Sparking memories with tent nostalgia

Today’s post comes from Rachel DeGreef, Project and Communications Assistant with Ontario Parks. 

We can all agree that the smell of a campfire and fresh pine can bring us back to our fondest camping memories.

Science tells us that olfactory senses are the strongest memories we have. John Leadston, Project Manager at Arrowhead Provincial Park, shares that “the smell of that canvas [tent] takes me back to a place I would return to in a heartbeat.”

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How to start your campfire when the weather won’t cooperate

Picture this: you’re on your way back to your campsite after an awesome day of exploration. You’ve kayaked all through the park’s network of lakes. You’ve conquered the lookout trail.

But now the sun’s starting to sink. The wind’s picked up and it’s getting chilly. You feel the first drop of rain.

It’s a full drizzle by time you reach your campsite. You’re tired and hungry.

But do you know how to start a campfire in windy, wet weather?

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Stop bears from snacking on your food

Good news, campers! Our parks are implementing new ways to deter bears and other wild critters from making off with your dinner.

Read about which parks offer bear-resistant storage containers and how you can use them during your trips.

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How to get a good night’s sleep while camping

Worried about how restful it is sleeping outside?

Studies show sleeping away from artificial light and waking up with natural sunlight can reset your circadian rhythm which will help you feel refreshed after a better night’s sleep.

But to get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to stay warm, dry and comfortable.

Here are some tips for comfy sleeping while car camping:

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Group camping reservations now online

Did you know you can book a group campsite online? Twelve parks in southwestern Ontario are participating in a pilot project aimed at making group camping easier.

You can reserve group sites at these 12 parks through our central call centre service or online as easily as you would a regular car camping site.

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The Sharma family learns to camp

In today’s post, Ankita Sharma shares her family’s camping experience with the Learn to Camp program.

Last summer, I convinced my Indian family of five to go camping at Emily Provincial Park.

The Sharmas have never been camping before, but suddenly here we are, standing at our campsite.

My father looks at me and asks, “Where have you brought us?”

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Learn to Camp 2017 recap

This seasonal recap is brought to you by our amazing team of Learn to Camp leaders!

As Learn to Camp leaders, we introduce thousands of Ontarians to camping every year.

We may be slightly biased, but we’re pretty sure this is one of the best jobs at Ontario Parks!

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Genius-level camp gear

Do you sneak a peek at other campers’ set-ups when you walk by? You’ve likely seen some impressive outdoor arrangements – everything from the impeccable glamper pouring himself an espresso with crema, to multi-family groups playing cards by lantern-light under a finely rigged tarp city.

That’s the beauty of camping: you get to decide what kind of camper you want to be. Part of what makes each camping trip feel like a mini-adventure is figuring out what to pack.

To get you ready for your 2017 camping season, we chatted with our friends at MEC, who shared six of the most interesting camping products to jazz up your campsite.

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How to survive an unplugged camping trip

In today’s post, Senior Marketing Specialist Sheila Wiebe shares advice on how to completely power down (pain-free!) on your next camping adventure.

Seasoned backcountry country campers: this article is not intended for you (though you might find it funny). We’re talking to front-country and car campers in this one.

When researching this topic, I realized there are lots of articles about alternative power sources when camping on a non-electrical site.

But did you know that you can actually camp/ live comfortably without electrical power?!

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