Outdoor staycations are hot property this summer
By CJ Sommerfeld, Contributor
The long-awaited summer has finally dawned upon us. What screams “BC SUMMER” more than sleeping in our coniferous forests for a weekend? Nothing. However, this year, once the clock strikes 12:01—thirty days prior to a camper’s get-away date—nearly all public camping spots are booked.
Fred Fir and Steven Spruce fought off numb fingertips and purple lips for three seasons while eagerly anticipating an escapade of camping during the summer months. It was almost that time of the year, the one where we riddle our lawn chairs and fleece-pullovers with campfire burn holes and finally use our $500-dollar 79-attachment multitool. However, little did these boys know, this season was not going to happen as they had planned.
“At first we had a long criterion of what we wanted in our campsite.” Fir tells the Other Press during a Facebook Messenger Rooms interview with him and his camping buddy, Spruce. “Boat launch! RV hook-up! Hiking trails! Potable water! Outhouses!… But not too far a drive from Vancouver.” Spruce chimes in. In May, the two campers had read on their newsfeed that BC Parks camping spots would only be available for reservation thirty days prior to the booking date. They began searching for campsites which fit their criterion 47 days out. They wrote a list of the sites which they found, and at 7 am, 29 days and three-quarters out, they found that all the available spots for these campsites had been reserved.
“I was blown away—people must’ve booked all of them between 12:01 and 7 that morning.” Spruce tells us. They then began searching on private camping websites where people listed their own properties—their backyards and such—for people to rent and camp in. “There were vineyards, farmyards and backyards, but none of them fit our original camping criterion.” Fir tells us, shocked. As reservations for these campsites were open up to a year in advance, all the good spots had been reserved.
The two boys explained to the Other Press that they then lowered their criteria and continued searching on the private campsite websites. “We got to a point, where we were like f*** it; we don’t need a boat launch, we don’t need a waterfall… we didn’t even care if there’s potable water… it just needs to be a decent drive from Vancouver.”
“I’ll even sh*t in a hole if we can’t get a spot with outhouses!” Fir interrupts Spruce. Yet still, the only available spots for the weekend which they desired were those in the Rockies. This mountain chain, however, was a tad too far a drive for just a weekend trip. “Here we were thinking that we’d be camping all summer, but really, we’ll be lucky if we even go once.” Spruce utters sadly.
Long gone are the days where you can easily drive into the woods with flats of beer and some veggie-wieners to get drunk with the trees. If you want this to be a reality this summer, remember to book well in advance to secure a camping spot!