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Growing up, my family never went camping. We would take road trips, have barbeques, go to parks…but the thought of camping would never cross our minds. Much to the surprise of many, I’ve started to enjoy the outdoors! I wanted to find a way to share that with my family.

When I read about Parks Canada’s new oTENTiks, I knew I’d found my answer. An oTENTik is a cross between a cabin and a tent. Currently in Ontario, the only park that has these structures is Thousand Islands National Park..

Some of the oTENTiks are on land, but some are on McDonald and Gordon island. We stayed on McDonald island. You must have your own boat or you can call a water taxi to get to the islands.

The island was busier than I thought it would be, with many boaters hopping on and off of the island. The oTENiks were a few minutes apart, with ample space between them.

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The oTENiks are well built with lots of space inside. Inside, there are bottom and top bunks. The structure can sleep 6. There were 4 of us, so there was plenty of room. Mattresses are included, but no bedding, so bring your own! There’s also a set of tables and chairs, and a handy solar light.

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Outside you have a firepit with a beautiful view of the lake, deck chairs, a covered eating area, a picnic bench, coal grill and a metal storage container for food

It was a great camping experience. My family really liked it, and we were able to pack lighter because of all the things that were included. It was actually pouring rain one night, and the oTENTik did its job- no leaks!

Activities to do include hiking and swimming. There are no flush toilets, but the composting toilets are clean. You have to remember to bring your own drinking water, as there is none on the island.

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You can also visit the visitors center (generally open until Labour Day) at Malloytown Landing. They have cool things to explore like exhibits, furs and animal skulls. During the summer, you can visit with their friendly snake, and other animals.

An oTENTik is the perfect camping experience for the first time camper, family camper, or just someone looking to experience something a little different. They are available to rent until Thanksgiving weekend for $90 a night. Rent one today!

Author: amanda

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