How many times have you tried something, which afterwards, you wished you could have only sampled it before jumping in? I have plenty of times. Negative results leave a bad taste that is tough to erase. When a new endeavor involves investing not only time, but money as well, thorough research sure helps in weeding out a majority of the bad stuff. For those folks that are considering camping for the first time, or want a night or two of sleeping under the stars, but have no camping gear on hand, "test driving" camping is available. Most state parks and private campgrounds offer rent-a-camps.
Rent-a-camps come in a range of set ups and price ranges. The basic rent-a-camp comes already setup and includes a tent, cots and sleeping pads (renter must provide sleeping bag and/or blankets), cooler, camp lantern and camp stove. To complete the campsite set is a picnic table and fire ring.
The tent is usually set on a wooden platform and some platforms include a roof. Other rent-a-camps offer yurts, a round, canvas structure with canvas roof, anchored to a wooden floor. Yurts set ups often include a mini-fridge and table and chairs, and a few even sports an air conditioner, running water, and microwave. Yurts are considered a pampered means of camping — for some though, at least a yurt adventure provides an outdoor escape.
For those researching camping, a rent-a-camp allows a person to explore the experience without an initial investment in gear. See what they like or dislike about a tent design, camp lighting and cooking, and what gear items would improve his or her next camping trip on their own.