Living the High Life: Come Camp in the Canadian Rockies

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

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Campgrounds in the Canadian Rockies are replete with incredible imagery. And there are so many to choose from.

Campgrounds in the Canadian Rockies are replete with incredible imagery. And there are so many to choose from.

Chris from New York writes, “Mountain Man, can you give me a primer for camping in the Canadian Rockies?”

Chris, the primer I’m about to give you will serve you anywhere, though of course there are a couple of things unique to the Rockies to keep in mind.

You have no end of choices awaiting you here. There are more than 1,700 campsites in Jasper National Park alone. I do advise you to arrange one in advance, though many campgrounds will be able to accommodate arrivals without reservations.

Fees vary at the campgrounds. The more services the area offers, the more money you’ll have to pay. But the fees are quite reasonable. Given what you’re being allowed to do, they’re downright cheap. Click here for the fee structure.

What kind of supplies will you need? Well, there are the obvious, of course: a tent, sleeping bags, lamps, things of that nature. Many campgrounds have grills or places where for a nominal fee – $6 Canadian – you may build a fire.

There are a few things I like to mention that people don’t always remember. One is a flashlight with spare batteries. Be sure you have one on hand. In an emergency, it could be your best friend. Also, be sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand. Of course medical aid is available in the Rockies, but you don’t want to have to call for that if you can avoid it. Talk about a way to ruin your nice vacation!

And even if you’re coming in the warm summer months, especially June or July, pack warm clothing. These are mountains, and you’re going to be pretty high up. It’s usually temperate, but you never know when a cold front will move through. It’s much better to have and not need than to need and not have.

Finally, chances are, you’ll be camping out in bear country. Now, look, common myths aside, bears generally like to keep themselves to themselves. They really don’t want to eat you. They’re much happier just avoiding humans. But their noses are incredible. They can smell food from a long way away. YOU may not be to their taste, but your food almost certainly will be.

So, be sure to bring airtight containers and proper disposal bags. Because the same bear that isn’t going to hunt you will have no compunction about rummaging through your belongings if you leave a bit of food out to attract it. I love bears, but they are one of those creatures that is best viewed at a distance.

Have more questions? No problem! Just call 1-877-737-3783 or log on at www.pccamping.ca. And I hope to see you enjoying a beautiful evening under the stars in the Rockies.

Alberta Adventure Guide

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