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Camping

In Camping, Explore, Lifestyle, Northern Alberta on
June 20, 2018

Campground Review: Long Lake Provincial Park

Long Lake Campground Review

As a camping family we like to try as many new campgrounds as possible each season. Sometimes, we go for the old favourites or the ones that have group availability- but my favourite thing to do is explore new places to camp. This past Father’s Day weekend we stayed at Long Lake Provincial Park, a first for us. A few years ago, on my way home from North Buck Lake Provincial Recreation Area, I drove through Long Lake Campground to check it out and it seemed lovely, so I was excited to finally try it out!

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In Camping, Central Alberta, Rural Journeys on
June 10, 2018

Summer Bucket List – Red Deer

Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Jasper, Drumheller and Red Deer? Yes! We often overlook Red Deer as a summer destination but we have discovered there is SO much to do in Red Deer and area. From great camping, lakes, rivers, outdoor water attractions, good food, and more; read below why we think adding Red Deer to your Summer Bucket List is a good idea!

Red Deer Summer Bucket List:

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9 Things I’m Looking Forward to This Summer in Alberta

I’ll be working full time so I’ll be squeezing every last drop out of my Alberta summer weekends. Here’s what I’m most excited to experience this summer in Alberta.

The Road Trip

Is there anything better than packing up your wheels, stopping for snacks and hitting the open road? Yes, yes there is. It’s called re-living your childhood. One of my earliest memories is playing cards in my grandparents motor home, road trekking through Alberta, to the States into Mexico. Hanging out, while you watch the landscape race by. Snacking, gaming, talking – the journey more important than the destination. The in-laws bought a small motor home and they’re letting us borrow it – squeee!

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In Camping, Explore, Lifestyle, Recipe on
June 1, 2018

Camping Meals Made Easy with Simply Supper!

Camping meals made easy

Camping prep can be super time consuming. Just off the top of my head there’s packing enough clothes to suit Alberta’s unpredictable weather, bedding, toys, pots and pans, bikes, air mattresses, drinks, ice, first aid supplies, and all the outdoorsy gear…. sometimes I feel like we take the entire house with us! Our first camping weekend of the year was easy peasy though, because we didn’t have to worry about all the camping meals….. we tried Simply Supper meals for the entire weekend and it was fantastic! Read more

In Camping, Edmonton, Northern Alberta on
May 25, 2018

Tenting at Garner Lake Provincial Park

By Allison Hopkins

Our first camping trip of 2016 was a two night weekend tenting at Garner Lake Provincial Park. We had gorgeous weather {ironically this mid June camping trip was our best weather weekend of our entire camping season!}. The rest of the summer was hit and miss weather with lots of rainy camping trips for us. Every year we pick a campground north of Edmonton that is new to us. that year, Garner Lake Provincial Park was our choice.

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Glamping in Alberta

glamping

Don’t get me wrong, camping is great, BUT it can be a large expense to accumulate all of the required supplies. Sleeping on the ground is also not for everyone, myself included! Sometimes it’s nice to just pack your essentials and go, especially when travelling with kids. Thankfully Alberta has many alternate ways that you can spend a night in the great outdoors. Read on to learn all about ‘glamping’ options in Alberta!

oTENTiks

A Parks Canada exclusive, these accommodations are like a cross between an A-frame cabin and canvas tent on a raised wood floor platform. Units are for up to 6 people, with a maximum of 4 adults. There are no bathrooms or running water inside oTENTiks. A table, beds/sleeping pads, lights and small heater are available in most units. You can enjoy TENTiks in Jasper (Whistlers), Banff (Two Jack Lake & Tunnel Mountain Village 2) & Elk Island (Astotin Lake).

glamping

Photo Credit: Teagan Photography

Yurts

Alberta Parks offers a unique experience with yurts! These are insulated, round, tent-like structures mounted on a wooden deck with a vented skylight. Conveniences include lights, an electric heater, electrical outlets for charging your devices, all cooking pots/pans, plates/utensils, a small fridge with freezer, gas BBQ and sleeping areas for 4-8 people. Yurts are available at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park and Pigeon Lake Provincial Park.

glamping in alberta

Photo Credit: Alberta Parks

Equipped Campsites

A new partnership between Parks Canada and MEC, you can now arrive at an equipped campsite that is all set up and ready for you! This includes a tent, sleeping pads, stove with propane, lantern, camping chairs and more. Please note that some campgrounds may offer slightly different items. You can enjoy equipped campsites in Waterton National Park, Banff National Park and Elk Island National Park.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

