Coleman® Gear Library - NEW!
Let us help you get equipped for your next adventure! Coleman® equipment is available to rent to the public through the Coleman® Gear Library.
Available items include:
- kitchen kits
- cold weather gear
- and more to help you enjoy the outdoors
Rentals will begin the week of August 22nd, 2022.
Camp under the stars with the Chicago Park District. Learn basic camping principles, take a nature hike and enjoy an evening around the campfire led by our expert camping staff. At night campers will enjoy hot dogs and s’mores over the fire, and a light breakfast in the morning. A family should include at least one child and one adult, and up to six family members. A parent or caregiver must participate. A packing list will be sent with your receipt.
Camping begins on Saturday at 2 pm, and ends Sunday at 11 am.
Cost is $50 for a family of up to 6 members and includes use of camping & programming equipment, hot dogs, s’mores and a light breakfast.
Online registration begins one month prior to the program start date.
2022 Family Camping Dates
- Family Camping at Burnham Wildlife Corridor
Saturday, August 27th, 2 pm – Sunday, August 28th, 11 am
- Family Camping at Northerly Island
Saturday, September 10th, 2 pm – Sunday, September 11th, 11 am
Online registration begins Wednesday, August 10th, 9 am
- Family Camping at Big Marsh
Saturday, September 17th, 2 pm – Sunday, September 18th, 11 am
Online registration begins Wednesday, August 17th, 9 am
- Family Camping at Northerly Island
Saturday, September 24th, 2 pm – Sunday, September 25th, 11 am
Online registration begins Wednesday, August 24th, 9 am
This week-long program introduces youth, ages 9-12, to local nature through camping. Monday through Wednesday, Campers participate in adventures like hiking, fishing, nature exploration, and fun group games at their local park. The highlight of the week is a campout Thursday morning to Friday morning where campers set up their own tents, cook over a campfire, roast marshmallows, and camp under stars in a local park.
Meets Monday through Wednesday from 10 am - 2 pm, and Thursday from 10 am to Friday at 10 am.
2022 Urban Campers Dates
- Urban Campers at Gompers
Monday, July 11th - Wednesday, July 13th, 10 am – 2 pm
Thursday, July 14th, 10 am – Friday, July 15th, 10 am
- Urban Campers at Northerly Island
Monday, July 18th - Wednesday, July 20th, 10 am – 2 pm
Thursday, July 20th, 10 am – Friday, July 21st, 10 am
- Urban Campers at Big Marsh
Monday, July 25th - Wednesday, July 27th, 10 am – 2 pm
Thursday, July 28th, 10 am – Friday, July 29th, 10 am
- Urban Campers at Washington
Monday, August 1st - Wednesday, August 3rd, 10 am – 2 pm
Thursday, August 4th, 10 am – Friday, August 5th, 10 am
Under Illinois Skies
This week-long program is for youth ages 10-13. At their local park on Monday through Thursday, campers will play team-building games, explore nature and get ready to adventure for a Friday night camping experience at a historic park. On the campout, campers will set up their tents, cook over a fire and roast marshmallows!
Meets Monday - Thursday from 10 am - 2 pm, and from 10 am on Friday to 10 am on Saturday.
2022 Under Illinois Skies Dates
- Under Illinois Skies at Oz Park
Monday, August 15th - Thursday, August 18th, 10 am – 2 pm
Friday, August 19th, 10 am – Friday, August 20th, 10 am
Level up your camping skills with free camping workshops! Learn about choosing and using gear, gear repair, camping in all weather, making tasty camp food and more. Workshops are free, but registration is requested to ensure adequate supplies for all participants.
- Camping Basics, Northerly Island Park
Thursday, November 17th, 2022, 5 pm – 8 pm
ChicaGO Explorers Gear Library – Group Rentals
The Chicago Explorers Gear Library is free for groups serving youth in Chicago. Support by the Chicago Explorers Program includes Front Country Leadership Training, free access to camping gear through the Chicago Explorers Gear Library, and support in training and implementing outdoor adventure recreation programming. The Chicago Explorers Front Country Leadership Training introduces youth leaders to proper gear use, planning outdoor programming, keeping youth safe outdoors, and local nature resources. Completion of the Front Country Leadership Training is required to rent gear from the Chicago Explorers Gear Library. Participants must be part of an organization that leads youth outdoor activities.
Chicago Explorers Front Country Leadership (FLT) Training at Northerly Island
The ChicaGO Explorers Front Country Leadership (FLT) training is designed for local community leaders and organizations to guide youth on hiking and camping excursions. The overnight training course includes instruction in leadership skills, camp equipment use and care, and group activities related to outdoor recreation and nature-based education. Once leaders are FLT certified, they will be able to check out camping and hiking equipment, making it easier for youth to have a positive experience in the outdoors. When youth are properly outfitted with boots, socks, hats, coats, tents, sleeping bags, etc. and leaders are confident in their ability to facilitate outdoor trips, hiking and camping can help create significant memories, friendships, confidence, and abilities that last a lifetime.
2022 Training Dates:
- Fall Front Country Leadership Training
Saturday, October 16 -17, 2022
All camping gear and food will be provided. Participants must be part of an organization that leads youth outdoor activities.
Registration opens Tuesday, September 6, 2022
For questions, contact Elizabeth.Holley@chicagoparkdisdtrict.com.
The Chicago Park District Camping Team presents this series of videos showcasing ways to enjoy a great outdoor adventure with friends and family. Enjoy!
Campfire Safety Tips & Story (8:34 minutes)
How to Set-up a Great Camp Kitchen (6:26 minutes
The Ultimate Campout (6:29 minutes
How to Prepare for a Great Family Hike (4:55 minutes