Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Watch out for hungry grizzly bears

As one Parks Canada employee recently learned, the grizzly bears in western Canada are being forced to search for food in lower altitudes, thanks to a colder than usual spring.

Wildlife conflict specialist Etienne Cardinal survived an attack while riding his bike near Jasper, Alberta. He had been on a solo bike ride when the bear hit him on the side of his back, knocking him off his bike. The bear then tried to bite him, but instead got a mouthful of Cardinal's backpack – and the can of bear spray inside it.

The bear took off, and Cardinal was treated in hospital for minor injuries and released. Parks Canada officials say this attack was defensive, not predatory. Attacks are rare, but visitors are more likely to encounter bears this spring because the snow is taking longer to melt in the mountains, meaning food is harder to find.

For the full story, visit www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton.

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Parks Canada offering hassle-free camping in pilot project

Many RVers start off with tent camping and then work their way into the RV lifestyle. But even tent camping can be cumbersome and pricey, especially when you consider all the equipment you need for a weekend outing.

That's why Parks Canada, in an effort to increase camper numbers in its parks, is offering tents and all necessary equipment to would-be campers at several of its parks through a pilot project called Equipped Camping.

For $55 CA a night, campers can use a six-person tent (already set up on site), tent pads, and meal prep equipment. All they need to bring is bedding and food.

Participating parks include:
  • Banff National Park
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  • Elk Island National Park
  • Kouchibouguac National Park
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
  • Prince Albert National Park
  • Riding Mountain National Park
  • Thousand Islands National Park
  • Georgian Bay Islands National Park
This could also be beneficial to RVers who want to camp with family or friends and are unable to accommodate them. And who knows, some of the campers who take advantage of this program could be future RVers.

For more information, visit www.pc.gc.ca/eng/voyage-travel/hebergement-accommodation/equip

Friday, May 9, 2014

May long weekend kicks off camping season in Canada

Every year, the May long weekend in Canada marks the official start of camping season. This is when all campgrounds – national, provincial, and private – open their gates. This year, the long weekend is May 17-19, with the Victoria Day statutory holiday falling on May 19.

Victoria Day is held on the Monday preceding May 25 every year, and honours Queen Victoria's birthday, which is May 24, 1819.

This holiday is often referred to as the "May two-four weekend" by Canadians, and is a favourite among RVers itching to get back out to the campgrounds after a long, cold winter.