RV Rentals

This isn’t necessarily the cheapest option BUT it could end up saving you thousands of dollars! If you are thinking about buying an RV, test one out first! This is also a great option for people who have no storage options for a trailer or don’t have enough time to camp frequently or maintain their own RV. Go RVing has a great directory of RV dealers across Alberta that rent trailers, tent trailers and motorhomes. Some even offer roadside assistance and trailer delivery. Also check out WheelEstate, a new online peer-to-peer marketplace for RV’s. It’s like Airbnb or VRBO for vacation trailers!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Cabins

For those who prefer a more solid structure, there are lots of cabin rentals across Alberta. My mom and I stay in a cabin every summer as a girl’s getaway and here’s some of our favourites that include bathrooms and kitchens:

Comfort Camping

Photo Credit: Alberta Parks

Tipis and Canvas Tents

I’ve never stayed in a tipi, but I feel like it would be really fun with kids, allow for some cultural experiences and provide more space than a tent. These are the ones on my list to check out: Sundance Lodge (Kananaskis), Old Entrance B’nB (Hinton) & Blackfoot Crossing (south east of Calgary).

Make sure you check out the Comfort Camping Canvas Wall Tents through Alberta Parks located at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Writing on Stone Provincial Park and Wyndham-Carseland Provicial Park. They all include queen beds, futons, a private deck and gas BBQs.

Alberta Parks

Photo Credit: Alberta Parks

As you search for ‘glamping’ options in Alberta don’t be discouraged if you are having issues finding availability on your chosen dates. Many of these book up quickly, but there are always cancellations so keep your eye on them. Also, you will find more vacancy if you are able to travel midweek or in June or September.

What’s your favourite glamping experience? I would love to hear! Connect with us on social media on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram! Need more inspiration? Click here for our post on Our Favourite Campgrounds in Alberta.

Every Day Girl

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Do Your Kids Miss School for Vacations?

Do you let your kids miss school to go on vacation?

This week we are leaving for a vacation (YAY!) but for the first time I wondered about pulling the kids out of school to be on holidays.

***Full disclosure I am still getting on that airplane no matter what the consensus is because this Mom needs a vacation. Although travelling with kids sometimes feels like more work…

We have pulled them out of school the past few years without a thought but this year my oldest is in Grade 4 and it feels different. His teacher was amazing when we told him our son would be missing a week and a bit of school which I was grateful for. He said there’s no point giving him work to do while we are away. When we get back he will see what he missed and what he needs help catching up on but not to worry about it while on holidays.

No homework was getting done on this trip either.

I am a firm believer that kids don’t need to be in a classroom to learn. By making sure our kids get the travel bug early I hope that they will never stop exploring and questioning how our world works. I am just wondering if we should keep that exploring to two months in Summer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below or on Social Media.

 

In Camping, Explore, Lifestyle on
February 14, 2018

Get Ready: Alberta Parks Opens Camping Reservations on Tuesday!

How to book a campsite in Alberta

Are you looking to snag one of the best camping spots that Alberta Parks has to offer this summer? Well…..you are going to want to get organized this weekend because regular camping will open for reservations, within the 90 day window, starting Tuesday February 20th!

How to book camping in Alberta.

What You Need to Know:

  • Alberta Parks only lets you book single sites 90 days in advance of the time you will begin your camping trip. SO, this means that if you plan to camp on the May Long Weekend, you can reserve a site starting on Tuesday February 20th.
  • You can book a site for up to 16 days in a row.
  • You need to have an account with Alberta Parks reservation system: reserve.albertaparks.ca
  • Make your account now so that you are not wasting time on opening morning.
  • Think about your needs. Do you want to be close to the beach or playground? Do you require power? How long is your RV? Is a shower house a must? Do you want a park that has interpretive programming? All of this information can be answered by exploring the various campsites here. 
  • Once you’ve determined your family’s camping needs and parks that meet them make a list of the campsite numbers that you would like. You can even see pictures of many of the sites, giving you a better idea of privacy and size. Always have a back up in mind, in case that site is already taken.
  • Do some math. Due to the 90 day booking window if you want to book a site for later in the summer, say over Canada Day, you will have to count back 90 days and then note that date in a calendar to log back in and reserve a site. This is especially important if you really want a waterfront site, plan to camp over a long weekend, must have a power site, are looking for a campground close to Calgary or Edmonton or are planning to stay for an extended amount of time.
  • It sounds like a lot of work, but really, it’s just planning ahead. Once it’s done, it’s done and you can now start to plan the rest of your summer!
  • If you really hate the idea of over planning for summer or just have no idea what your summer availability is like (it is only February…) you can always wing it. BUT, personally, I would never recommend attempting to get a first come first served campsite on any weekend in the summer. During the week, at most campgrounds you will probably be ok. It’s just a risk with kids that I wouldn’t want to take!
  • Don’t throw in the towel if you miss the boat and your preferred campsite or campground is full. Keep checking back! Often as the departure date gets closer people cancel their reservation and if you’re lucky you can snag it once it becomes available.

