With arrival of Victoria Day weekend, listed below are some tenting suggestions


“A rainy weekend doesn’t have to be a miserable camping weekend. As long as you are prepared for the weather, you can have a great time,” says First Kempenfelt Scouter

Campers, light your campfires!

Victoria Day weekend, or May 2-4 as it’s also known, is the unofficial start of the summer camping season.

Tents are taken from basement shelves, poles checked for dents, sleeping bags checked for last year’s odors, air mattresses pumped up, rainwear checked for holes, hiking shoes checked for footprints, etc.

Does the cooler keep food edible and drinks drinkable? Are there bandages in the first-aid kit? Where are the camp chairs? Do we need to bring firewood? Are we even allowed to light a fire? And what’s the weather forecast for this weekend? Do we have a big tarp to sit under if it rains all the time?

And for those who are always connected, is there wifi at our campsite?

Decisive factors for a pleasant start to the camping season in Ontario.

But Jason Gingrich, senior Kempenfelt scouter at Scouts Canada, says there’s more to know and check before venturing into the wilderness, or at least the wilderness that’s accessible by car when gas is around 2 dollars per liter costs.

“The first thing you have to do in a scouting way is be prepared, have a plan of where you want to go, how long you want to stay there,” said the 21-year-old. “We might get some rain, we might get some wind; Being prepared for bad weather is always a good thing.

“A rainy weekend doesn’t have to be a miserable camping weekend. As long as you prepare for the weather, you can have a great time,” Gingrich added.

preparation, such as B. A tarpaulin so you can sit outside your tent, or even an extra tarpaulin for your tent, depending on the quality. Some materials aren’t as waterproof as you’d like, Gingrich explained, so an extra tarp can go a long way.

Another valuable skill is learning how to dry clothes. So if you’re soaked, having things like pitching your tent in the rain, having a drying rack, or some sort of clothesline can be essential.

“We (Scouts) have one thing, never go camping and don’t expect it to rain,” said Gingrich, a student in the college management program. “Even very experienced campers can feel uncomfortable. It certainly helps to have some experience to draw on.”

There are also dangers that campers need to be aware of, such as being on the water.

“I wouldn’t recommend a May long weekend canoe trip, an expedition,” he said. “It’s early in the year to be on the water as the risk of hypothermia is very high. Even if it’s over 20 degrees and it feels like a really warm, beautiful day, you wouldn’t think of hypothermia.

“But many cases of hypothermia actually occur in the spring and fall. If you end up falling in that water and getting soaked in 15 degree water when the sun goes down and the wind is blowing, there is indeed a risk of hypothermia,” Gingrich added.

Then there’s the wildlife, the creatures that live year-round where you’re only visiting for a few days.

“You always want to pay attention to wildlife,” Gingrich said. “Fortunately… we don’t have much danger in this part of the country unless you drive really far north, encountering moose or even brown bears is fairly rare around Barrie.

“Black bears are probably the biggest thing you can come across and they’re generally quite scared of people, so they tend to leave you alone and they’re not usually aggressive. As long as you don’t interfere with them, they usually leave you to your own business.”

But don’t leave food lying around, and it never hurts to throw a rope over a branch at night and lift your food way off the ground.

Gingrich said camping is also a chance to hone his outdoor skills. Make fire reliable so you don’t use a whole matchbox to get flames, for example.

Go ahead with an agenda: What do you want to do when you’re out there?

“We’ve all been in lockdown for the last few years during the pandemic, so I think this weekend and throughout this summer there will be a lot of families getting back outside,” he said. “It’s so important for youngsters to build that resilience, confidence and problem-solving skills, whether it’s starting the fire or pitching a tent for the first time.

“They can be challenging or potentially intimidating tasks, even for adults. But the process of learning these skills in this safe, fun environment is a great way to develop that resilience, that teamwork, that problem-solving, and of course that has many benefits in urban life, in everyday city life too. ”

And don’t forget the tarpaulin.