The camping season is finally upon us!
Maybe it’s been so long since you have gone camping, or perhaps it’s something new you are experiencing, and are looking for some tips to get the most out of your camping adventure. Find out what you should do before you head onto the road, what to pack, and what to do while you’re there. But the most important tip is have fun, put your feet up, and relax!
Please note: Due to COVID-19, some activities and amenities may be closed or restricted in some campsites. Please call or email campgrounds before reserving your camping experience for information about new rules and regulations put in place.
For information about Government-mandated rules and regulations towards camping, please visit this link to the Government of Manitoba’s website.
*Disclaimer* Time in nature has not been cancelled, but we must be responsible for helping everyone stay safe and healthy! Here are some guidelines to follow while exploring your community:
- Stay home if you have been travelling or do not feel well. Here is an excellent resource if you are quarantined. This will help you find people in Manitoba who are willing and able to help you while quarantined. Help Next Door Manitoba
- Go out with people within your household, but practice social distancing (2 metres away) with other groups.
- Stay within your community. Please do not travel to other communities.
- Please practice Leave No Trace. Clean up after yourself and leave nothing behind such as trash and waste.
- Check with your local municipality if play structures in parks and schools are open.
- Social distancing can be easier in rural communities because we live farther apart from each other. If you live in a condo or apartment, please follow the guidelines provided to you to ensure you keep your social distance from your neighbors.
Before you Leave
To get the most out of your camping experience, you should probably do some prep work beforehand.
Find a campsite that interests you and your family. Search for activities and amenities in the area, or even at the campsite, to see if it’s a good fit. Learning the rules of the campground before booking your spot is always smart, especially if you discover you have questions about them.
Reserve your Camping Spot
It’s a good idea to reserve your camping spot! Don’t show up at the campground, especially on weekends, and expect to find room for yourself.
Go During the Weekdays
If possible, go on your camping adventure during the weekdays instead of the weekends. Usually, on the weekdays, there are fewer people so your campsite will be quiet, peaceful, and, in some cases, cheaper.
Practice setting up your Tent before Heading out
If you don’t have a lot of experience camping, or if you just purchased a new tent, it might be a good idea to practice setting up your tent at home first. This way, you don’t waste time-fighting with your tent while at the campground, and you can make sure that it is in good condition.
Waterproof your Tent
And hey! While you’re practicing pitching a tent, this would be a great time to waterproof it! Camping is fun and all, but it is much more enjoyable while you’re dry! Just grab a can of silicone sealant and spray every inch of your tent.
What to Pack
Nobody likes packing, but it has to be done. Here is a list of some things that you might need on your trip.
- Tent, Tarp, and Sleeping Bag
- Bring extra padding or an air mattress to sleep on
- Variety of clothing for different conditions of weather
- Find a local beach, or if they have a camp pool, you’ll definitely need some towels
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- First aid kit
- Utility knife
- Cooking tools. Utensils, pot, pan, reusable plastic plates, tin foil
- Portable grill
- Pack Campfire-Friendly Meals
- Airtight cooler to store food
- Fire-starter kit
- Bottled for drinking and gallon sizes for cooking and cleaning
- Bucket or small tote to wash dishes in, dish soap, small towels or sponge
- Bring Garbage Bags
- Toiletries like hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, toilet paper
What to do While Camping
It can be nice and refreshing to laze around and relax, but you mind find yourself slightly bored if you don’t plan some activities to occupy your time.
- Bring your outdoor gear for fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boat, water sports
- Explore nature! Try your hand at birding, animal viewing, bug collecting, leaf collecting, and foraging,
- Bring games to play during your downtime
- Cook up some s’mores or just plain marshmallows
- Check out the amenities for fun activities! Some campsites have playgrounds, pools, beaches, and indoor/outdoor games and sports
- See what is happening in the community. There might be events, activities, unique sights, geocaching, horseback riding, and so many other treasures that can pique your interest
Practice Leave No Trace
It is important to practice Leave No Trace at any campsite you are staying at, as not to harm the wildlife, make sure that you and other guests are having a safe and enjoyable experience, and keep nature intact and unharmed.
There are seven principles of Leave No Trace:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What you Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Others
Here is a link to Leave No Trace Canada for more information on what you can do to help keep the campsite and nature safe.
The Eastman Region has a lot of great Campgrounds to check out. Take a look online and find one that speaks to your heart. Maybe you’ll even try out more than one! Happy camping and stay safe!