One of the joys of summer in Canada is camping trips. We were lucky enough to have 4 days recently in the Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend Ontario. We had s’mores and percolator coffee which seem to be camping only treats for us. We canoed on the river where we saw tons of birds, fish and turtles (including a giant gold fish which was really odd). We hiked to the beach where we collected pebbles for pebble art and bravely waded in to the 6 degree water!
All in all we had a great time on our trip and we came home feeling like we had been away for weeks instead of days. We made tons of family memories, tried new things for the (Al went canoeing for the first time!) and had lots of together time with no screens in sight. It was magical!
It was so much fun that I thought I would put together a set of resources for planning camping trips for anyone looking to have a great inexpensive family vacation.
Camping can be miserable if you don’t have the right gear, but there are now companies that rent out entire camping outfits as well as places like MEC (if you are lucky enough to be near one) that rent out everything from camping basics like tents and sleeping bags to amazing options like kayaks! Simply google "MEC gear rentals" to see what is available in your area. The other option is to borrow gear (or simple book joint trips with more experienced campers!). Most people have at least some of the gear required and if you ask nicely, take good care of their gear and return it afterwards they are happy to lend out what they have.
Camping in national and provincial parks no longer means having to sleep in a tent either. In many parks there are more luxurious options like yurts and cabins that you can rent. If you are getting older (like me!) it can make a huge difference in how enjoyable your camping trip is to save your back by sleeping in a real bed. However it can be hard to find a campsite late in the season if you’ve left things a bit to the last minute. Here is an excellent article on how to find sites! If you are flexible about where you want to go and what camping adventures you are up for you can often get a site even at the last minute.
I hope this was helpful and got you thinking about planning your own camping adventure!