You, too, can be a happy camper!

When hotel continental breakfasts, chlorine pools and trips to see Great Aunt Sophie and her cats have lost their appeal, it’s time to revitalize your summer vacation plans. Make this the year to try something new! Get away from the city hustle and get back to nature. How about camping?

What’s your vacation destination?

Just like any other trip, you need to consider what kind of vacation you’d like to experience. Whether its adventure, culture, family fun, history or simply rest and relaxation, Ontario’s provincial parks have what you are looking for. Many provincial parks cater to first-time campers, with a wide range of amenities such as electrical sites, hot showers, laundromats and park store. The 2007 Ontario Parks guide provides an overview of individual provincial parks and their features.

What to pack

Keep it simple! The beauty of camping is that you can choose the kind of supplies you’ll need, based on your type of trip. Consider your preferences for shelter, food, and activities. If you plan on cooking a turkey dinner with all the fixin’s rather than wieners over a campfire, you may need more equipment. Here’s a checklist to get started.

You’ve arrived! Now what?

You’ve set up, unpacked and settled in. Yep, you’re camping. With nothing but free time, you can explore the many activities available at Ontario Parks. Here are just a few of the highlights:
– Take a hike
– Try your luck at fishing
– Swim at the sandy beaches
– Visit the playgrounds, picnic areas and sports fields
– Rent a canoe, boat or kayak
– Take part in educational programs
– Check out the Visitor Centre
– Catch a glimpse of wildlife on the trails
– Go biking on bicycle path

There are endless ways to spend your days. If you don’t want to invest in a lot of camping gear, many parks have equipment rentals. Check the 2007 Parks Guide for specific park information, and don’t forget about evenings. Some parks offer evening programs such as Owls Prowls, Wolf Howls and guided hikes. Of course, campfires with s’mores, games, and songs are a great way to end a fun-filled day.

So grab your gear, pack your sense of adventure and go camping this summer!