When you love camping but don’t have all the gear what are you to do? Book a week in one of Parks Canada’s oTENTik and glamp in style. They have four canvas walls, beds aplenty, heaters and electricity for lights and modern devices. All you have to bring is yourself, food, clothes/blankets and your sense of adventure. The oTENTik experience is perfect for spring and summer travellers looking to be in our great outdoors without all the expense of purchasing camping gear. It’s the Canadian version of a safari tent and it’s kinda fabulous.
My first time sleeping in a Parks Canada oTENTik was years ago at an overnight event held in Fort Langley, BC. It was just one night and all I really did was sleep then get up the next morning and head back into Vancouver. This time around I’ll be spending an entire week in one while I explore one of our amazing national parks in Manitoba.
Located 3 hours northwest of Winnipeg is Riding Mountain National Park. 3000 square kilometres of boreal forest, aspen parkland, and fescue prairies teeming with wildlife. Plus one small resort town called Wasagaming on the shores of Clear Lake. This is where I’ll be spending my week (More to come in another post). Glamping it up oTENTik style in Wasagaming Campground.
The daily rate per adult to stay at the campground is $7.80 or $15.60 for a family/group plus $100 a night in peak season to stay in one of the oTENTiks. They can sleep up to 6 people, so it’s great value in my opinion. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made through the Riding Mountain National Park website.
I have my oTENTik all to myself and it feels quite indulgent. With 3 sleeping bunks (max capacity 6) a wood-burning heater and an inside dining table that seats 6 it is like my own mini cabin in the woods.
Included with my oTENTik are a campfire pit, picnic table and 24-hour access to washrooms and shower facility. While I love the smell of a campfire on my clothes, after a day in the woods nothing feels better than a hot shower.
I packed very light as I knew I would be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the town of Wasagaming. It is recommended though that you bring the following items with you.
- Sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows.
- Cooking equipment such as utensils, dishes, pots, and pans.
- Matches/lighter and kindling.
- Lawn chairs.
I would also add some beverages for your enjoyment around a night fire. If you’re new to camping remember to never leave food in your oTENTik or outside unsecured. Keep your food in a secure cooler and if possible in the trunk of your vehicle. This way wildlife won’t be attracted to visit you in the middle of the night.
I’m a very experienced camper. In my 50 years on the earth, I’ve done it all from sleeping a 2 person tent all the way to motor homes with slide-outs and TVs. I can honestly say that sleeping in an oTENTik may be my favourite form of camping and they are only available at select Parks Canada campsites.
I love the basic amenities it provides while still allowing me to enjoy the rustic experience of sleeping in nature. Sitting by the fire at night watching the flames dance and crackle and waking to the sounds of birds chirping every morning is truly magical. Also let’s be honest, staying at an oTENTik is easy. 90% of the set up is done, all you have to do is show up and unpack. The rest of your time is for exploring and relaxing with friends and family.
Oh Canada oTENTik, this is the way to enjoy some of the best nature that Canada has to offer.