“A few years ago, I went on a particularly bad camping trip,” Michael D’Agostino recalls. “My wife and I got the last slot at a packed campsite in the Catskills and ended up being next to the bathrooms. Hate Camping Along with people passing through our campsite to use the restrooms, a group of Wiccans was throwing an all-night party. We packed up our car the next morning, exhausted, and tried to find a bed and breakfast; however, none of them would accept our dog, so we ended up driving all the way back to the city. On the way back, we passed a lovely field, and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I could camp there.’
D’Agostino was inspired to leave his job at the New York Stock Exchange to start Tentrr, a company that provides fully-equipped, bespoke campsites on remote pieces of private property, after that fateful camping trip. Now in its third year, the company offers dozens of turn-key campsites in the northeast (each with a large canvas tent with a wooden platform and a queen-sized bed, among other creature comforts) and has just launched an app to make bookings (and finding) its remote locations easier.
“We wanted to make enjoying the outdoors as simple as taking an Uber or Lyft to the airport,” D’Agostino explains. “Not only is camping something that everybody can enjoy, but it’s also something everybody should do for their mental and physical well-being. Being outside has numerous advantages, including breathing fresh air, turning off your screen, and relaxing. Nothing beats sitting around a campfire and gazing at thousands of stars.”
D’Agostino shares three tips for making the most of your next camping trip, even if you didn’t think you were the camping type before.
Consider alternatives to baked beans. While hot dogs and basic burgers are traditional camping fare, D’Agostino suggests taking it up a notch. “Make an effort to cook something special over the fire. Don’t be afraid to try cooking steak or fish—some of my best meals have come from camping.” You can make dumplings, cookies, and even clams, according to him.
Live as a local. Enjoying a new place usually entails discovering the inside track, as is customary. “Locals can recommend the best swimming holes, bike trails, and picnic spots,” says D’Agostino. “In a coffee shop or grocery store, strike up a conversation with a local and ask them where their favorite spots are.”
Enjoy small luxuries. The whole point of camping is to immerse yourself in nature, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the finer things along the way—that’s the beauty of glamping, right? “When I’m camping, one of my favorite things to do is grab a bottle of wine, hike up to the top of a hill, and watch the sunset,” D’Agostino says.
“This town and this area have a very magnetic quality to them,” says Jori Jayne Emde. She’s driving me through the hills to the field where she grows the bright green peas that were charmingly arranged on my plate an hour before at her Hudson, New York restaurant, Fish & Game. Fish & Game, which opened last year in a nineteenth-century former blacksmith’s shop, draws on local produce, livestock, and fish as prepared by Emde, her husband, Zakary Pelaccio, best known for his work at New York’s Fatty Crab, and Fatty ‘Cue, and a third chef, Kevin Pomplun.
It’s officially the last weekend of summer, so instead of staying in a hotel room for the long Labor Day weekend, take a cue from these glamping spots and sleep outside. These magnificent tented oases are about as close to the comforts of a top-tier hotel as you’ll get while sleeping under a canvas roof, but they also offer fresher air, charm for days, and a “yard” that’s hard to beat.
For more tips and guides on glamping, visit Southernglamping.nz.