Photo by Parks Canada

Parks Canada “tents” transform camping into glamping

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For Canadians who want to camp in our country’s beautiful parks, but don’t want to forgo comforts like sleeping on a plush mattress or connecting to wifi, Parks Canada has the answer: oTENTik.

Dubbed the oTENTik, these A-frame shelters are a cross between a tent and a cabin, and they’re popping up across Canada’s national parks. Equipped with beds for up to six people, solar powered lighting, an electric heater and even wi-fi,  oTENTik definitely appeals to high-maintenance campers. A BBQ and fire pit are also located on site.

oTENTiks are available to rent at national parks located coast to coast, including  Thousand Islands in Ontario, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Fort Langley National Historic Site in British Columbia.

Stephen Dicks, who works at Fort Langley, says oTENTiks had a 150 percent higher booking rate on this season’s opening day compared to last year’s. He says the shelters are a great option for Canadians who don’t feel comfortable with traditional camping.

“The demographics of Canada are changing quite a bit,” said Dicks in an interview with Global News. “We have an aging population, we have families coming from everywhere in the world to live here in this country and they may not be used to what we consider to be a more traditional Canadian experience.”

The oTENTik comes equipped with a table and four chairs
The oTENTik comes equipped with a table and four chairs. Photo courtesy of Parks Canada.


Along with oTENTiks, Canadians can also rent yurts, a modern take of the traditional dwellings of central Asian nomads. Parks Canada’s yurts are made with insulated walls and contain bunk beds, a propane stove, a skylight and solar-powered lighting.

In another effort camping to introduce camping to Canadian immigrants, Ontario Parks created the program, Learn to Camp. The program involves workshops where participants learn the basics of camping, like how to pitch a tent and what to pack for your trip. Participants can then put their new skills to use during a guided overnight camping trip, in which Learn to Camp brings along all necessary gear.

In Canada, over 5.7 million Canadian adults camp each year. And according to the Canadian Camping and RV Council, Ontario has the most campgrounds and campsites in the country. And yet the province has a lower rate of campers compared to Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, which has the highest rate of regular campers at 34 percent.