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Camping on Vancouver Island


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#341 spanky123

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 10:16 AM

Yeah lots of people coming to the Island, looks like most of them bypassing Victoria though if you compare numbers of people.


Edited by spanky123, 23 May 2022 - 10:16 AM.


#342 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 10:18 AM

Well, let’s make bigger parking lots then. And more seasonal camp grounds.

#343 Nparker

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 10:20 AM

Yeah lots of people coming to the Island, looks like most of them bypassing Victoria though...

The 900 block of Pandora Avenue must be the exception that proves the rule.



#344 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 12:51 PM

Access to B.C.’s outdoors limited by washroom, parking access, finds poll

A significant number of British Columbians say a disability has kept them from exploring the outdoors, says a new poll. The top culprits: a lack of washroom and parking facilities.

https://www.timescol...ds-poll-5441284

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 06 June 2022 - 12:52 PM.


#345 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 12:52 PM


Why not add another dozen simple campgrounds on the non-water side of #14, so people can overnight there as they explore the beaches dayside? If you can add more overnighters, you reduce day-tripper traffic.
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#346 lanforod

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 01:06 PM

The washroom thing is more of a outhouse thing. Perhaps these folks aren't aware of all these spiffy new outhouses that BC Parks has been putting up/replacing old ones with. They are pretty nice, and pretty disability friendly (no the doors won't open on a button, but given the lack of power, these things are pretty good, easy to access, space for a wheelchair, etc.

 

The campsites problem is valid. Folks still have to book right at 7 AM on the dot 2 months before to get a site at many, many provincial campgrounds - and sometimes you can't get one. Thats not a new issue either, its been an issue for a decade or more. 


Edited by lanforod, 06 June 2022 - 01:06 PM.


#347 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 01:07 PM

Yes, there must be a way to add more simple seasonal campgrounds in this province. And it’s good for business.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 06 June 2022 - 01:08 PM.


#348 lanforod

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 01:10 PM

The main thing is, these new campgrounds need to be the kind you can reach in a relatively easy drive from major population centers. Like, > 1 hour, and ideally with real washhouses (hot showers, flush toilets) and a RV dump location. Those are the ones that bridge the gap between the 'rec site with outhouses and maaaaaybe tap water' and the 'full RV hookup park' that we need more of. Think like Goldstream, Rathtrevor.


Edited by lanforod, 06 June 2022 - 01:11 PM.

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#349 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 01:13 PM

I agree water might be the toughest part. A person can get by with no, or limited (from car) power. But they want some water to cook or clean with.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 06 June 2022 - 01:13 PM.


#350 Mike K.

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 01:50 PM

The tricky thing is, as you encourage more people to cluster in areas far from emergency resources, the nearby communities are stressed to provide those resources as it takes a cop or ambulance 35-45 minutes to respond one-way.

And when police are far away, petty crime happens.
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#351 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 03:06 PM

Depends too on how you define "camping", as different people in different circumstances - an older couple with mobility or medical issues for example, or a younger couple with the kids etc., - will have widely varying expectations and needs including easy and relatively quick access, i.e. an hour or two from Victoria, showers and in the larger campgrounds maybe activities or facilities to occupy the kiddies; to me and the fishing gang, 'camping' is not going to Country Maples resort with the $300,000 RV, electronically unfolding the side of the unit, raising the satellite dish, setting up the 60" Samsung TV and going for a splash in the heated pool. In that case - unless you are among the aforementioned groups noted above - why bother? Just head to a motel in Parksville, Osoyoos or Penticton with a pool and all the comfy amenities of home.

 

Camping to us means bringing in everything including obviously tents and all that associated gear, water as needed for washing and cooking, or water containers to obtain it from the river, mobile hand lights at night for illumination, (lots!) of tarps to hang for overhead (rainfall) protection when sitting around or eating, whatever food you need plus all the gear to prep and cook it, as well as the odds and ends for cleaning the dishes when you're done. An outhouse does what it does - not glamorously obviously :) - but works for us in those circumstances.

 

This weekend we camped out at Nitinat Provincial Park, which is about 3+ hours from the city over logging roads on Ditidaht FN territory so rough the average vehicle would arrive in pieces. It has no designated parking spots, you drive until ideally you find a place to pitch the tents near the river which we did, with a little pre-trip homework figuring out the best access points to the river. It offered up however the obligatory outhouse, conveniently positioned trees to tie off the tarps, and the pristine Nitinat River, which is all we needed.


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#352 Nparker

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 03:14 PM

Depends too on how you define "camping", ...

