Saturday, June 15, 2019

First Camping Adventure In A Long Time!

YAY just packed up my little blue tent for another urban camping adventure, this one at Floyd Bennett Field, which has been open to the public for camping for a few years now. They've had camping there for years but it used to be only open to youth groups, now they'll let any old riffraff in. Cool, I'm on my way! 

For a long time, I was actually a little doubtful about whether camping at Floyd Bennett Field would be all that nice. This division of the National Park Service's Gateway Recreation Area was originally a military air base, of course, and there's a lot of acreage that's covered in concrete. When I thought about camping there, I was imagining pitching a tent on the tarmac surrounding the big hangar where the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project is - not terribly appealing. Does anybody else remember an episode of Welcome Back Kotter where Kotter tried to take some of the Sweathogs camping, and something went wrong with the navigation or the car or both, and they ended up camping in a parking lot somewhere in the outskirts of the city with Kotter trying to pretend it was just fine? OK, maybe not THAT bad. But still, I just wasn't picturing anything really neat. 

However, last year a group of local kayak club folks did a camping trip there and a few of us just went for dinner with the campers (who were grilling, yum) after wrapping up an event at Sebago. Turns out that although there are indeed tarmac campsites, those are mostly for RV's, while the tent campsites are tucked into a green and pleasant wooded area nearby. Maybe not up to the level of the stunning NPS campsite at Ft. Wadsworth shown in this photo, but a perfectly nice place to go spend a few nights outdoors. Oh me of little faith, I should've known that my friend Ranger John's park would have a fine entry in the increasing selection of real live NYC camping experiences. I think this is my first camping trip since 2015. Been way too long

Curious about these urban campsites? Click here for more info. 

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