Fuss-free ways to try camping

Camping is part of Canadian culture, right up there with plaid shirts and maple syrup. But if you haven’t tried it before, that first trip can be a bit daunting. Even visiting an outdoor outfitting store can be intimidating – with so many options for tents, sleeping bags, cookstoves and endless other gadgets, where does a new camper even begin?

First, it’s important to know that you don’t have to make a big investment in gear to give camping a try. One of the great outcomes of a recent camping boom is that campgrounds have recognized there are many types of campers and they have adjusted offerings to provide many different types of camping experiences.

A great way to get started without buying a ton of gear is to look for campgrounds that offer cabins, yurts or other tent-alternatives. There’s a lot of variety out there – some include all the amenities of home, while for others, you might still need to pack a few things (sheets, towels, etc.). It’s a good idea to check with the campground to confirm what’s provided and what you’re expected to bring.

Don’t forget there are many more options out there beyond national and provincial parks. Private campgrounds often get overlooked and may have availability for last-minute stays and short-term stays during weekdays. Parkbridge is one campground operator that has locations across Canada, including ready-to-camp cabins and yurts at many of its locations.

RV camping has also seen a huge increase in popularity since the start of the pandemic. But, again, there are great ways to try before you buy. Several online services now make it easy to rent a trailer or RV. You can often have them delivered right to your campsite, so you don’t even have to worry about towing (or parking) a trailer. Usually, a rental trailer will also come packed with much of what you need for a great getaway.

Whatever you’re looking for – from ultra-luxe glamping to a rustic retreat – affordable options are out there. There’s never been a better time to give this great Canadian pastime a try.

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