Gift ideas for outdoor-lovers

Looking for gift ideas for outdoor- lovers? Ontario Parks’ staff and corporate partners, Coleman, Bushnell and MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) have provided us with some suggestions based on the types of people who visit Ontario Parks. Typically, they are young family campers, adventure travelers, first-time visitors and mature travelers.

Shop online at the Park Store and you’ll find these attractive park toques and fleece blankets. Seasonal and Annual Day Passes and gift certificates can also be purchased through our online store. Passes range from $70-150.50 (including HST). Gift certificates come in $20 denominations.

Kids who like to camp in the summer would love a winter yurt adventure. Yurts are circular tents with platform floors. Incredibly cozy in winter after a day in the park, each is equipped with wood, electric or propane heat and light, a dining and sitting area and bunk beds that can sleep up to six. Personal gas BBQs and fire pits come with each yurt campsite. MacGregor Point on Lake Huron is a popular winter hang-out for young families. Besides yurt accommodation, there’s lots of stuff to do. A skate path that winds through the woods is lit at night. There are also cross country ski and snowshoe trails. Other Ontario Parks have winter yurt accommodation too. For a list, see Roofed Accommodation. To book a winter yurt getaway, log onto OntarioParks.com

One of the best things about the new Learn to Camp program is trying out the cool camping equipment provided by Coleman, one of Ontario Parks’ corporate partners. Learn to Camp is aimed at those who’ve never camped but would like to try. It was so successful in 2011 that in 2012, it will expand to more parks across Ontario. We love this Coleman dishware and cutlery kit. We also like Coleman’s Portable Propane Coffee Maker and new Quad Lantern. All three come in festive red.

Bushnell is another of Ontario Parks’ corporate partners. We found this North Star Telescope on the Bushnell web site. Perfect for budding park astronomers, it has computer-driven tracking location and tracking ability and a built-in database of 20,000 celestial objects. If it’s out of your snack bracket, check out these Bushnell waterproof binoculars Reasonably priced, they’re tough enough to endure heavy family use.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is also a proud supporter of Ontario Parks. MEC suggests the MEC Camper 4 Tent for camper families. The tent is wind-stable with a crossed pole shape. It sleeps four and is a great way to get the whole family into backpacking without breaking the bank. We also liked MEC’s Primus Profile Stove. It cranks up to 12,000 BTU so hungry campers don’t have to wait long to be fed.