Chicago-area camping for beginners
August 23, 2013 7:26 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for a place to go camping for a night, preferably on/near Lake Michigan, over Labor Day weekend, within a 4 hour drive of Chicago. I have never camped before. I have a tent and a tarp. I need help with location, how to make fire, what to do about food, and other things a 32-year-old camping virgin should know before setting out. More details inside.
posted by norrington to sports, hobbies, & recreation (21 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend and I are looking for a place to camp for a night over Labor Day weekend, and would like some help with utter newbie questions. Here are the details of what we have and what we need some help with.
* We have a car, live in Chicago, and are willing to drive up to 4 hours.
* We have a dome tent on loan from some friends, and a tarp to lay under it.
* My boyfriend has been camping a couple of times but always with experienced campers who ran the show, and the only time I've slept outside was in a parking lot for a big stadium rock show *mumblemumbledoesn'tcount*.
My main questions are:
* Where do we go? A camp site on Lake Michigan would be preferable. I'd like it to not be a super crowded full of people and kids site but I acknowledge that this might be unavoidable on Labor Day weekend.
* Do different campsites have different difficulty levels, so to speak? Are there places with nearby bathroom/running water areas? How much does it typically cost to camp somewhere and are reservations required/how will Labor Day Weekend impact this?
* What do we sleep on inside the tent? Do people typically use sleeping bags for this?
* What are best techniques for beginners to make fire? Links to websites or resources would be great.
* What are some good food things to bring, provided we succeed at the making of the fire? (There's a reason why we only want to do this for one night. Super easy beginner level stuff here.)
* Anything else to expect, given our relative newbie status? I've spent a lot of time in the woods in the UP but I always stayed at a cabin with running water and stuff.
Thanks for your help! I want to spend a night outdoors, preferably after watching the sun set over Lake Michigan, stargazing and poking a fire.