“A few years ago I went on a particularly awful camping trip,” says Michael D’Agostino. “My wife and I got the last slot at a packed campsite in the Catskillsand ended up being next to the bathrooms. Along with people passing through our campsite to use the facilities, a group of Wiccans was throwing a wild party that lasted all night. The next morning, exhausted, we packed up our car 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 drive back we passed a beautiful field and I thought, ‘I wish I could camp there.’ ”
It was that fateful camping trip that inspired D’Agostino to leave his job at the New York Stock Exchange to launch Tentrr, a company that provides fully-equipped, bespoke campsites on remote pieces of private property. Now into its third year, the company offers dozens of turn-key glampsites (each of which boasts a large canvas tent with a wooden platform and queen-size bed, among other creature comforts) in the northeast, and has just launched an app to make booking (and finding) its far-flung locations easier. “We wanted to make enjoying the outdoors as easy as getting an Uber or Lyft to the airport,” explains D’Agostino. “Not only is camping something that everybody can enjoy, it’s also something everybody should do for their mental and physical well-being. Being outdoors has phenomenal benefits—breathing fresh air, turning off your screen, and relaxing. There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire and staring up at thousands of stars.”
Here, D’Agostino shares three tips for making the most out of your next camping trip—even if you previously thought you were not the camping type.
Think beyond baked beans
While hot dogs and basic burgers may be classic camping fare, D’Agostino recommends stepping it up a notch. “Go a bit out of your way to cook something special over the fire. Don’t be afraid to try making steak or fish—I’ve had some of my best meals while camping.” He says you can make dumplings, cookies, and even clams.
Live like a local
As is usually the case, enjoying a new place usually means discovering the inside track. “Locals can give you tips on the best swimming holes, bike trails, and picnic spots,” D’Agostino says. “Strike up a conversation with a local at a coffee shop or grocery store and ask them where their favorite spots are.”
Indulge in small luxuries
The whole point of camping may be to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the finer things along the way—that’s the beauty of glamping, right? “One of my favorite things to do while camping is to grab a bottle of wine, hike up to the top of a hill, and watch the sunset,” D’Agostino says.