Category: Camping

oTENTik Camping at Thousand Islands National Park



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.




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.



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!

Camping at Awenda Provincial Park



To me, summer isn’t summer without at least one camping trip. We got off to a bit of a late start, but last weekend we went to Awenda! We went canoeing on quiet Kettle Lake, participated in their annual corn roast and took a walk on sandy beaches.



As soon as we were done setting up our tent, we headed down to the beach just in time to catch the beautiful sunset on Georgian Bay! Awenda has five beaches, and one is an off leash beach for your dog to run around.




This weekend, I was traveling in style with my new Coleman Oversized Cooler Quad chair. This chair is huge (it supports up to 400lbs!) and it let me dangle my feet without touching the ground (and I’m pretty tall, so I loved that). It has a built-in soft cooler that holds up to 4 cans and an Ice Pack.

The best part was that the cooler  zipped up, so it doubled as a secure s’more supply pocket. No bugs! I also appreciated the black pouch that was large enough to hold my magazines and the park map. This sturdy chair has a steel frame and is made with heavy-duty polyester fabric. It comes with its own carrying case, and isn’t heavy to carry. I will be carrying it to concerts and more camping trips in the future!



The next morning we went down to Kettle Lake. You can rent canoes, but be quick about it! We went at 11:00am and the canoes were already sold out. We went back a little later and were able to grab one. A 3 hour rental is $25. It was very peaceful on the lake. This was only my second time in a canoe, and we didn’t tip over! Woo hoo.

It’s a great lake if you are a beginner, because there are no large boats to create waves, and it’s a small lake. Pretty lotus flowers were growing among the lily pads.

What else can you do at Awenda? You can go hiking on one of their trails, go bike riding or go swimming at the beach.

To find out more about Awenda, click here.

Camping at Bon Echo Provincial Park

I’ve been dying to go to the Bon Echo Provincial Park for a couple of years. Finally I was able to convince my friends that we should camp there this year for our annual trip. Spoiler: They fell in love with it!

Bon Echo Provincial Park is about 4 hours away from Toronto. The only downside of our camping weekend was the fire ban that was in effect for all of Ontario.  We camped at site 208 in Hardwood Hills and had a fantastic time. The campsite was a walk in. You park your car and then go down the hill into your campsite. It was beautiful! We felt like we were in the middle of the forest, and we couldn’t see our neighbors. We had some nocturnal visitors, a raccoon and a field mouse.

This park is HUGE. We were on the other side of Mazinaw Lake, but we drove through the park and it was endless.
(We did have a chance to peek at the Fairway campsites, and they were considerably smaller than ours.)  Bon Echo has a slew of activities for you to do. You can go rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, or hiking. If you don’t have your own boat you can rent canoes and paddle boats.

The beaches are beautiful and perfect for swimming. You can hop on the Wanderer boat for a relaxing tour of Upper Mazinaw Lake. The tour talks about the about interesting features of the huge Mazinaw Rock and its native pictographs. The tour is $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids. We didn’t have enough time to go on this tour, so it’s on my To Do list! This was my favourite provincial park of the two that I’ve camped in before (Ferris, Presqu’ile) and I know that I’ll be back. Next camping trip is in September, at Bruce Peninsula National Park!

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