Post by Matt, Information Services staff.
For many of us, good outdoor recreation can be hard to find. Though trails, parks and backyards can be a decent solution (if they’re accessible), sometimes it’s nice to leave the city and surround yourself with nature.
Camping is a great lower-cost way to explore Canada’s natural landscape, get away from the many distractions of everyday life, and focus on the things that truly matter. We’re very lucky here in Ontario to have so many options available to us when considering camping destinations: from provincial and national parks featuring both frontcountry and backcountry sites, to private campgrounds and even Crown land camping.
But camping can be an intimidating activity if you’ve never done it before. It can require a lot of equipment and skills that take practice to learn. Setting up a tent, hanging a tarp or lighting a campfire are all tricky things to do in the best of circumstances; sometimes, going camping means you’re doing all three at dusk as storm clouds gather and mosquitos swarm around your head!
Despite the challenges that going camping brings, it can be an amazing experience. Sharing a meal around a warm fire, watching the sun set over a great lake, or hiking to the top of a tall ridge to see a spectacular view can create once-in-a-lifetime memories for you or your loved ones. It’s moments like these that call people back out into the wilderness again and again.
These beautiful moments are the reason why KPL has partnered with the Parks Canada Learn-to Camp team to bring a series of beginner-focused camping workshops to our community this summer.
Know Before You Go: Your First Frontcountry Camping Trip!
The first of these workshops in the Camping 101 series has already happened, but don’t worry! You can still catch the recording here:
In this session, we joined the Parks Canada Learn-to Camp team to discover the basics of frontcountry camping! Together, we explored how to safely try camping for the first time. We covered topics such as necessary equipment, cooking in the outdoors, wildlife considerations, and how to enjoy a safe campfire (with marshmallows, of course)!
Looking for more? Here’s some more info about the three upcoming sessions that you can still join!
Animal Aware: How to Camp with Wildlife Nearby
Thursday July 15th, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Join the Parks Canada Learn-to Camp team to explore how to share our natural spaces with animals. We will help you understand how to be smart around bears, bugs, coyotes, snakes, and even turtles! We aim to help protect you from harm while allowing these animals to thrive in their homes for generations to come!
The Rouge: Canada’s First National Urban Park
Wednesday July 21st, 5 – 6 pm
Canada’s first and only National Urban Park is located right in the Greater Toronto Area! Join the Parks Canada Learn-to Camp team as we discuss what makes a National Urban Park unique, and how Rouge National Urban Park protects a rich assembly of natural, cultural, and agricultural heritage.
Camping Safety: How to Protect Yourself and the Environment
Thurs August 5th, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Join the Parks Canada Learn-to Camp team for tips and tricks on staying safe, and being respectful, in the outdoors. Whether camping for a week, or hiking for a day, we recommend some important safety considerations to remember! We will also discuss how to enjoy the outdoors while respecting the ecological integrity of our natural spaces.
In addition to these programs, KPL has a great selection of resources available on camping and basic survival skills for you to explore:
- Essential Wilderness Navigation: A Real-World Guide to Finding your Way Safely in the Woods With or Without a Map, Compass or GP |Craig Caudill & Tracy Trimble
- The Great Outdoors: A User’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Heading into the Wild (and How to Get Back in One Piece) | Brendan Leonard
- How to Camp in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Finding, Outfitting, and Enjoying your Adventure in the Great Outdoors | Devon Fredericksen
- Bushcraft Illustrated: A Visual Guide | Dave Canterbury
- Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper’s Guide to the Great Outdoors | Matt Jaffe & Paige Russell
- Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors | Emma Frisch
- The Campout Cookbook: Inspired Recipes for Cooking around the Fire and under the Stars | Marnie Hanel & Jen Stevenson
- Food and Fire: Create Bold Dishes with 65 Recipes to Cook Outdoors | Marcus Bawdon
- The New Camp Cookbook | Linda Ly
- The Outdoor Adventure Cookbook: The Official Cookbook from the Ultimate Camping Authority | Lisa Trottier
EDIT: And if you or someone you know belongs to the BIPOC community (or if you have equipment in good condition to donate), please check out this amazing initiative by Dionne Daley to create a lending library of camping and outdoors equipment for BIPOC interested in camping and outdoor exploration!
Have questions? Want more recommendations?