Camping: Any accommodation that offers less than full menu room service, 24-hours-a-day.  ;)


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#353 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 03:37 PM

Camping: Any accommodation that offers less than full menu room service, 24-hours-a-day.  ;)

 

Bah-humbug: I call full menu service 24 hours/day either Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean :)



#354 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 03:39 PM

Sounds like the ASE / NParker camping trip will never materialize.
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#355 Spy Black

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 03:58 PM

I camp 100% off-grid. It's always free, always available, and usually takes only marginally longer to get to than say, Parksville or any of the other large Provincial campsites.

Even the Rec Sites are to the point where, in 2022 unless you're getting way into the backwoods over on the mainland ... they're most often already occupied.

 

By way of folks living in Victoria boon docking, check out (for example ... and a hot tip) the Klawana River. Only a few hours from Victoria, usually you won't see another vehicle once you're past Nitnat, and although some of the drive is through logging country, there are plenty of lovely forested areas to camp in ... many of them right beside small, easily accessible lakes and/or the Klawana River itself.

 

Not to disparage those who seek the luxury of a Provincial Park or Rec Site ... but if you can drive to Parksville and Rathtrevor, you can just as easily drive to the Klawana Valley ... and you'll get there in the same two hour drive ... door to door, never leave your vehicle between home and your camp site.


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#356 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 04:25 PM

Don't know why but to this day it still surprises me how many life long or at least long time islanders consider Campbell River the "north" end of the island and how many have not ever ventured further than that. I am sworn by the other guys not to mention or reveal the 'secret' off the beaten path places we camp in pursuit of fish but suffice to say they are (mostly) well to the west of Cassidy, and very well 'north' of that side of the island. 


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#357 lanforod

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 06:02 PM

This is exactly why I specified the type of camping that we need more of. We don't need more off grid, rec site, back woods etc camping. There is a wealth of that - the only issue there is the stupid gated access on logging road access. The private industry provides the resort style accommodation (could use more of that imo but that's for private to sort out). There is a "missing middle" with the goldstream style campground not having enough options. Some of this could be sorted with improvements to existing places like Bamberton. Personally I'd love more options, an option by East Spoke would be awesome.

#358 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 06:38 PM

Offhand I can't recall many missing middle newer campgrounds on VI in the 'usual' paths more taken places, with the exceptions of Alder Bay near Pt McNeill, Surf Grove at Tofino and the Living Forest Campground in Nanaimo; otherwise Buttle Lake, China Beach, French Beach, Englishman River Falls, Nitinaht Lake + Pachena Bay, Saratoga Beach-Oyster River, Miracle Beach, Qualicum, Parksville/Rathtrevor, Goldstream among many others all pre-date me, and I'm 60.

 

However there are some amazing camping/RV facilities on the west coast of the island, on Dididaht Lake for starters; if you are willing to drive an hour or so beyond Campbell River there are some good camping options in the Sayward area. 



#359 lanforod

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 06:52 PM

the vast majority of those campgrounds youve listed are full for every weekend for the next 2 months or more. It's pretty clear you don't actually camp at this level. Thats okay, but there is far more demand than supply for this and has been for some time. 


Edited by lanforod, 06 June 2022 - 06:53 PM.


#360 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 June 2022 - 07:17 PM

the vast majority of those campgrounds youve listed are full for every weekend for the next 2 months or more. It's pretty clear you don't actually camp at this level. Thats okay, but there is far more demand than supply for this and has been for some time. 

 

Well *actually* we were at Saratgoa Beach as recently as 2019 and at Elk Falls last year - both fully serviced, including "proper" washrooms and showers and we had exactly zero issues booking either one.

 

If by "this level" of camping you mean I expect a *real* camping experience, all of the above amenities, and be able to drive to it in 25 minutes, barely leaving the urban containment boundary behind, then you are correct. My point was simply in response to your post above mine - there are IMO and in my experience which is quite extensive, plenty of the so-called 'missing middle'' existing campgrounds; however if that assessment is inaccurate, and a private entity thought otherwise and there was a profit to be made, not to mention a sound business case, I'm sure more would be built and/or expanded. With everything else going on post Covid I'm pretty sure government doesn't have more campgrounds on its priority list....

 

No doubt current supply is more in line with the island population of ~ 20 or so years ago making it tougher but not impossible - in my experience - to reserve a site; however acquiring and assembling the requisite land, or expanding an existing facility probably has to run a gauntlet of issues more than ever, including in 2022 environmental impact assessments, funding, government permitting and - oh yeah - FN land claims in more and more of existing vanisle real estate which, it appears increasingly, is to say FN real estate. 



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