WBEZ | camping http://www.wbez.org/tags/camping Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Forest Preserve looks to revive camping in Cook County http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/forest-preserve-looks-revive-camping-cook-county-104972 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BD0A7378.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="General Superintendent Arnold Randall announced the masterplan Saturday at Camp Sullivan, one of the new campground sites promoted in the report. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County/Cristina Rutter)" /></p><p>Decades ago, camping was popular among patrons of Cook County&rsquo;s forest preserves. So popular, in fact, that a 1956 report by D.H. Burnham Jr. and Robert Kingery fretted about picnickers and campers who &ldquo;came and went wherever they pleased, littering the ground and marring the beauty and serenity of the woodlands.&rdquo;</p><p>The advent of the automobile had apparently unleashed the full clamor of human activity on the county&rsquo;s natural areas, prompting a 1929 committee to begin restricting recreational use. Outings for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were okay, but &ldquo;the prevailing practice of letting people build and own cabins in the public preserves was to be terminated.&rdquo;</p><p>Now the Forest Preserve District of Cook County is encouraging camping again with <a href="http://www.fpdcc.com/camping">a new campground masterplan</a>, which is meant to foster appreciation for the natural areas in Chicago&rsquo;s backyard &mdash; especially among those who now travel out of state for a taste of nature, or those who might not otherwise experience it at all.</p><p>&ldquo;Camping is one of those ways we&rsquo;ll get a whole new generation of environmentalists,&rdquo; said Arnold Randall, general superintendent of the Forest Preserve District. &ldquo;As well as a new generation of people interested in our Forest Preserves.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;There will be aggressive outreach to kids and families in Chicago who wouldn&rsquo;t otherwise go camping,&rdquo; Randall said Tuesday. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re not going to Michigan, and certainly not to Colorado or California.&rdquo;</p><p>The Forest Preserve&rsquo;s board of commissioners approved the masterplan Tuesday, but the process of drafting it started more than a year ago. After soliciting public feedback and convening focus groups, the District selected eight potential sites for camping.</p><p>They include three new sites &mdash; Shabonna Woods in South Holland; Bullfrog Lake / Pulaski Woods in Willow Springs; and Camp Pine Woods in Northbrook &mdash; and a revitalization of existing Camps Reinberg and Sullivan. The plan also calls for more modest investment in secondary sties at Camp Kiwanis and along the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers on the North Shore.</p><p>The plans are just concepts now. Architectural and engineering work will flesh out the actual site details &mdash; campsites won&rsquo;t be open until 2014 &mdash; but the goal is to make the programs revenue-neutral. The District will likely collect user fees and devote that money to maintaining the sites.</p></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 06:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/forest-preserve-looks-revive-camping-cook-county-104972 Occupy Chicago looking for place to set up camp http://www.wbez.org/story/occupy-chicago-looking-place-set-camp-93215 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-18/AP111003030082.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Organizers of the Occupy Chicago movement are looking for a place to set up tents and a make-shift headquarters as weather gets colder.</p><p>An Occupy Chicago spokesperson said Monday the group is looking for a permanent location where participants can stay and sleep as the protest continues.</p><p>Organizers have spent the past three weeks picketing in the Loop across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, but due to city municipal ordinances, are not allowed to make camp at the location. This weekend, the Chicago Police Department said they arrested 175 protestors who sat in Grant Park after closing hours.</p><p>"We are looking for a more permanent home," said Megan Goves, a press liaison for the Occupy movement.&nbsp;"That is what we were attempting to do on Saturday night."&nbsp;</p><p>Micah Philbrook, an Occupy Chicago organizer, said finding a site is essential as the number of protestors continues to grow.</p><p>"We want to have a tent city," said Philbrook. "We want to have a place that we can set up and start creating the change that we want to be in society, and so moving forward that's one of our main goals."</p><p>Philbrook said Grant Park would be an ideal location to camp, but that organizers are considering other downtown parks and even warehouses as potential sites. He said protesters will continue to assemble in front of downtown Chicago's Federal Reserve Bank with or without the camp site.</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 20:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/occupy-chicago-looking-place-set-camp-93215 What we mean when we say we go camping http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-10-13/what-we-mean-when-we-say-we-go-camping-93126 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-13/camping.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: left;">I know three people who have never gone camping in their entire lives, so this is for them. Maybe you’ve never been camping before either, in which case this is for you, in case you wanted to know what’s up with it.</p><p style="text-align: left;">When my husband and I were dating, he always talked about the two of us going camping together, which was a possibility I blew off with vague affirmations. “Oh yeah, sure, sometime...” It wasn’t that I was opposed to camping, but based on my experiences, it was a major hassle. Aside from a few overnights we’d take while I was in summer camp, I went on one serious camping trip in my youth, through the <a href="http://www.mcgawymca.org/">McGaw YMCA</a>. &nbsp;I was about 16 or so, and our group drove up to Canada, put in at the Wenebegon River, and camped for two weeks. The trip was lots of fun and I have some wonderful memories from it (like making pancakes one morning with wild blueberries on a tinyisland we stayed on) but I’ll also never forget how onerous it could be at times. &nbsp;Pooping in a hole in the ground and using leaves as toilet paper wasn’t even that bad, for instance--having to canoe from said blueberry island in order to take a poop on another island because the island we were staying on was too small to safely poop on (and falling out of the canoe on the way back) was an entirely different thing. Decontaminating water for giardia, unpacking and repacking the canoes each time we had to portage across a spot we couldn’t paddle: these were all parts of camping I wasn’t terribly anxious to revisit.