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Braving the elements for winter camping

Kelsey McEwen, reporter
February 12, 2013 — Love camping outdoors, regardless of the weather? Here's some tips on how to make the best of the snowy season.

Alberta offers plenty of outdoor winter activities
Alberta offers plenty of outdoor winter activities

Itís a summer-time staple, getting out of the city and pitching a tent. But even in the winter, camping holds a certain appeal.

"Just because the snow flies in the winter doesnít mean you canít get out and enjoy camping on a year round basis," says Shelley Grollmus with Travel Alberta. "With the right equipment, whether you're using a water proof tent, or maybe youíve even got an RV, or even if you want to stay in one of our beautiful back country lodges that we have in the Canadian Rockies, thereís truly something for everyone to go out and enjoy."†

Alberta is home to 75 provincial parks, more than 200 recreational areas and 5 national parks, giving those who love to camp ample room for adventure.

Would you try winter camping?
Would you try winter camping?

Even when the snow flies, there are still several campgrounds open for business.

"Banff National Park is open in the Canadian Rockies, we also have a lot of provincial parks that are also open that offer camping on a year round basis, and some of them even offer equipment rentals too that you can go snowshoeing or do other winter activities," says Grollmuss.†

Even with so many winter camping options, the idea of spending a night outside doesnít sound appealing to everyone.†

"In the winter? No way! Best Western, king sized bed," laughed one Calgarian we caught up with.

"If I had the gear, I would certainly camp in the winter," said a more optimistic resident. "Years ago, I wouldnít have considered it, but Iíve got friends who do and itís their favourite time of year."†

Whether you love it or hate it, camping in the winter time means you need to be prepared for the elements, and of course, tune in for your local forecast.

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