(NC) — Our interests can be so varied when venturing into the great Canadian wilderness – and this includes our comfort.
For example, spending your vacation admiring one of the largest dark sky preserves in the world, or exploring the training site for a future mission to Mars, or even retracing the footsteps of the Kennedy family are all fascinating ideas, and now Parks Canada can elevate your experience with the addition of its state-of-the-art camping facilities. How about ending your day with your feet up on the front deck of one of its ‘oTENTik’ tents?
These are a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin. The oTENTik is a two-sided tent that can accommodate up to six people. It has three beds, a table, four chairs and some locations even have a wood-burning stove. The beds are arranged to provide campers with privacy and storage space.
“In recent years, enthusiasm has been growing for all things related to fully-equipped camping,” says Kara Sherrard, the director of visitor experience at Parks Canada. Not all of our visitors are looking for the traditional camping experience; many prefer to sleep in a good bed and have a campsite that is already set up. This is what prompted us to launch this new type of accommodation.”
Feedback is varied and positive, Sherrard points out.
“The comment we get most often is that our tents resemble those from the Gold Rush era. That’s true, although there is much more comfort to these. They are ideal for friends, couples of all ages and families who want to either discover or rediscover a camping experience that is simple and hassle-free. What’s more,” she adds, “the addition of a wood-burning stove makes it possible to start the season at the beginning of May and extend it to the Thanksgiving long weekend, without worrying about the whims of Mother Nature.”
For the over 100-year-old organization, this addition to its accommodation offering, which already includes over 120 units across the country, was essential. “We are meeting the needs of the majority of people who haven’t experienced wide-open natural spaces,” explains Andrew Campbell, the vice president of external relations and visitor experience at Parks Canada. “This new version of a tent provides an easy gateway to enjoying Canada’s most beautiful landscapes.”
The oTENTik tents are available at 14 sites across the country, including Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site in British Columbia, and Banff National Park. And what about those adventures among the stars, the planet Mars, and the Kennedys?
“Well, you will need to go to Jasper National Park in Alberta,” says Campbell, “which has one of the largest dark sky preserves in the world. And plan a trip to Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, which serves as one of NASA’s Mars analogue sites due to similarities in some places with Martian soil. The Mauricie National Park in Quebec was one of the favourite vacation spots visited by Joe Kennedy, father of the future president of the United States.
To reserve an oTENTik, visit parkscanada.gc.ca.