Let's go camping!
by NickM on February 9, 2015 - 9:23pm
Article: “Why aren’t Canadians camping anymore?” by Adam Bisby, published on February 9, 2015 on The Globe and Mail.
In my family, like many others, camping serves as a calming release from the fast-pace mentality of urban society.
Over the past decade, camping has experienced a gradual decline in provinces across the country. In Ontario, the number of campsite reservations has seen a 10 per cent decline from the years 2000 to 2013. In Quebec, campsite occupancy has declined by 8.7 per cent between 2006 and 2009, including a 34 per cent decline in tent use. One of the reasons for this decrease in camping popularity would be the increasing urban population, which draws people away from the natural and rural environment, according to Parks Canada’s Ed Jager. Another reason for the decline is the demographic of empty-nester who, according to Ontario Parks’ Anne Craig, “embraced camping when their homes were full, but don’t necessarily want to sleep on the ground any more”.
Luckily, Canadian organizations such as Learn to Camp are leading the effort to increase camping’s popularity in Canada. This organization takes groups of people camping for their first experience in the wild while showing them the basics and fundamentals of the outdoors. Since the program’s debut in 2011, more than 5000 people across Canada have participated and experienced the wonders of outdoor camping. This collective engagement has shown how Canadians still enjoy camping, even though times have changed. Also, many private campsites across the country have incorporated WiFi to accommodate for more “urban” campers. This addition has shown a significant increase in the “overall camping population”.
A way to help improve and increase the camping population would be to go on camping trips with friends. Bringing people out of the urban environment and their comfort zones can be a memorable experience as well as an education. For new parents, a family vacation could be taking the kids away from home to a campsite for the week, where they can burn some energy in the great outdoors and make precious childhood memories.
All throughout my childhood and adolescence, my family and I have been on camping trips all around Canada and in some States. In 2008, we went on a one-month camping trip across Canada all the way to Banff National Park, hitting campgrounds in almost every big city along the way. This trip holds many memories that I cherish because being able to absorb the Canadian wilderness in the way that we did is a truly unforgettable experience. In trips like this one, I learned survival and navigation skills by going on daily treks which can be quite an education. I would definitely recommend trips like because they serve as a unique experience for all people.