10/02/15 10:32am

Camping in Brooklyn

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My friend promised his fiancé there would be no strippers at his bachelor party. Which is how I found myself sparking a campfire right here in Brooklyn.

While this might not be the perfect weekend for camping, it is possible to heed the call of the wild without leaving the borough of Kings. Or doing anything that might jeopardize your marriage.

And we aren’t talking some illegal overnight deep in Prospect Park. We’re talking about a Sorta Outdoorsy spot at New York City’s very first airport—Floyd Bennett Field. (more…)

06/24/15 7:00am
floyd bennett field

This is Floyd Bennett Field, right here in Brooklyn! Photo by Matt Septimus

So warm weather is here (there’s photographic evidence and everything), and you’re looking for a little life-saving peace and quiet in nature somewhere outside of (or perhaps inside of) this sprawling metropolis, but you think you need a car and a bunch of cash, or the luck to win the camping in Prospect Park lottery, to really take advantage. Think again, blog-readers of Broketown! You don’t need to be a car owner to get yourself deep into the woods, and supplies don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Read on and we’ll show you how to camp (and not just in coffee shops!). (more…)

05/19/14 3:51pm
camp rockaway

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…)

bush smarts griddle

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…)

07/29/13 9:58am
You can tell scary stories about late rent payments. via Facebook

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…)

07/03/12 8:54am

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…)

06/25/12 10:15am

When you rent, you can afford more than this

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…)

04/03/12 10:54am

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…)

08/10/11 2:00pm

Camping: part of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness

All summer, the city’s parks department hosts free family camping nights in different parks throughout the city, but if you want to be sleeping under the stars in Prospect Park, today is your last chance to register! You have to enter the lottery to win one of the 30 spots available for 8/19, which is the last day the camping is offered in Brooklyn (Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island still have dates available). The program, put on by the Urban Park Rangers, starts with a cookout and includes other activities such as stargazing and night hikes. Everything is included so that means you and the kids just need to get there (and maybe bring your DJ Roomba). [via DP Blog]


Gypsy camping on an abandoned airport: Scooby Doo plot or your weekend?

So Gypsy Fest was canceled, due to not having a “vending license” or some such legal whatever the organizers didn’t get. But if the fest piqued your interest, you get a consolation prize: free camping! Camping in Floyd Bennett Field is usually $30 a night, but, since organizers did pay for that permit, you can top the Frugal Traveler and sleep out under the stars for free. Just be prepared to share the space with a few dozen bummed festival-goers. (more…)