day, and you might not want to leave. You can’t just collapse on the beach and stay there though, that’s frowned upon. You could get an AirBnB maybe, or, in the future, you might be able to collapse in a “tent hotel” called Camp Rockaway that’s set to open in 2015. Of course, we’d only recommend doing that if you think that combining camping with a “high-end boutique hotel” is alright. Which it clearly isn’t. (more…)
You gotta know how to use a griddle if you’re gonna go camping
The temperatures might be dropping, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for you to pack away your camping dreams, far from it. Winter camping means drinking whiskey, it means appreciating that fire even more and it means sleeping bag sex holding on for dear life to the person you’re in the sleeping bag with. Next Thursday you can get a look at some sweet gear that’s good for winter camping, drink free whiskey (an winter camping essential) and possibly even win some free camping gear, courtesy of Bush Smarts and Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co. (more…)
You can tell scary stories about late rent payments. via Facebook
Want to camp, but don’t want to go far from the bright lights of New York? Usually, that presents a problem. Not this summer though. Bivoauc NYC, an art project/rooftop camping night run by Thomas Stevenson has held a few nights of camping on a roof in Brooklyn this summer, and if you thought you’d missed out, good news: there’s a few more in August. (more…)
Not a hobo city: It’s real camping in Prospect Park
Yesterday morning I was rudely awakened by the sound of a chopper apparently preparing to land on my roof. No big deal, just a partial building collapse a few blocks away. Living in New York we get used to falling asleep to the piercing drone of sirens and jolting awake to a violent symphony of dump trucks and jackhammers. But we live within a diverse urban ecosystem that includes many acres of wooded refuge. This summer, the NYC Parks Department is encouraging us to “unplug from the diversions of everyday life,” and “connect with the natural world,” by offering free camping in public parks in all five boroughs. Registration is extremely limited and will be assigned via lottery for each program including dates in Brooklyn’s Prospect, Marine and Fort Greene Parks this week. (more…)
We’ve all been there: wistfully admiring the cover of National Geographic Traveler at Barnes & Noble while waiting for a movie at Court Street Cinemas. On the cover are happy, wealthy suburbanites traipsing along a wooded ridge, a family huddled around their freshly-caught fish or the sunrise on a distant lake. They are miles away from the city and loving it. You think, “Camping must be for rich folk who can afford all that gear.” And you never go often enough to justify dropping hundreds of dollars on the necessities. Dejected, you turn and head to the 9 o’clock showing of That’s My Boy, alone.
But fear not, potential backpacker! Brooklyn has two home-grown outdoors stores that rent camping equipment to the casual camper without the REI (Really Expensive Items) or EMS (Extreme Measures Suggested) prices. No more eating ramen for a month just so you can go to the woods and eat ramen! (more…)
Floyd Bennett Field campers who are way better dressed than us. Flickr photo courtesy of Sam Utne.
A group of our friends has an annual late-spring (pre-mosquito) tradition of overnight camping at Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn every year. (Yes, this is the place where some newspaper reporter incredulously roughs it for a night each year, because, Fuggedaboutit, you can actually go camping in Brooklyn???, only to discover that it’s pretty much like camping anywhere else.) In the past, our friend Matt booked one of four gargantuan plots for $50 a night, where a bunch of people could pitch tents and nobody was within farting distance of someone else’s.
This year, it’s a whole different scene, owing to the National Park Service’s long-term goal of transforming the underutilized bucolia into a mini-Yellowstone. Those big plans are already underway. (more…)