Camping is one of the best ways to truly discover the Great Lakes region. Surround yourself in forests, along beaches, atop rocky outcrops, and experience all that the lakes have to offer. Nothing compares to immersing nature, laying out under the star-filled skies, and listening to the freshwater waves rushing softly to shore. Camping is a great activity for people of all ages. In fact, one in four Canadians goes camping every year. Whether you are looking for a fun family vacation by the beach or an adventurous portage through back-country, the region offers something for everyone.

Benefits of camping


There are so many mental and physical benefits of going outside. Camping is...

Stress-free - Get away from the demands of everyday life and enjoy a natural detox
Social - Spend quality time with friends and family
Mindful - Immerse yourself and connect with nature
Affordable - See more while spending less money
Healthy - Raise oxygen, serotonin, melatonin, and vitamin D levels
Relaxing - Just get outside and chill
Fun - Let loose and enjoy yourself

What to bring camping


Essentials:
• Tent
• Sleeping bags
• Clothes (think layering: long underwear, lots of socks, swimsuits, hats, boots, water shoes, sleepwear)
• Food (non-perishable and fresh food: ~2lbs of food per person per day)
• Cooking equipment (gas stove, pots and pans, kettle)
• LOTS of water
• First-aid kit
• Towels (light microfiber towels are great for travelling)
• Flashlights (headlamps, handheld flashlights, lanterns)
• Fire starters (matches or other fire starters, depending on your campsite)
• Emergency blankets

Optional:
• Sleeping pads (if you want to be extra comfy)
• Water tablets or water filtration system
• Bug spray, nets
• Sunscreen
• Backpack
• Paper maps (or for those of you afraid of old-fashioned maps, bring a satellite GPS)
• Spare batteries
• Folding chairs
• Camera

Camping tips


Before you camp:
• Book your campsite ahead of time.
• Look up your destination. Be familiar with the weather conditions, environment, facilities, etc. (make sure to check where the washrooms, showers, and potable water stations are)
• Be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. Bring proper sun, rain, and cold gear.
• Test out your equipment before you leave. Have a backyard practice campout!
• Bring the right equipment for the type of camping that you choose.
• Plan your meals ahead of time.
• Plan some fun activities. Look up trails to hike, rivers to paddle, and beaches to swim at!

While you camp:
• Get to your campsite early. You don’t want to be setting your tent up in the dark (trust us).
• Set up camp as soon as you get there.
• Do not approach or feed wildlife.
• Don’t leave your garbage and food out and accessible to animals. Nobody wants to be woken up by a bear!
• Relax by the fire with s’mores and hot dogs.
• Enjoy a good night’s sleep with the sound of crickets and waves in the background
• When it’s time to pack up, bring all of your belongings with you and leave no trace!

My most memorable experience at Lake Simcoe is canoeing, swimming and fishing while going camping with family. A couple family friends flipped their canoe over and fell into the lake.



Lake Simcoe, ON - Sally Nguyen
Lake Huron Watershed