Where are we Going?
It's July, and we're settling into a long, hot summer. What could be a more fun, more affordable, more Canadian summer getaway than camping? Whether you're roughing it in the backcountry of Banff or "glamping" with the comforts of a luxurious EXP cabin in Quebec, camping is a great way to enjoy our beautiful country. So dig out the camp stove and air out the sleeping bags, we're going camping this month.
Planes, Trains or Automobiles
Canada is a vast and varied country, and the camping possibilities are vast and varied as well. Every province and territory has something unique to offer, so many Canadians have the option of driving not too far from home for some quality time in the great outdoors. To find a campsite near you, visit Campgrounds of Canada, or locate a National Park campsite on the Parks Canada website.
Of course, sometimes it's more exciting to explore less familiar terrain, so you may wish to enlist the services of a camping tour company to discover a new area. For those people who'd love to get out of the big city and into the bigger wilderness, but don't have the gear or the experience to make it happen, there are companies like Ontario's Overhang Adventures. They offer a 3-Day Algonquin Park Intro to Camping adventure that includes an expert guide, activities, permits and fees, meals, and camping equipment rentals so you can concentrate on having fun.
However you arrive at your camping destination, there are plenty of opportunities to keep you moving once you do. For the more adventurous outdoorspeople, there are backpacking and hiking trips in Newfoundland, kayaking getaways on beautiful British Columbia's Quadra Island, fly-in fishing vacations to remote lakes in Northern Ontario, and canoeing tours in Northern Saskatchewan.
Home Away From Home
So you've decided to go camping, now you need to figure out where to pitch your tent (or park your trailer, or reserve your yurt). There are many campsites worth visiting in Canada -- we are truly spoiled for choice. Actually getting one of the more coveted spots can be tricky, however, so if you've got your heart set on a particular locale, you'll want to investigate early as to the reservation policies to avoid disappointment. For Parks Canada sites, you can view options and reserve spots online here, and most provinces have a similar system for provincial campgrounds.
If you're looking for inspiration there are plenty of campsite reviews and best-of lists available online. In the number one spot of Explore Magazine's The Top 25 Campsites in Canada you'll find the Green Point Campground in British Columbia's Pacific Rim National Park. This park is home to the beautiful 22-kilometre Long Beach and the nearby town of Tofino draws surfers looking for the best of the Pacific Northwest's waves. The Columbia Icefield Campground in Alberta's Jasper National Park also makes the top-ten of Explore's list, thanks to the world-class hiking, majestic scenery, and tranquil tent-only camping you'll find there.
With its ancient mountainous landscape, extensive trails, and 235 campsites, Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland makes the top-ten cut of the Toronto Sun's list of best places to camp in Canada. As does Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario with its approximately 250 species of birds and inviting landscape for hikers and canoeists and Manitoba's Grand Beach Provincial Park with its beautiful white sand beach.
CampingTourist.com gives props to Saskatchewan's Prince Albert National Park where campers can spot bears, moose, and foxes, not to mention impressive displays of the northern lights, and Cape Breton Highlands National Park also makes the grade with its rare orchids, whale-watching opportunities, and 100-foot high Beulach Ban Falls.
Of course, in addition to deciding on a camping location, you'll also need to decide on a camping shelter. You can roll with the classic and affordable tent option, upgrade to a lightweight tent trailer, enjoy the comforts of an RV with amenities like a shower and a refrigerator, or go for something more unique like these suspended spherical treehouses on Vancouver Island.