Whether you’re a seasoned RVer or new to tent camping, being prepared and camping with care while exploring the outdoors is something we should all strive for, and in order to make your getaway a comfortable one it helps to know what you’re doing and have the proper gear.
Camping and RVing does become easier with experience but one can never predict nature’s elements and prep and packing checklists are always essential.
To help you to have the trip you hoped for, the Camping and RVing British Columbia Coalition has assembled various camping tips.
British Columbia has campsite options for all types of campers – from ‘glampers’ wanting full-service waterside resorts to outdoor enthusiasts seeking to tour the mountains. Need help finding a suitable campground? Visit our camping map to search out the location from which you’d like to start your adventure.
If in an RV you will have fewer worries about getting wet than if tenting. Tent campers should set up a tarp over the tent (for extra protection and run-off) and a dining tarp near the entrance before wet weather sets in. The dining tarp will allow for a dry area for food prep, eating and rainy-day activities. (Tip: When raining, do not touch the sides of the tent or allow gear to lean against the walls.) If staying at a campground, there may be a common room with planned activities, games, or to simply hang out in, particularly when the weather is poor.
Storage and space/weight considering, campers can bring along music players or a small portable radio (tablets and personal phones of course store music). Note: Be mindful of others camping nearby when playing music. A deck of cards or compact board games, magazines and reading/trivia/activity books and story time are essen...
What you can do on a camping trip will depend on factors such as where you go and with whom, what season it is/what the weather is like and whether you have easy access to a vehicle. It will also depend on you/your fellow campers’ level(s) of spontaneity (‘planners’ may want a schedule while others may simply ‘wing it’).Explore
Go for a hike, bike or scavenger/nature hunt, check out local shops, museums, activities and festivals, take a scenic drive, find a farmers’ market, berry pick or bird watch.Water Fun
Bring your own watercraft and gear and/or check out the local watersports and what the campground or nearby operators have to offer. You can fish, swim, canoe, kayak, bodyboard, paddleboard or simply skip rocks. Waterskiing or tubing may also be options.Chill Out … Or Play Ball
Bring a hammock,...
For many campers a campfire is an intimate bond with nature that is linked to a set of unique traditions. For some, it recalls warm childhood memories of times spent with family roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. For others it means telling spooky stories or camping singalongs.
Most campgrounds in British Columbia, whether privately owned, provincial parks, recreation sites (forestry sites), or national parks, allow campfires unless there is a fire restriction or ban brought on by windy or prolonged dry, hot conditions. Many serviced campgrounds sell kindling and firewood.Campfire Rules
It is the campers’ responsibility to find out what areas have fire ...
British Columbia implements certain fire bans and restrictions when there are significant risks to its population and environment. There are three categories of fires that can be affected by restrictions: open fires, campfires and forest use.
Before you embark on a trip you can check on any fire bans and restrictions in effect across the province. Note that such restrictions do not include areas which are within the boundaries of local government and subject to their bylaws – verify local policies before starting any fire. Note that in some wildlife management areas and conservation lands in BC campfires are never allowed.
BC Parks has a general information webpage on campfire ...
The air we breathe is so important. In fact, getting fresh air is one of the main reasons people go camping and RVing. Before you head out you may want to look into the air quality at your destination.
Wildfires, especially in the summer, are the main reason for reduced air quality in British Columbia but are not the only irritants that can effect air quality.
Here are some helpful websites from which you can check on this across the province.
The British Columbia government has a helpful webpage for current air quality data that allows users to search by geographic ‘Air Zone’, weather station name or via an interactive map.
The government also has a webpage specific to the ...
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) defines a wildfire as “any natural caused or unplanned human-caused fire that is burning in and consumes natural fuels: forest, brush, tundra, grass, etc”.
BC Parks has a webpage dedicated to the causes of wildfires and states that “the most important factor of person-caused fires is that they are preventable”.EMERGENCY PREP
Upon arrival at a campsite make sure you verify the nearest evacuation route and map out how you will get there. (Often campgrounds only have one road in and out.) Confirm if the RV park/campground has an emergency prepared...
When building a campfire, always have the fire inside a designated fire pit or makeshift ring away from trees to protect the area from any danger of spreading. The key to a successful and safe campfire is to start small and gradually build it bigger so it remains contained at a controlled rate of burn. Never light a campfire or let it burn in windy conditions or leave a campfire unattended.
Before starting, verify where your closest water source is and have a pail on hand, then clear away any twigs and leaves that could ignite from sparks. Keep a shovel or large stick nearby should you need to poke the logs or put out the fire. Note that in BC Parks, campfires must not be larger than a half a metre high and wide.
Dogs are precious family members too, so it makes sense that time is spent planning and preparing to ensure that your pet’s camping experience is both safe and enjoyable. Below are some pre-travel and packing tips to consider before your furry friend joins you on your adventure.Before Your Trip Verify that your dog’s collar has an ID tag with the best contact number for during your trip and microchip your dog if you want to be extra safe. If staying somewhere for a lengthy period, you can also have a temporary dog tag made with the name and phone number of the campground.Keep at hand a recent photo of your dog. (Not all dogs look the same after a groom.)Check that your dog’s core vaccinations are up-to-date and consider vaccinations for Lyme disease (if y...
Camping with a furry companion in the majestic outdoors is the ideal getaway for many dog owners and whether you explore British Columbia’s lush forests, semi-arid Interior, lakes or coastal beaches there are many campgrounds from which to choose.
Like any trip, planning is advisable and the first step is to decide on the type of setting that best suits you and your dog. British Columbia has over 1,500 campgrounds, which are divided into four unique camping experiences: private campgrounds and RV parks, provincial parks, recreation sites and national parks. All of them have their own guidelines and rules concerning pets and, specifically, dogs....
Travelling and camping with your dog allows you to connect with nature and to your pet in a unique way and it means your canine gets to experience a new environment, one with sights and sounds it may not be used to. If you think your dog smiles when you go for a walk, wait for the reaction you get when he or she goes hiking!
Nonetheless, dog owners need to be prepared too, for as with any pet outing there are precautions to take and, at times, rules to adhere to. We all need to camp in a considerate and pet-friendly manner and respect our animal’s limits.
Here are some tips to help your dog’s camping trip be a safe and fun one.Travel Time If scheduling permits, familiarize your dog with the RV or tent before you set off camping. Do a trial run, even if it’s a drive around your city to a park or pitching tent in your backyard. Perh...