Chuckle Monday -Getting Away From It All

When camping is no longer camping! Let’s hope they are not in the site next to you.(Whoops, a day early, just getting back into figuring this all out again after a long break, Chuckle Sunday!)

image

6 Helpful Changes to Discover Camping You Need to Know!

Recall our blog about how hard it is to find a campsite in BC at peak times?   This week marks the start of some related changes to Discover Camping, BC’s Provincial Campground reservation system. These changes will impact the Front Country Campgrounds in several ways but how successful these changes are is yet to be determined. Here is a summary:

  1. Coldspringsite3Changes made to prevent “overbooking”: This happens when campers make a reservation to include nights ahead of their planned arrival date (e.g. booking a site for 5 days ahead of a long weekend) to take advantage of the ‘book 90 days ahead’ process. They later cancel the unwanted dates  with no substantial penalty.  BC Parks has eliminated the ability to make changes to one’s arrival date. In order to change your arrival you will need to cancel your booking and make a new reservation. Cancelled inventory will be released the next day at 7 am and will be available to all customers.
    • My Take: this should level the playing field for the peak times and there is really no down side. 
  2. Changes to preventing people from reselling or transferring reservations: There were endless stories of campsites being resold by third party “scalpers”. The new policy requires customers to register one or two permit holder names at the time of reserving and at least one of the permit holders must be present during the stay.
    • My Take: There has always been a policy in place that the person named on the reservation must be in attendance but personally I have never been asked for ID while checking in for a campground reservation. This will only be effective if enforced!
  3. IMG_4430Changes to shorten the maximum length of stay: BC Parks is trying a pilot project in select parks to shorten the maximum length of stay to seven days during the peak camping season to create more camping opportunities.
    • My take: this is a great idea but I find it interesting which parks they have selected. For example, Haynes Point is not one of them and is without question the most difficult park to get into. 
  4. Changes to the Campground Reservation Window: Campers will now be able to reserve a campground 4 months in advance with the reservation window being open all year. This gives people an extra month to work with and the system will no longer be flooded with bookings on the March 15th  opening day.
    • My Take: This is a great change and should be very successful. 
  5. th (1)Changes to the number of reservable sites: Discover camping has added Skagit Valley (near Hope), Mount Robson – Lucerne Campground (near Valemount), Garibaldi Park (near Vancouver)  Helm, Cheakamus and Singing Creek as well as more campsites at Gold Creek and Alouette Lake to the reservation system.
    • My take: In theory this is a good idea but it will reduce the chance of spontaneously camping on a sunny weekend even more.
  6. Changes to the number of campsite: The website states that they will be spending $23 million over the next five years to add 1,900 new campsites.
    • My take: This is a great plan and long overdue.  I cant remember when a new campground was added so any additional spots is welcome. 

My overall impression is favorable.  Thanks, BC Parks.  Let’s see how much difference these changes make this year. The only major change I would still like to see in the future would be more services. In the last few years BC Parks has tested electricity to some site. This has been a welcome addition by reducing some of the generator noise that has become common place in Provincial Campground. Most campers are happy to pay for this extra convenience and it would be a welcome improvement.

Happy Camping in 2017

Shannon

Happy New Year

As 2016 comes to a close I have a lot to be thankful for. With such great family and friends in my life, 2017 is shaping up to be another great year. 

My wish is to find more time to camp and reconnect with my blog. I hope 2017 is good to all of you and that you enjoy quality time camping and connecting with loved ones. 

Best Wishes in 2017

Shannon

Bacon: simple tips and techniques every camper must know!

grilled-bacon-3[1].jpgRegardless of where or when we camp there are a few common traditions that occur each trip. One starts each morning around 9:00 am as campers emerge from tents and trailers everywhere.  The smell begins to waft in the air as bacon starts to sizzle on camp stoves and grill throughout the park. Fellow campers begin preparation for the ritual of breakfast, a ritual that only exits at the campground.  We rarely cook bacon on any other occasion, but when we camp it is a standard item on the grocery list, one that is expected in the same way as smore’s and spider dogs.

Continue reading

Camping from A to Z

imageApril has arrived and with it brings the start of the A to Z challenge. This challenge means I will publish a blog each day, except Sundays, for the month of April. This will be challenging because I have not camped since the fall and I have nothing booked for this year. Not to fear: this challenge, and the sunshine of April, will revitalize me. It is the point that I really start to think of summer and dream of getting away for weekends.  This challenge will help me refocus  and remind me how much I enjoy getting out in our trailer to enjoy some relaxation time with my family and friends.

Continue reading

T -24, Why you need to be ready to plan your summer!

Let the count down begin! In less than 24 hours campers across BC will plant themselves in front of computers, anxiously ready to hit ENTER, and crossing their fingers hoping to reserve a campsite at one of BC’s coveted Provincial Campgrounds.

Cultus lake 8.jpg

You can only book 3 months in advance so reservations for dates of June 15th and prior are only accepted. In June, if you are able to camp during the weekdays, you should be okay getting a reservation but weekends will  book up within minutes. campground full As the calendar moves into July and August any date is near impossible to secure. We have been able to get into most of the popular Provincial Parks at some point over the last 20 years but each year it gets harder and harder.

Continue reading

Gojac gear review by Campsite Correspondent Shannon Gibbs

THE CAMPSITE BLOG

I was very excited when The Campsite asked me to review the “Gojac” so I quickly went online to do some research. The product is marketed as a jacket that converts to a backpack, saving you from packing a mid weight jacket on your hike. I was interested to see where my personal items would be stored when I moved from a backpack to a jacket, and how easy the conversion would be.

When my Gojac arrived I was impressed with the number of pockets, and the weight and quality of the fabric. I have conservative taste so the bold zippers and bright yellow patch were not my style but other women could love them. The “backpack” is sewn onto the back of the Gojac and thats where the straps store when it’s a jacket. The jacket has a mesh liner for breathability and comfort. It has snug wrist…

View original post 384 more words

Pro Packing Cubes – a simple product to save valuable RV space!

downloadPro Packing Cubes asked me to try out and review their product in an RV setting. I had never heard of packing cubes but anything that helps organize my RV is of interest to me. I set out to research their product before deciding if I would accept their offer.

It seems packing cubes are popular with travelers. They are soft sided nylon bags in varying sizes, designed to keep your clothes organized and compact. The product has a 4.5 stars to 5 star rating on Amazon.com which certainly indicates their customers are happy.

Continue reading