Most people think we are crazy when we start getting excited about our annual camping trip. As much as we love exploring B.C. in the summer – it’s our winter camping trip that I look forward to the most. After all – there are no bugs, no-one to compete with for a tent site, and you never have to worry about ice in the cooler or hungry bears invading your camp!
This year we headed up to the Placer Lake, Recreation Site (East of Manning Park) and were, unsurprisingly, able to find the coveted bridge site vacant! With fresh water, a picnic table, fire pit, and even pit toilet – we were set up for luxury camping for the next 4 days.
Mornings are always my favorite; with everyone still in their sleeping bags, the dog and I set out to walk in silence, the morning sun rising through the trees, dappling our faces with warmth.
The air is still and crisp, biting at your skin and a sense of emptiness and peace wraps warmly around you like a scarf. Back at camp it’s time to get the Coleman stove working – heat up some water for oatmeal, fry up some bacon and eggs and wake up the family.
Afternoons are spent gathering dead-wood for the fire, whittling marshmallow sticks, and exploring the river bank. It’s also a time of family bonding – away from electronics and distractions: Dad teaches the kids how to use an axes, light a fire, and make the best smokes.
Dinner comes early with the sunset and we enjoy warm bowls of stew, fried toast, and hot chocolate. With a big bonfire blazing, we sing songs, share ideas, and play word games. When the temperatures drop, we crawl back into our sleeping bags and play board games, read books, and relax.
Each day we wake anticipating some new adventure, marveling at the winter world, and enjoying the simple pleasures of a warm cup of tea. Although winter camping has many challenges due to the cold and limited daylight hours, you don’t have to be crazy to enjoy it – just Canadian!