My friend suggested we go hiking and camping this weekend, but I have none of the appropriate equipment. Is there anywhere in Manhattan where sleeping bags and tents can be rented?
- CSM

2004_08_ask_tent.jpg.jpgYes, you can rent tents and camping equipment at EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports), which has stores on Broadway (between Prince and Houston) and West 61st Street. Ask Gothamist rented camping gear from them with friends several years ago without any problem. Last summer, we tried to do it again but then there was this little blackout that happened just as we arrived at the store to pick up our tent. Stranded on Manhattan with no way to go camping, we ended up delaying our trip by a day. The next day, EMS was still not open... but Target was. Ask Gothamist ended up buying a tent and sleeping bags at Target for less than it cost to rent a tent for the weekend at EMS. Then we went camping, where we ran out of food, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and got rained on. So Ask Gothamist's tent has been stored away in a crumpled dirty heap, never to be used again. At any rate, with several Targets now easily accesible by subway in Brooklyn and Queens, it might be worth it for you to check out their tent selection. Hope your camping trip goes better than ours did!