"Travelling in Western Canada" Camping_Girl's Profile
Hi! Thanks for stopping by my little site..... Be sure to take a look at my travel pages. The newest pages are:
Crowsnest Pass/Coleman & Blairmore
Be sure to stop back again and see what's new!
Camping is something we really love to do. I have been camping for over 20 years. The first 19 years were in a tent (including back country tenting), & in 2005 we purchased a RV and are busy creating some new family memories with it. I am dedicating a few chapters on my webpage to helping people who are new to this hobby get started. Also, if you are considering renting a RV and have never tried it before, hopefully my information will help resolve some of your questions. (Check out the albums at the bottom of this page for more RV info.)
I am focusing my camping tips & recommendations primarily on camping in Alberta and British Columbia, as this is where we do most of our camping.
As a former Scouts leader, I am no stranger to winter camping. I'm not going to beat around the bush here, I don't like it. If sleeping in a tent in the snow in the middle of nowhere in sub-zero temperatures was FUN, we'd all still be living in caves. As far as winter camping in a RV, that is a little more tolerable, as long as there's plenty of propane for the furnace!
If it is less than -10C, you will probably be spending most of your time inside the RV. This gets a little tiresome after awhile if you have kids with you. You'll want to bring along plenty of board games, cards, puzzle books, etc to keep everyone amused. Hikes of an hour or so are tolerable in the winter, possibly longer if you have packed a thermos of hot chocolate with you. If you also bring along some hot dogs and buns, you may be able to build a fire and have a weiner roast. (This is entirely dependent on where you are hiking, so don't go starting fires on someone else's land without checking beforehand!) You'll also want to make sure you pack along plenty of high-energy snacks to replace the energy you'll burn keeping warm. Dehydration is much worse in the winter, so be sure you have plenty of water on your hike and ensure your kids are drinking regularly. You'll also want sunscreen on your face.
Water will not be available at campsites in the winter, so you'll need to pack drinking water. Snow can be melted to use for washing.
Speaking of water, you will need a RV with a winter insulation package, to prevent water lines from freezing. Barring that, don't use your sink, toilet, etc. as you will have some frozen, possibly broken pipes to contend with. At temps below -25C even a winter package won't prevent your water lines from freezing.
Meals should be planned with an emphasis on warm and comforting - think soups, stews, casseroles in the oven. You'll also want to make sure you have an unlimited supply of hot chocolate and snacks.
You need to have sufficient warm waterproof clothing to keep everybody happy. One thing I learned in Scouts: warm kids = happy kids! Here's another neat trick I learned in Scouts: pack plenty of old bread bags with you when you're winter hiking, and make sure everybody has a spare pair of dry socks and mitts with them. If someone ends up with wet boots, they can change their socks, but a bread bag over each foot, and slip it back into the wet boots. Their feet will stay dry! Your body loses most of its heat through the head, hands and feet, so it is important to keep those parts dry.
If you have some big tarps and lots of rope, you will be able to spend some time outside with a campfire, even if it's raining or snowing. Tie the tarps to whatever trees are nearby, and angle one corner downward to allow water to drain. (This should be a corner farthest from the RV and fire.) Do not hang the tarp directly above the fire, unless you want a really big hole in it! The heat will melt the tarp, even if it's 15' above the fire. (Trust me, I know from experience!)
If you're lucky, you may be treated to some wildlife while you're out camping. Be sure to check out my album entitled "bears and cougars and elks" for some helpful tips on how to safely share the great outdoors with the variety of wildlife that lives in nature full time.
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