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

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.

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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.

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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.

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Bald Eagles are soaring! These photos will make you need to go see them!

Living in Greater Vancouver offers endless opportunities to get outside and explore our amazing city. Each winter we head to South Delta to walk the Boundary Bay area and enjoy the experience of a natural eagle habitat. This is an amazing place to walk with bald eagles soaring around you by the hundreds.

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Fixing an RV Cabinet

RVs are engineered to be as light as possible so they’re easier to tow.  The flip side of that benefit is that the interior material is typically pretty flimsy.  Case in point: one of our overhead cabinet doors came right off in Blair’s hand!

We did a quick search and didn’t find a good posting on how to fix an RV door, so Blair took a stab himself.

We thought we should blog our approach in case it helps anyone, or in case someone else can comment on how to do this job more effectively. Continue reading

Greater Vancouver, What makes it so Special?

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Living in the Vancouver area, I well aware of how expensive it is. It is not uncommon to hear people talk about moving away to get more housing “bang for their buck”. That is, until, we have a string of sunny days and then we are all reminded of why we will never leave.
This week was one of those weeks. The sun was out, the sky was blue and we had the time to get out and enjoy several areas of Greater Vancouver. From snowshoeing, to scenic walks, and campfires by the river. Greater Vancouver really does offer it all. Here is a summary of the week! Continue reading

5 New Years Resolutions every camper can easily achieve!

Many people refuse to set New Years resolutions but for me it is one of my favorite things to do. I often set around 20. Some are simple, ones that I know I can achieve, and then there are those that make the list each year. Being more patient, stressing less and reading more all seem to be far more difficult to achieve than one might think.

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As I enter the second year of my camping blog I felt it would be appropriate to set some Camping Resolutions. I have narrowed it down to 5 that could be adapted or adopted by any camper. Continue reading

Camping Reflections of 2015

As we enter the last day of 2015 it seems fitting to feature the highs and lows of my blogging year. This brainchild started just over a year ago and has done so much better than I expected. Here is quick summary of my blogging year.

  • 108 countries
  • Over 98000 views.
  • 200 blog post on various camping topics.
  • Most important I have met so many interesting people with similar interest. Thank you all for reading.

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How to “Camp That Site” is back!

12 months of blogging and it has been an interesting ride. With the help of my husband we have created an electronic scrapbook of all our family camping trips. We have shared our reviews, tips and funny stories all while researching new products and campgrounds. We have connected with so many other campers and learned that camping outside of Canada must be on our bucket list.

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Christmas 2008 was spent enjoying the snow at our trailer. Still one of the most memorable holidays we have had.

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Croatia – Any advice is welcome!!!

Sometimes a break is in order and I found that the case this October.  I got caught up in planning a dream vacation which is almost as much fun as the vacation. Next summer we will take a 2+ week vacation to Croatia and I am so excited. We have been talking about this destination for a few years now and finally all our stars aligned.

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Our traveling companions are 3 other couples that we normally camp with so finding accommodations was a challenge. Villas for 8 with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms is not common place in this historic country but after many hours on the various booking sites we found it. Who knew how complicated it would be to book trips outside of Expedia. Wire transfers and PayPal are new to us but I think we have managed.

I can now get back to my blog but not before asking if any of you have visited or live in Croatia, I would love to hear from you. Any tips, tricks or recommendations are very welcome. We will only be there a short time and want to see as much as possible.

I hope to hear from you but for now back to camping!