<br> <br> “Oh no, it’s not like that,” Steve said, when I confessed my worries, and I didn’t quite believe him until he actually took me up to <a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/govdodge/">Governor Dodge State Park</a> the summer before we got married. &nbsp;He comes from a camping family, but the type where his parents owned a pop-up trailer, so they actually technically slept indoors when they camped, and had a stove, and used a shower.<br> <br> At Governor Dodge State Park, I was happy to realize that there actually are toilets and showers (although the showers aren’t really my favorite part. They’re a level of public showering that’s probably one or two steps more public than at your average mid-priced gym). No hole-digging required. Heading to and from the bathrooms is kind of pleasant because, like hiking, it’s one of those activities where human beings say hello to each other, as opposed to avoiding each others’ gaze (make sure you bring a flashlight, or even better yet, a hands-free one, if you need to make nighttime bathroom runs.)<br> <br> If you just go up for one weekend, which we do, it’s kind of like you’re playing house outside. Our first time up, we didn’t have a tent, so we actually slept in the back of our car. Since then we’ve purchased an air mattress, which I make up like a bed, so we’re not even really doing the sleeping bag routine: it’s like sleeping on a regular bed, only much closer to the outside (as for wildlife, it’s nothing worth being nervous about. I see chipmunks, one time on a hike I startled a snake, and we heard some coyotes howling last weekend although they weren’t nearby and I don’t believe coyotes are interested in entering human territory.)</p><p style="text-align: center;"><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000099" face="Arial"><u><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/6227870395_5d40406c8e.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Claire Zulkey)"></u></font></p><p style="text-align: left;">There is always the old fear of “What if I get murdered in my sleep?” but I soothe myself by thinking that a.) You need to check in and pay in order to camp at the Park, which I like to think provides some level of security b.) Dodgeville Wisc. is a small town out in the country, but it’s not scary rural. It’s not <em>Scream</em> middle-of-nowhere. &nbsp;In fact, before this year we didn’t know exactly the best way to make coffee while camping, so Steve would just drive off and get some for us from the gas station. c.) You can get murdered anywhere, anytime, just about.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Speaking of not being in the middle of nowhere, there is a Wal-Mart near the campsite. Say what you want about Wal-Mart, but I love this particular Wal-Mart. I get excited when I enter it just because I get very titillated when I’m near any shopping center where the possibilities are endless. I love how at WalMart you can get good produce, a huge hunk of Muenster cheese, something called Snoballimus, camping equipment, DVDs, a child’s bicycle, shoes, a rifle. So when we camp, we bring up some odds and ends from home, usually foods that we need to use anyway, but we always stop at the WalMart and load up our cooler with basics (cereal, milk) and ingredients for at least one al fresco feast. This year we did Polish sausage and corn and peppers on the fire, along with baked cinnamon apples. I find I like the routine of making s’mores more comforting than s’mores themselves, and in the end you just feel sick and then have all this chocolate and graham crackers and marshmallows that you have to figure out what to do with.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/2011-10-08_11-11-44_246.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 534px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Claire Zulkey)"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/2011-10-08_11-25-21_327.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 534px; float: right; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Claire Zulkey)">What do we do when we camp other than sleep and eat? Well, we drink beer (New Glarus, to be specific). But also, we walk (you could say “hike” but I think “hike” has unpleasant connotations, so let’s just say walk). We take <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zulkey/sets/72157627856518794/with/6228441750/">photos</a>. We swim, if the beach is open. And we read a lot.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/6228441206_f66188786d.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 332px; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Claire Zulkey)"><br> <br> <img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/6228432220_4bf60f6e0f.jpg" style="width: 332px; height: 500px; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Claire Zulkey)"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/6228437118_aaae7a1000.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 332px; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Claire Zulkey)"></p><p><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000099" face="Arial"><u><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/6228442564_baf4c5f50b.jpg" style="width: 332px; height: 500px; float: right; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Claire Zulkey)"></u></font>Also, we talk. This weekend I remembered how little time my husband and I spend together that’s not compromised in some way by company or computers or the TV. I think it’s good for the ol’ eyeballs to relax for a few days without looking at a screen or computer, but off in the distance at some trees or at the fire (the fire kind of becomes the de facto TV when you’re camping. It’s strangely hypnotic and we both obsess over it, whether it has enough fuel or air. &nbsp;I kinda love coming home and having my clothes and hair smell like campfire.) Also, ladies, I think it’s good to go a few days without wearing any makeup.</p><p>I know we’re not hardcore campers, obviously. We probably play at camping more than anything else, but I like to think of camping as our corporate retreat, only with way fewer dumb team-building exercises. Also, on the way up, we stop at <a href="http://ianspizza.com/">Ian’s Pizza</a> in Madison. There they have macaroni-and-cheese pizza, which is a good way to get me to do anything.</p></p> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 16:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-10-13/what-we-mean-when-we-say-we-go-camping-93126