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Where to camp in Revelstoke and what to pack

Camping is the best. Spending a night under the stars is good for the soul and there’s something special about waking to the sunrise in the outdoors (or even listening to the sound of summer rain tapping on the canvas if you’re not so lucky with the weather). Yet taking a summer camping trip can be daunting. From finding a spot, to making sure you’ve packed everything you need- it can be stressful. So we’ve put together these tips to help make sure your next camping trip in Revelstoke runs smoothy!

Where to camp? 

Revelstoke has a camping experience to suit everyone. From glamping in cabins to roughing it in the bush- we’ve got you covered!

Check out these camping providers in and around Revelstoke:

Car camping

Camping can be a lot easier when you can drive right to your chosen site. Especially if you’re camping with the family. Revelstoke is great for easily accessible camping places, with a mixture of sites in town for easy access to all the fun downtown has to offer and more remote locations for peace and quiet. 

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Lamplighter Campground – the Lamplighter is a popular site in the Big Eddy area of Revelstoke. Close to Mount Macpherson and the beautiful Columbia river, this spot often fills up early so booking is recommended.

Martha Creek – Martha Creek is a provincial campground right on the shores Lake Revelstoke. It boasts one of the best beaches on the lake, a boat launch and full hookups for stress-free camping. Bookings can be made online for this site.

Boulder Mountain and Smokey Bear – both Boulder Mountain Resort and Smokey Bear campsite offer scenic camping just outside of town, conveniently located close to Highway 1. Boulder Mountain is open all year round for tenting, RVs and sleek modern cabin rentals. It’s convenient location makes it a great adventure base. Just minutes away, Smokey Bear campground is also open year round and also offers cabins, full service RV sites but with an onsite B&B too. Look out for the iconic Smokey Bear statue that marks the entrance on Highway 1

Williamson Lake – Williamson Lake is a great place for a family break. The site is family orientated and offers mini golf, paddle board and canoe rentals to keep everyone occupied. They are open for tents, RVs and offer a Yome camping experience (think part yurt, part dome) for those looking for something a little different.

 

Glamping

Roughing it isn’t for everyone, and there’s no reason camping can’t be luxurious. Check out these options for camping out in style!

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Halcyon, Nakusp, Canyon or Crazy Creek Hotsprings – nothing says luxury quite like staying steps away from hotsprings and spas. Over the ferry, on Highway 23S, soak away your stresses and relax at the cabins at Halycon hotsprings. Or stay at Nakusp hotsprings, with a choice of traditional camping or staying in onsite chalets, all close to the picturesque hotsprings. A little closer to Revelstoke, Crazy Creek Resort offers camping, suites and activities to keep the whole family busy- including a suspension bridge over a waterfall! Closer to Glacier National Park, there is also the family orientated Canyon Hotsprings, where you can choose cabins, chalets, tenting or RVing while you take in the mountain vistas.

Griffin Lake Cabins – close to the Enchanted Forest on Highway 1, Griffin Lake cabins are nestled on the shore of the beautiful Griffin Lake. There are 3 cabins for rent and even include complementary canoe rental with your stay!

 

Backcountry camping

Backcountry camping is the truly wilderness experience. It doesn’t get much more fulfilling than setting up camp using only things you’ve carried to your campsite and the serenity of a backcountry camp is hard to beat!

Backcountry camping does have risks and requires backcountry survival skills and knowledge. Please make sure you’re fully prepared before you set out. 

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Mount Revelstoke National Park – Mount Revelstoke National Park has backcountry camping available at the beautiful Eva and Jade lakes (permit required). Really get away from it all with this moderate day hike to the alpine lake and spend a night in the mountains. Perfect for a digital detox!
(Parks Canada are also introducing frontcountry camping at Mount Revelstoke from 2019 for those who want to stay, but not hike!)

Mount Begbie – near the summit of Revelstoke’s iconic Mount Begbie, is a 3 pad campsite at the end of a steep and strenuous trail. Enjoy the peace and revel in the stunning views over the Columbia valley- you’ll have earned it!

Glacier National Park – Glacier National Park also offers less remote camping but, if you’re looking for true wilderness, you can camp on the designated spots on the Hermit, Mount Sir Donald and Baldhill trails.

 

What to bring? 

Everyone has a different idea of what camping means, and what the essentials are, but here are some helpful tips about what you might want to pack (check out this printable list here)

Car camping

  • Tent (with footprint, guy ropes and tarp if needed)
  • Spare pegs 
  • Sleeping bags 
  • Sleeping pads or air mattresses
  • Pump for air mattress
  • Pillows
  • Headlamps, lanterns or flashlights
  • Water container or water filter if you’re camping where there’s no potable water
  • Stove with fuel
  • Pots for heating water and cooking food
  • Utensils for cooking and eating
  • Dishes for eating and non-breakable cups
  • Secure garbage disposal 
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Bug spray
  • Toilet paper (just in case)
  • Toiletries
  • Cooler
  • Chairs 
  • Firewood
  • SMORES!

Backcountry camping

  • Tent (with footprint, guy ropes and tarp if needed)
  • Spare pegs and tent repair kit
  • Sleeping bags
  • Lightweight sleeping pads or mats
  • Foldable pillow
  • Headlamps
  • Water filter and bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Lightweight stove and fuel
  • Pot for cooking / eating
  • Utensils for cooking and eating
  • Maps of the area, including a hard copy
  • Solar charging panel for electronics
  • Emergency alert device (such as Spot, or InReach devices)

 

Try these camping pro tips

⛺️  Camping near Lake Revelstoke is great, but make sure you don’t camp too close to the shore. The water levels are prone to fast changes, due to the dams, so don’t be caught out!

⛺️  Know the fire restrictions and abide by them. Don’t be those people. 

⛺️  Never cook close to your campsite. Animals can smell cooking food long after you’ve finished cooking and eating. 

⛺️  Check out these campfire building techniques from Parks Canada to get the perfect fire for your marshmallow toasting!

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Teepee: Start with a small cone of kindling around a few handfuls of tinder that are loosely piled in the center of the fire ring. Once the fire is going strong and the temperature increases, you can add larger logs a few at a time as needed.

Log cabin: Place two larger pieces of firewood parrallel to each other and with some room in between to form the base of your structure. Then, turn 90 degrees and place two slightly smaller pieces on top and perpendicular to form a square. Place plenty of tinder inside the square. Continue adding a few more layers of firewood around the perimeter, getting a little bit smaller with each layer. Finish with a layer of kindling and tinder across the top. Remember to leave space between logs so the fire can get plenty of oxygen.

Upside down (pyramid): Start with three or four of your largest logs side-by-side on the bottom layer. Turn 90 degrees and then add a second layer of slightly smaller logs on top. Continue alternating a few more layers in this manner, getting smaller as you go. Place your kindling and tinder on top.

⛺️    Pack out whatever you bring in. The ideal campers are the ones that don’t leave a trace. Leave nothing behind that doesn’t belong at your site- the wildlife and environment will thank you for it!

⛺️    A Nalgene water bottle can be a camper’s best friend. Fill it with warm water and pop it in your sleeping bag before bedtime for a hot water bottle on those chilly nights. Or fill it with water and shine a headlamp into the bottom for a camp lantern.

 

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and camp!

 

 

 

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