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New To Camping? Learn To 'Camp With A Ranger'
Nov 15, 2017

Sure, it might be different these days with smartphones to pass away some time while "camping," but I'd still rather do that without bugs and dirt.

But camping is the most popular recreation for many families, and anything that takes you away from our electronic lives has to be a good thing.

And it could have all been different for me with some guidance, I suspect. That's why the Kane County Forest Preserve District's "Camp with a Ranger: Introduction to Camping" program seems like such a good idea.

Basically, the district is offering to teach some tricks of the camping trade to families trying it for the first time.

It was that fateful camping trip that inspired D’Agostino to leave his job at the New York Stock Exchange to launch Tentrr, a company that provides fully-equipped, bespoke campsites on remote pieces of private property. Now into its third year, the company offers dozens of turn-key glampsites (each of which boasts a large canvas tent with a wooden platform and queen-size bed, among other creature comforts) in the northeast, and has just launched an app to make booking (and finding) its far-flung locations easier. “We wanted to make enjoying the outdoors as easy as getting an Uber or Lyft to the airport,” explains D’Agostino. “Not only is camping something that everybody can enjoy, it's also something everybody should do for their mental and physical well-being. Being outdoors has phenomenal benefits—breathing fresh air, turning off your screen, and relaxing. There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire and staring up at thousands of stars.”

What to bring winter camping

Know before you go: This isn't for beginners. “It’s next level,” says de Montigny. “It's cold, there's less daylight, and there’s often snow. You need to be really conscious of where you put your stuff down so it doesn't get wet.” You also don’t want to bring snow into your tent, so pack a small shovel. You'll also need more fuel because you’ll probably be throwing snow into a pot to melt it for your water source.

What you'll need: Heavy warm-weather gear, snow spikes, trekking poles, one or two small shovels, LED lights, and plenty of things to keep you busy: books, cards, puzzles, anything to play in the early onset dark. You'll also want a backup light and spare batteries. The food you'll eat is also more of the fatty, high-calorie variety since you'll be expending more energy in the cold. Pack chocolate, honey, cheese, and sausages.


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