Summer Stuff: Camping

Thursday, August 11, 2011

For this week’s Summer Stuff segment, Kristin Hostetter, Gear Editor for Backpacker magazine, tells us the best places to camp in the New York area, gives a rundown of essential gear and wilderness skills for campers and backpackers, and shares ideas about what foods to bring, what to cook, and how to camp—and backpack—most comfortably.

On Friday and Saturday nights in July and August, families can camp with the Urban Park Rangers in city parks! Find out more information about Urban Family Camping here.


Kristin Hostetter

Comments [14]

sandra from bronx. ny

The greatest thing about backpacking is that you learn about all the stuff you DON'T need to survive. You only carry what is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Sure you can take contact lenses, meat, extra clothes etc etc... but then you realize you're better off and happier without them!

EVERYONE should try backpacking once in their lifetime to appreciate the excess we have! BTW, jm, I exchanged my contacts for glasses because it's simpler : )

Here's what Thoreau had to say much better than I can:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms."
— Henry David Thoreau (Walden: A Life in the Woods)

Aug. 11 2011 04:55 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Michael, I'm glad you said it before me, but I'd add that grains are also a good vegetarian source of protein.

Aug. 11 2011 01:49 PM
Amy from Manhattan

After Ms. Hostetter said not to wash your dishes in the creek, I thought she'd go on to what else not to do in the creek. There's a book by Kathleen Meyers called "How to Sh** in the Woods" (but the real title uses the actual word) that tells where & how to dispose of human waste on camping trips & hikes. This can have important (literally) downstream effects--the Giardia parasite was spread to the Western hemisphere largely by people excreting in or too close to bodies of water.

Aug. 11 2011 01:46 PM
Kathy from West Harlem

I'm interested in dog friendly hiking/camping. Also, how about adult, pet friendly but not children friendly camping in Central Park. Our whole culture seems to be centered around children now and it's a real drag if you are sensitive to high pitched voices and many times out of control children. Pet peeve.

Aug. 11 2011 01:31 PM

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)has backpacking actives for beginners.

Aug. 11 2011 01:29 PM
Carol from Park Slope

The reason to go camping or backpacking is that there are places that you will never see unless you hike to them.

My husband to took me on my first backpack on Columbus Day weekend in the Adorondacks at Paradise Lake. It was an easy walk - fairly level and beauty that I will never forget. We walked thru golden ferns and white birches. Until then I didn't know that such beauty existed in the world. I was hooked! While he was alive we went on many backpacking trips in the White Mtns., Olympics, Cascades and even hiked from hut to hut in the Jutenheiman Range north of Oslo. These memories will live with me always.

Aug. 11 2011 01:21 PM
Michael from Manhattan

I wish your guest would stop perpetuating the myth that the only way to get protein is from meat. Beans, tofu, cheese, nuts, etc. all contain ample amounts of protein.

Aug. 11 2011 01:20 PM
wkgreen from Brooklyn

Aside from being much more expensive you might mention that down sleeping bags are useless if they get damp. Synthetics are much better at holding warmth when wet

Aug. 11 2011 01:19 PM
Jeff Balk

Don't forget about the bear-can .. required for carrying food!!

Aug. 11 2011 01:19 PM
Sandra from New York, NY

Re food, we've car camped and like to prepare stuff at home first, like chopping potatoes, peppers, onions. Buy pancake mix in a bottle you can add water and shake, pre-slice strawberries to add to your pancakes! Great camping breakfast.

Aug. 11 2011 01:18 PM
adriana from UWS

what about water purifying tablets?? are these recommended and where can you get them?

Aug. 11 2011 01:17 PM
jm from nyc

How does one manage backpacking with hard contact lenses, which need solutions & water.

Aug. 11 2011 01:14 PM
Capper from NYC

I would like to find a nice shady creek that's remote, clean, not private property, where I can take my 5 and 7 year old that's no more than a 30 - 45 min drive from Manhattan.

A place we can go when it's hot and the NYC pools are too crowded. Since they don't swim well yet a creek beats a beach.

Aug. 11 2011 01:09 PM
Eric from NYC

Just got back from the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness Area (west of Saranac Lake) in the ADK. Beautiful unspoiled waterworld wilderness -- "canoe country" -- no motorized vehicles allowed (on land or water) and a reasonable drive from NYC. (about 4+ hours). Campsites are primitive and the closest one's are about a quarter mile portgage plus 20 mins of easy paddling.

Aug. 11 2011 12:25 PM

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