Camping 101

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

Animal Aware program poster featuring an image of raccoons in a tree. text reads "Animal Aware: How to Camp with Wildlife Nearby. July 15 2021, Camping 101".

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!

Sign up for Animal Aware on July 15th!

The Rouge: Canada’s First National Urban Park

The Rouge program poster featuring an older couple walking down a marsh boardwalk as a train passes in the background. text on image reads "The Rouge: Canada's first national urban park. July 21, 2021. Camping 101".

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.

Sign up for The Rouge on July 21st!

Camping Safety: How to Protect Yourself and the Environment

Camping Safety program poster featuring a group of people roasting marshmallows over a fire. text on image reads "Camping Safety: How to protect yourself and the environment. August 5, 2021. Camping 101".

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.

Sign up for Camping Safety on August 5th!

In addition to these programs, KPL has a great selection of resources available on camping and basic survival skills for you to explore:

Camping Skills

Outside Eats

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?  

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