How can I try out camping?
September 9, 2013 8:33 AM Subscribe
I would like to find a way to try out camping, without buying a lot of gear. Can I rent gear somewhere? Maybe from an outfitter or outdoor education sort of place? My ideal would be to fly or drive to a U.S. National Park, put myself in the hands of an expert who will rent me gear and take me to a camp site, help me set up the gear and give me basic instructions about how to use it and cook stuff, then have the expert leave while I try things out for a long weekend. Does such a service exist?
posted by OrangeDisk to sports, hobbies, & recreation (25 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I used to camp with my family when I was a kid, but have never done so as an adult. I'm interested in trying it again, but I don't want to invest in a lot of gear for an activity I might end up hating. Is it possible to try out camping without going all in up front?
A lot of the guides/outfitters/outdoor educators I've found via Google go all out with pre-made gourmet food and fancy-pants tents and what not -- they are more like outdoor fancy hotels than the kind of car camping I have in mind. I just want to find someone who can help me learn and try out normal camping.
My husband and I are in our 40s and have really enjoyed visiting National Parks for the last 10 years or so. We usually fly/drive to the park, then stay in a nearby hotel and visit the park. Depending on the park, we go the visitors center, sometimes hire a tour guide (if it's a historical park, like one of the battlefields), then go for one or more 5-10 mile hikes over the course of a couple days. This has been great!
But now I'm thinking I'd like to camp instead of stay in a hotel. This would open up a LOT more parks and other areas to us. My camping experience as a kid was not great due to issues specific to my family that I don't want to go into detail about, but basically revolve around a lack of money and a lack of planning.
I am NOT interested in backpacking, just car-camping. Is this kind of service even available anywhere?