Home Camping & Hiking Pandemic results in a rise in tenting

Pandemic results in a rise in tenting

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WAUPACA, Wisconsin (WBAY) — If you’ve been spending more time outdoors over the past two years due to the pandemic, you’re not alone

A Wisconsin-based tour guide company that specializes in outdoor adventures says it’s never been busier.

On 40 acres outside of Waupaca, NOW Outdoors hosted a winter camping workshop last month, offering year-round camping, backpacking and paddling adventures throughout the Midwest.

More than 30 beginners, ranging in age from 20 to 70, came together that weekend, men and women evenly distributed and almost all with a common theme.

“Most people come on these trips alone, they have spouses or kids or siblings or friends who just don’t want to do these things, whether it’s winter camping or even summer stuff, so it’s a great way to just meet other outdoor enthusiasts.” and a connection of sorts,” says Nick Gordon, owner of NOW Outdoors

Gordon started his guiding business in 2010 and says the last two years have been the busiest he has ever seen.

“When the state closed, when the country and the world closed, I think a lot of people felt kind of stuck at home and we’re social beings, we want to get out and do things and be around people,” he explains to Gordon.

Over the weekend, campers learn the ins and outs of having the right gear and how to use fire as a tool to keep warm, dry off and cook food.

Gordon says starting with experts is a smart way to go.

“When you are around people who know more than you, you learn a lot faster and avoid a lot of mishaps. We try to help people to be further, longer and safer out there, we offer wilderness first aid courses and if you are a hunter and want to go further into the forest without so much gear with you to guide we want to help you with that, if you want to start paddling, if you want to take your kids camping and make sure they have a really good time, come on our trips and we’ll help you do that Confidence and the skills to gain it do that really well,” says Gordon.

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