Know Before You Go Camping in British Columbia.  Looking to find winter camping?

General FAQs

What is dry camping? >>

Dry camping, also called camping ‘off the grid’, refers to camping in an RV with no hookups to electricity, water and toilet/sewer services. Campers rely on the RV’s built-in features such as propane tank, batteries, refrigeration, freshwater storage and waste holding tanks; portable generators are often used as are systems to harness solar energy. Dry campers may set up on public and private lands, with the permission of the land holder/owner. This includes crown land and recreation sites, some spots in national and provincial parks, and beaches and back roads. When dry camping it is especially important to be prepared, self-reliant and to clean up as you go and leave no trace.

Can you talk on a mobile phone while driving in British Columbia? >>

Talking, typing, texting or dialling on a handheld cell phone or any handheld portable electronic device while driving is banned in BC. This includes handheld GPS navigation systems. If a driver does use such a device, they will be subject to a $368 fine and four driver penalty points.

If you must use a cell phone or GPS navigational device, make sure it is hands-free, or only requires one-touch activation. For more information, visit the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia’s (ICBC) webpage on distracted driving.

What are the road conditions like in British Columbia? >>

British Columbia has a varied landscape (including coasts, mountains plus arid and dry areas) and these vast changes in scenery can indicate variations in road conditions. Rock falls in mountain passes can occur, summer snowstorms and wildfires and poor visibility can quickly lead to road closures. Here are a few websites to check road status and conditions in BC:

What type of fuel can be found at gas stations and where can propane be purchased? >>

All common fuels, including leaded and unleaded gasoline and diesel, are available at service stations in British Columbia. Fuel is sold in litres. Propane is available at many gas stations throughout the province. The Canadian Propane Association has a propane fuelling station locator webpage.

Common gas stations in BC are:

1 Canadian gallon = 4.5 litres
1 US gallon = 3.78 litres

How do I find campgrounds in British Columbia? >>

Internet resources: The Camping and RVing BC Coalition has taken camping trip planning to a new level with our online Google map that plots over 1,100 campgrounds, including private campgrounds and RV parks, Parks Canada national campgrounds, BC Parks campgrounds and recreation sites. The Camping Map allows users to search by keyword searches, campgrounds or by city names and provides driving directions available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. To start planning your British Columbia camping trip click HERE.

Print/Web magazines and online information: There are excellent print and online resources for camping and RVing tips, stories, listings, reviews and more. Camping magazines/guides and information can be found at camping, sporting and lifestyle stores and shows. Below are some links to help you on your journey. Be sure to refer to our helpful Tips section for camping advice.

Network: One of the best ways to find that perfect camping spot is to reach out and connect with other campers. You can do this in person at a campsite or via an online platform, of which there are many. Ask other individuals, couples or families similar to you/your own family where they go. Word-of-mouth may be more virtual nowadays, but it often gets the desired end-result.

What are the campgrounds like in British Columbia? >>

There are 4 main types of campgrounds in BC:

  • BC Parks Provincial Parks: Provincial parks are protected areas and are managed and maintained by BC Parks, an agency of the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Most of the campgrounds located within provincial parks are semi-rustic; some have electrical hookups, and only a few have water hookups. The majority of the campgrounds have potable water taps. BC Parks’ online reservation system is called Discover Camping.
  • Parks Canada National Parks: There are seven national parks in British Columbia, all of which are managed by Parks Canada, an agency of the Government of Canada. Campgrounds located in these parks vary from rustic to semi-rustic. The online reservation system is available in both French and English.
  • Private Campgrounds & RV Parks: Privately owned and operated, many of these campgrounds offer a range of campsites from limited services to partial and full services. To locate private campgrounds visit our interactive Camping Map and select ‘Private Camping & RV’ or use our Camping Search webpage.
  • Recreation Sites: The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development maintains more than 1,200 recreation campsites under the Recreation Sites and Trails BC program. Recreation sites provide a rustic experience for campers and are generally located in remote, off-the-beaten-path areas and have basic facilities such as fire rings, picnic tables and outhouses. Visit Recreation Sites and Trails BC for more information.

What are the fishing regulations in British Columbia? >>

Separate recreational licences are required for tidal (saltwater/shellfish) and non-tidal (freshwater) fishing.

  • To obtain a tidal licence online, visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada webpage for recreational licensing information.
  • To obtain a non-tidal fishing license online, visit the BC government’s webpage for a recreational freshwater fishing licence.

Both types of licences can be purchased at sporting goods stores and other fishing retailers, as well as most government agents’ offices throughout the province. A specific licence is required for fishing at national parks and can be purchased at the headquarters of each site. Those under the age of 16 may fish in national parks without a permit if accompanied by a national park permit holder 16 years of age or older.

When are the statutory holidays in British Columbia? >>

New Year’s Day – January 1st

Family Day – The Third Monday in February

Good Friday – March or April – check calendar

Easter Monday – March or April – check calendar

Victoria Day – Third Monday in May

Canada Day – July 1st

BC Day – First Monday in August

Labour Day – First Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day – Second Monday in October

Remembrance Day – November 11th

Christmas Day – December 25th

Boxing Day – December 26th

How can I interact with or view wildlife in British Columbia? >>

BC is home to a vast assortment of wildlife, including birds, whales, bears, moose, elk and mountain goats. Some popular areas for wildlife and bird watching have specialized viewing platforms or offer viewing tours by boat or by land. There are also animal and bird sanctuaries and wildlife management areas and wetlands in the province.

It is important to respect the environment and to minimize any impact on natural habitats. Visitors should exercise caution when interacting with wildlife; animals should be viewed only from a distance and should not be fed. When camping, it is important to be bear-safe as the province is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. BC Parks has a webpage on staying safe in bear country. For more information, visit our webpage dedicated to wildlife viewing in British Columbia.