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We all have seen the effects of the post-covid outdoors activity explosion. Campgrounds are more crowded, dispersed spots are a gamble and bad behavior of neighboring campers makes one question where to find peace and quiet in the outdoors.

I have one word for you. Hipcamp. No, it’s not a hippie campground or a hipster gathering. “Hipcamp is an online marketplace company that offers outdoor stays and camping experiences via a website and mobile app,” according to the company’s website. This is what makes it a game changer- you can filter your search to find exactly what you want. Pet-friendly? Hot tub? Private? Close to town? I also love the fact that you get to chat with the owners of the property thru the app- you will know just what to expect and can ask the questions that you need to.

We recently stayed at the Rockford Ski Club for a Rigs & Coffee campout and loved it. There is some history here for me personally (mostly of the teenage delinquent trespassing variety) and it was so nice to camp within 20 minutes of home. There are no facilities (BYO potty & water) but there is firewood for sale and access to the Kishwaukee River. There were nine of us camping comfortably in a space that could have accommodated twice as many campers, and there is more camping further in. The property has hiking trails, is adjacent to a forest preserve and just a few minutes from mountain biking and kayaking put-ins. There was some noise from the airport and freeway, but the crickets and frogs lulled us to sleep under the stars. I definitely recommend this place for a quick getaway close to the Chicago suburbs or for a group outing.

The demand for a private, curated camping experience is growing. Try it and save $10 with this Hipcamp link or use code CINDYP5A6F53.

“Hipcamp is the most comprehensive resource for unique outdoor stays. Discover and book tent camping, RV parks, cabins, treehouses, and glamping—everywhere from national parks to blueberry farms.”

-Cindy Pope 9/5/2022