From backcountry to backyard: How to choose the best camping experience for you

·5-min read

Camping and roadtrips are a Canadian rite of passage — and being prepared will help make it the most enjoyable experience possible. When it comes to tackling your summer plans with confidence, Everything Awaits you at Canadian Tire. From roadtrip checklists to out-of-the-box camping meal ideas, we’ve got you covered as you count down to the weekends.

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Not sure camping is for you? Think again.

If you’ve ever tried one type of camping but didn’t enjoy it, don’t write it off just yet. There are so many types of experiences that cater to every type of person — and rest assured, there’s one for you.

At the end of the day, camping is about enjoying the outdoors, disconnecting from urban life and bonding with friends and family. For some, that might mean hauling a canoe through the backcountry, while for others, it might mean a fully equipped luxury tent.

If you’re new to camping and still trying to find your niche, or if you’re a seasoned camper looking to try something new, there’s plenty of options. Check out our guide below.

Adventure camping

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Venturing off the beaten path? Adventure camping is a more challenging, but extremely rewarding, experience. This type of camping involves campers finding their way to a remote campsite. Being completely self sufficient is the name of the game, so backcountry camping requires a lot of planning and preparation.

If you want to attempt backcountry camping, you’ll need to make a thorough list of all the essentials, including shelter, food, navigation and safety. It’s important to understand the environment you’ll be camping in, so research is key. Along with a quality tent and sleeping bags, it’s important to have a roomy and utilitarian backpack like the Woods™ Chilkoot Backpack, 40-L.

The last thing you want is to get lost in the woods — so navigation tools are also very important. The Garmin Drive 51LM Car GPS, 5-in is an excellent GPS option but you may also want to bring a compass and a map to help guide you to certain rivers, lakes or mountains.

And of course, you'll need a strong, durable tent to ensure you have a great time, no matter what the weather throws at you. Canadian Tire has plenty of options, depending on what you're looking for. The Woods™ Lookout 6-Person 3-Season Tent holds up to six people, so it's great for families (or if you desire a bit more room). It features engineered ripstop polyester for great performance and weather protection as well as a rugged polyester ripstop floor with extreme water coating protection.

If you plan on camping throughout all four seasons, you can even invest in an all-season tent like the Woods™ Pinnacle 4-Person, 4-Season Tent, an adventure grade shelter that performs in the backcountry no matter what the weather.

Family camping

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

This is probably the most traditional style of camping — think heading to an outdoor park or conservation area with those closest to you. 

One of the most important things with family camping is making sure you have enough room, well, for the whole family. A large tent will ensure you don't feel too crowded — the Woods™ Klondike 10-Person, 3-Season Tent is a great option. 

Since family camping is all about hanging out and relaxing, it's also a good idea to create a pseudo-indoor dining area that will stay bug free, like the Woods™ LODGE Camp Screen Shelter, 11-ft x 9-ft. The LODGE provides covered space for over a picnic table or to bring your camp chairs inside for a shielded hangout spot.

The Woods™ Outdoor Collapsible Utility Standard Wagon, Black is an easy way to carry camping essentials, like food or extra flashlights, from your vehicle to the campground. 

And of course, no campsite would be complete without comfy chairs and a fire pit. The Outbound Portable Camp Firepit is perfect to roast S'mores over — plus it's portable so you can bring it from camping trip to your backyard and beyond.

Backyard camping

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Speaking of backyards, if you fancy something a little bit closer to home — or are camping with little ones who might not be ready for the great outdoors — you can always recreate a wilderness experience at home. 

You can set up the same things you would in the woods — like a tent and campfire (in adherence to bylaws, of course), but still have the comfort of the kitchen and a working bathroom just a few paces away. It’s a great way to test the camping waters with kids — if they don’t like it, their own cozy beds are close by. Plus, for inexperienced campers, this can be a great test run before heading out for a campsite experience. If you forget a sleeping bag or snacks, it’s a lot easier to get them when you’re camping in the backyard.

Portaging

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

You can portage while you’re backcountry camping, but portaging specifically requires carrying a canoe or a kayak over land between bodies of water.

It’s a physically demanding type of camping which requires you to be in relatively good shape. If you decide to pursue portaging this summer, you’ll need all the same equipment for backcountry camping — but some extra considerations are required.

A canoe or kayak is essential for obvious reasons. The Pelican Argo 80 Kayak is a great lightweight option and do yourself a favour and get a canoe barrel or a dry bag like the Woods™ Heavy Duty Camping Dry Bag, Blue, 25-L to keep your personal belongings dry.

RV camping

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

RV camping is a great way to ease into tent and backcountry camping. It offers a few more creature comforts and a little respite from being outdoors if you’re not used to spending entire weekends outside or in a tent.

The most important things to note when planning an RV camping trip is to know where you can park and if you don’t already own one, what type of RV is best for you. Are you going on a long or short camping trip? Are you going with a large group or one other person?

Aside from all the usual camping essentials, you also want to bring along a car safety kit. We recommend the Premium Auto Safety Kit, which includes booster cables, an air compressor, tow straps and a variety of tools that could help you get out of a jam.

Summer is finally here — and Canadian Tire and Yahoo are helping you take advantage of every single moment. From weekend camping and roadtrip must-haves to tips on how to make your backyard the ultimate oasis, Everything Awaits you at Canadian Tire.