How to book a campsite in Alberta

Other Camping Options:

Where do you plan to camp this summer?

Booking a campsite in Alberta

Every Day Girl

Get Planning! Parks Canada Reservations in Alberta Start Next Week!

I know, I know, planning for camping right after Christmas and the massive cold snap that most of us Albertans just experienced seems crazy. But, it’s true, National Parks in Alberta (Parks Canada) start taking reservations next week! This makes my heart warm and has me dreaming of better days of long sunlight, glorious heat and once again swimming in our beautiful lakes. This really does seem like a dream at this point!

Here’s what you need to know if you want to snag a sweet campsite at a Parks Canada Campground this summer:

  • You can make your reservations for the entire summer at a Parks Canada campsite once the reservation launch begins.
  • Study the maps of the campgrounds ahead of time so that you know exactly what you want (plus a back up or two) for the morning of the launch. If you are looking for a fully serviced site or waterfront site this will be important.
  • Again, if you want a prime site you will likely want to be online about 15 minutes before the 8am MST launch time.
  • This year, you WILL need a Parks Canada Pass to stay in any National Park. Check out the Discovery Pass options here.
  • You can make all online reservations here. If you prefer, you can make your reservations by phone by calling 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783). This service is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local park time.

Parks Canada Reservation Launch Dates for Alberta:

  • Jasper National Park- January 9 @8am MST

This includes Pocahontas, Wabasso, Wapiti, Whistlers (including oTENTiks) & Palisades. Jasper is a personal favourite of mine (since I was a little girl) and we love staying at Whistlers. They have added a great feature called Whistlers Trail with different natural play areas for the kids to explore.

Wapiti is great for smaller trailers and tenting as the sites are a bit smaller but you are very close to the Athabasca River which is a great trade off. You will often see Elk roaming the campsite to get to the water for a drink.

Jasper camping

  • Banff National Park- January 10 @8am MST

This includes Lake Louise, Tunnel Mountain, Johnston Canyon, Two Jack and oTENTiks. We mainly stayed away from Banff last year with the overwhelming popularity that complimentary park access brought. I think it might be time to go back and explore!

If you are staying in Banff we recommend Tunnel Mountain. They have large sites and great shows put on by Park Staff. Note that if you are looking to have a campfire book a spot that is in Tunnel Mountain Village I as the Trailer Courts don’t have fire pits. They have restricted generator use this year to 9-10:30am and 5-7pm which will make your stay here even better.

C & S Hiking in Banff

  • Elk Island National Park- January 11 @8am MST

This is for the only overnight campground in the park, Astotin Lake. It includes equipped camping and the oTENTiks. One of our founders stayed in an oTENTik last year with her family and loved the experience! A great short trip for Edmonton folks.

  • Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site- January 11 @8am MST

This includes the Rocky Mountain House Campground and Heritage Camping which one of our founders took in last year with her children. Read all about that experience here!

  • Waterton Lakes National Park- January 11 @8am MST

This is for the Townsite Campground. This is the perfect location if you want a less rustic experience. Waterton is within walking distance (a great place for lunch and ice cream treats is Wieners of Waterton!) and a beautiful waterfall with a walking trail to the top that is easy for little legs is also close by. They also have a great playground with beautiful mountain views close by and you are walking distance to the lake as well.

What about Camping in Alberta Provincial Park Campgrounds?

Don’t you worry, this is coming! Alberta Parks handles their campsite reservations a little differently than Parks Canada, but you don’t have to worry about it until the beginning of February. We’ll have a post with all the information you need to know about reserving an Alberta Parks Campsite soon. In the meantime, have a look at our campground reviews for some inspiration!

Where will you be camping this summer?

Every Day Girl

 

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