Being totally new to camping, there are a couple of things that I was told to do, and some things I wish I had done. The following is just my thoughts as to what is necessary for camping in Canada.
The Initial Challenge
The biggest problem with Canada is that the land is far too big for the population. This makes it hard for businesses to exist as there just isn’t enough demand to make things feasible. This is particularly true when it comes to transportation. With Bruce Peninsula being 4 hours away by car, we had a difficult time finding a means of getting there. The purpose of a vehicle would only be for getting us there and back. We wouldn’t need it in between; in fact, it just adds to the costs since we’d have to park there. However, asking someone to take us there and drive back twice would equate to 16 hours of driving and so I was able to get the car from the family.
Booking the site
For those who don’t know, I’m a very last minute type of person. Even with Asia, I would be booking my flights a week prior or in some cases, like with Taiwan. There are many problems that come with doing that and in this case, days that you originally had planned ended up being booked out. Truthfully, I didn’t expect it to happen as we were planning to only do weekdays (Monday – Wednesday), however I got a text from my friend a week prior that the Tuesday night was completely booked up. I guess to complement my last minute-ness, I’m very flexible and so we just looked at how we could work around it. Luckily for us, there were two nights open if we did Sunday – Tuesday; one night in front country and another in the backcountry.
There are many spots in the front country but as many in the back so make sure you book early on!
Packing for a two night trip
How you pack for camping is very dependent on what type of camping you plan on doing. Will you be doing frontcountry camping or backcountry? (For those who aren’t too sure what the difference is, here you go!)
With frontcountry, you have easy access to your car and therefore you can bring everything you want with you. In fact, the frontcountry at Bruce Peninsula has the cars right next to the campsite. We ended up backing right in and setting up tent (or what became our tent) within 10 steps from the car. So if you were only doing frontcountry, bring whatever you want and leave it in the trunk! We sure took advantage of it. Leaving all the water in the trunk and most of our bags giving us ample space in the tent to place out our snacks.
Our second night at Bruce Peninsula was backcountry. The location was called Stormhaven which was approximately a 5km walk from the parking lot. With that kind of distance, the amount you would bring is pretty much limited to however much you can carry in your backpack. For us, we only carried the essentials (tent, sleeping bag, water, food and flashlight) and left all the bonuses (unhealthy snacks, extra clothing). When I redo this type of backcountry camping, I’d make sure we have one sleeping bag / person, the tent, 3L of water / person / day and food. If there is space, bring the extra clothes, but remember, unless you’re going to get really dirty, you’re just bringing extra weight.
So now that I’ve covered all the essentials, let’s go onto the actual first time experience! But as always, if you think there is something else that I failed to mention, leave a comment!