Explore Beyond: Why Backcountry Camping Is Perfect for Young Families

Imagine waking up to the crisp morning air, the smell of the Salish Sea and the sound of children excitedly exploring nature around them. That’s the magic of backcountry camping! But where to begin?

The thought of lugging camping gear and wrangling kids into the backcountry might seem daunting. But fear not! We’ve got you covered with our top tips and favourite local spots for an unforgettable backcountry camping experience right here in British Columbia.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve offers backcountry campsites that are manageable with young kids, only a short hike from the parking lot for a quick escape if needed. Try a campground like Shingle Bay on Pender Island, which offers stroller-friendly access and is just a hop, skip and a jump from the parking area, with a stunning beach and orchard setting. Located a mere 15-minute drive from the Driftwood Centre, you’re never too far from civilization.

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Embrace Kids’ Curiosity

See the adventure through children’s eyes and opt for a location that sparks their curiosity. Whether it’s a remote island, a lush forest or a scenic beach, finding a spot that resonates with your family’s interests can transform the outing into a cherished memory. Consider Narvaez Bay Campground on Saturna Island (1.7km hike), a hidden gem offering tranquillity and charm. With beautiful views from Mount Warburton Pike or wildflower meadows, it’s the perfect setting for a peaceful family getaway. Plus, during the summer months, you can drive to Parks Canada Interpretation Programs and discover the island’s rich natural and cultural heritage together. Keep your eyes peeled for marine mammals along the Whale Trail or embark on a thrilling geocaching adventure—the possibilities are endless!

Make the Most of Camping

Campgrounds tend to fill up quickly during the summer months. Opting for backcountry camping provides a tranquil and less crowded alternative. Reserving at one of the two reservable backcountry campgrounds on Pender Island and Saturna Island within Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is recommended and ensures a more serene experience.

Curious about what to bring? Our essentials include ample layers for unpredictable West Coast weather, energizing snacks, a comprehensive first aid kit and binoculars for safe wildlife viewing. Before embarking on your adventure, check out Parks Canada’s Learn-to-Camp resources for expert advice.

Backcountry camping with young kids is all about preparation, patience and a sense of adventure. By planning, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, round up your little explorers and embark on an epic backcountry adventure in beautiful British Columbia!

Parks Canada
Parks Canadahttp://parks.canada.ca
Parks Canada protects and presents nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and fosters public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations. To learn about more opportunities in your area, visit parks.canada.ca.