When camping with children, no need for toys, say travel advisers. Nature provides them. (iStock)

Camping with kids in the Canadian wilderness highly recommended


May 18 to 20, 2019 is a holiday weekend in Canada and usually warm enough for families to go on their first camping trips of the year. It can be a little more challenging to camp with children, but they often love it and it is an inexpensive way for families to vacation and enjoy Canada’s extraordinary wilderness.

‘Good for everyone to get into nature’

“It’s so worth it,” says Kim Gray, editor and co-founder of toqueandcanoe.com , an award-winning travel website. “You take them camping for the same reason you take you camping. It’s good for everyone to get into nature, to get away from their comfort zone.

“Canada has so many incredible wilderness areas that are teed-up for people to come in and experience that are unlike anything else in the world.”

Kim Gray says her children loved canoe camping in Banff National Park in western Canada. (David Gray)

Canada has more than 10,000 campsites

The national park system has 10,000 campsites with diverse accommodation options. It offers programs to teach people how to camp. And there are provincial and territorial parks that offer camping as well.

Gray says it’s good for children to be away from electronic media. She agrees with another travel adviser Sarah Carty about equipping children for camping. “When you go camping,  don’t worry about bringing stuff with you because toys are naturally in nature–the rocks, the trees, the water, the mud…Let them skip stones in water and go where the spark is lit.”

Great parks on two coasts, and more

Among Gray’s most memorable experiences is camping in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia. “We cooked up lobster on the beach,” recounts Gray. “This Parks Canada employee played a mean fiddle and he could sing and he was of Acadian descent. And so, seeing my family there on the beach enjoying a lobster that they helped cook…at sunset on the coast of Cape Breton…(it was) unbelievably unforgettable.”

Gray also experienced a trip on the west coast of Canada where families can kayak among orca whales and then, from their tents at night, hear them blow in the water nearby.

Kananaskis provides a provincial park in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies in western Canada. (Kim Gray/Toque & Canoe)

Indigenous guides offer traditional knowledge

Next, Gray would like to check out tours in the northern territory of Yukon where Indigenous guides offer canoe trips and insights into their traditional knowledge of the land.

She adds that travel is one of the things that children remember most distinctly and most fondly. “I think camping experiences just can’t be underestimated. I really encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and explore what’s out there.”

(photo: David Gray)

Kim Gray tells why it’s great to go camping with children in Canada.\

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