Aug 17, 2010

Free Camping

Yes, the best things in life are free - beautiful friends, inspiring environments, creative food, and thanks to BC Forestry: camping. At long last we dared to trust our backcountry road map, heading up very dusty but driveable forestry roads along the Sunshine Coast to free, quiet campgrounds.

The first night was actually $12, but had a private dock for swimming/fishing and was close to the spectacular Skukumchuck Narrows. The next 3 nights were outside Powell River at Kartoum Lake - just one of many lakes where we could camp lakeside, explore the river, paddle out on our friends' inflatable dingy to fish, skinny-dip day and night, and just relax into the summer's perfectly-timed heat wave.

Then we changed gears and stayed on the coast at Dinner Rock, watching the sun set over the ocean and Savoury Island. The ever-optimistic boys switched from trout to salmon lures (equally unsuccessful), and started collecting seastars and crabs instead of the millions of baby frogs up the mountain.

True we had to boil our water and use pit latrines, and suffer without any electric hook-ups. But that kept the crowds and RVs away, giving the perfect illusion of a backcountry hike-in paradise without losing the convenience of drive-in.

The drawbacks?
- We have to begrudgingly give thanks to the forestry companies who maintain the roads and the campsites, even if they are only doing it out of legal mandate or perhaps PR
- Trying to explain to our innocent boys the devastated barren landscape of irresponsible unsustainable clearcuts
- It's hard to pay $20 for a provincial campsite ever again
- Remembering that it's still worth it to hike or canoe in, if only to feel the heightened sense of "earning it"

Regardless of the last bullet point, I am totally inspired to get a canoe or kayak, to be able to access even more remote and pristine spots; spots that the weekend partiers and 4x4-ers can't get to. To be able to paddle out before sunrise or moonrise to fish or swim or explore. Anyone with recommendations of what type/size/style is good for a family (or with one to sell) please do let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds lovely! My husband and I love to camp, but we have never done anything close to back country camping. Now that he has his snoring contraption, I am not sure either of us would sleep without electricity.