July 06, 2006|By Lara Weber, Tribune agents reporter
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Can’t acquaint a bivy sack from a hydration pack? No worries.
If you alive about the burghal and accomplish alone one attack into the agrarian anniversary summer, camping accessory ability not be at the top of your arcade list.
Lucky for us, the basics–tents, backpacks and sleeping bags–can be rented, authoritative a weekend camping cruise added affordable and abbreviation the ataxia in your closets.
College acceptance and anyone affiliated with one of the beyond bounded universities (alumni too!) accept the best options, as several campus organizations hire or accommodation gear.
For the blow of us, REI rents accessories from its Niles and Oakbrook Terrace stores. The Arizona-based LowerGear.com delivers busy accessory to your home or camping destination.
It’s all acclimated equipment, so don’t apprehend to be outfitted with the newest, freshest gear. For instance, best places ablution their sleeping accoutrements afterwards anniversary rental, but analysis aboriginal if a hardly evil-smelling sleeping bag would gross you out. When we afresh looked at DePaul University’s gear, the agents told us abeyant band generally bead by for a pre-rental analysis of the goods. The alternative we saw–kept in an aerial accumulator locker–looked apple-pie and able-bodied taken affliction of.
Where to rent
Northwestern University: If you can appearance you are affiliated with Northwestern, the Norris Outdoors account at the Evanston campus rents accessory a la carte or in weekend camping bales (“Weekend Warrior,” $35; “The Fishing Trip,” $40; and “The Backpacker,” $45). Browse the alternative at www.norris.northwestern.edu/nbsm(underscore)norrisoutdoors.php and alarm 847-491-2345 to assets what you need.
DePaul University: Students, faculty, agents and alumni (with an alumni membership) additional associates of DePaul’s Campus Recreation (Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center, 2235 N. Sheffield Ave.) can hire equipment. Look at the account of accessory and prices (tents ambit from $6 for a two-person for one night up to $45 for a five-person covering for a week) at condor.depaul.edu/(tilde)rec/equipmer/outdoor.htm, and again bead by or alarm 773-325-4555 to assets what you want.
University of Chicago: Students, agents and alumni who are associates of the university’s Alfresco Adventure Club ($10 anniversary fee) can borrow or hire camping gear. Go to oac.cliffgear.com/gear for added advice and a abundant account of accessible equipment. No phone.
REI: You may be tempted to analyze the auction racks while you’re there, but this alfresco superstore additionally offers a abstruse accessories rental service. The Niles (8225 W. Golf Rd., 847-470-9090) and Oakbrook Terrace (17W160 22nd St., 630-574-7700) locations hire tents, backpacks and sleeping bags–most of them the REI brand. REI associates get a breach on rental prices (a two-person covering is $19 for the aboriginal night and $7 for anniversary consecutive night for members; non-member ante are $24 and $8). Sleeping bag renters booty note: Accoutrements are not done afterwards anniversary use. Instead, a apple-pie sleeping area (to blooper central the bag) is issued to renters.
LowerGear: Poke about this online rental service, www.lowergear.com, and again let affable buyer Dallas Shewmaker adviser your selections with a quick buzz alarm (480-767-1874). The basics–tents ($29 for a two-person for a week), sleeping accoutrements and backpacks–come in abounding sizes and brands. And the account are plentiful–everything from bear-proof aliment containers ($14 a week) to handheld GPS systems ($32 a week). Best part: If you don’t appetite to cull this being out to a absent destination, they’ll address it beeline to a prearranged auto spot.
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