How to Prepare for Hiking/Camping in Ontario

Many people have probably tried hiking or camping in various spots around the world. Not all, however, have had the chance to experience these activities across the peaceful lakes and rugged wilderness of Ontario.

Hiking and camping are beloved pastimes in Canada due to its nature-rich surroundings. Ontario is the country’s second largest province by area next to Quebec, which means that it’s full of trails and campsites where you can enjoy an exciting camping vacation. Summer is the peak season though, so this also means that these destinations can get filled with tourists. To avoid the crowds and other hassles in your outdoor escape, read on to find out how you can prepare thoroughly.

The Great Outdoors of Ontario

It’s no secret that Ontario is a hotspot for tourists, especially in its urban areas where one can find several Easy Weekend Getaways. Since Ontario  is also known for its hiking trails and campgrounds that attract outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world, there’s no better way to experience the beautiful province then to plan a camping trip.

First things first, you need to do a little bit of research in order to choose one of the thousands of campgrounds and trails in Ontario. Our Ontario camping resource,  Parks Blogger, shared some great tips on how to book a campsite in Ontario, and it was advised to have at least three choices in case your first choice is already fully booked. The province limits the number of tourists as an effort to maintain the pristine condition of parks. Once you’ve settled on a list of selected campsites, you can register via phone or online through Ontario Parks, which is the governing body behind the protected sites.

Once registered, it’s time to pack your gear. Mountain Equipment Cooperative has a great guide about the essential gear for summer camping in Ontario. For clothing, the best way to prepare is to take a set for each type of weather. Avoid apparel that retains moisture so you won’t be soaked in perspiration while hiking under the sun. But even though it’s summer, it was also mentioned that rain showers can hit Ontario at anytime. Your best bet is to include a rain jacket in your luggage as well.

A sleeping bag is also vital given that nights may be cold, especially if the park you chose is located in the northern part of the province. As for your main shelter, pick a lightweight tent if you plan to do a fair bit of hiking. If it’s mostly camping on level or low ground on the other hand, you can bring a bigger, heavier tent. Renting a trailer is also a good option, more so if you’re camping with a large group.

In terms of other equipment, a flask should always be carried so you can rehydrate at anytime. Avoid coffee, as tempting as a hot cup might sound, because it dehydrates the body faster and that’s a big no-no in hot weather. Water is still the best option, but you can have tea or herbal drink as well.

For additional tips, Scouts Canada published a piece which listed ways on how to stay safe while summer camping in the country.

For Overseas Travellers:

Tourists coming from other continents have additional things to consider, first of which is the time zone. The registration system opens at 7am local time, so factor that into account before making an overseas call.

If you have camping equipment, bringing or renting a car is a viable option to easily haul your gear. You may need to arrange parking options beforehand to avoid any hassle or extra costs, especially at hectic locations like airports. To make the process easier, there are comparison engines utilised by the busiest airports like Toronto Pearson, Hartsfield-Jackson or London Heathrow to help passengers find the best options. London Heathrow, for example, is used by over 90 airlines and according to Heathrow parking experts Parking4Less, the airport opened additional car parks and deployed a user-friendly comparison system in order to accommodate the vehicles which come and go every day.

Remember that some camping items are prohibited by security so it’s best to leave them at home to avoid the extra baggage weight. Such items include sharp and pointed objects, portable stoves and other flammable materials. If you need these tools, ask your guide or a Scout for assistance once you’re in Ontario before heading out to the campsite.

Happy Camping!


Photo Credit: [camping]

Leave a Reply