French River Provincial Park Camping and Cottages

705-857-2038 or email -  2870 Hartley Bay Rd., French River, Ontario P0M1A0 View on map 
 Open / Season May 1 – Oct 31. 

Winter is the time to start planning for the epic trip of a lifetime!

spring camping trip While most of us are sitting in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate and flipping through our phones, looking at pictures of our last camping trips of the season, some die-hards are out there in the snow, donning long johns and drowning out the hypothermia with alcohol… Huge respect to those guys!


Sure, there are no bugs in winter, and fewer deer and bears and people crowding the camps… But if you, like me, want to avoid unexpected hypothermia, or simply respect your body too much to allow it to chill to the bone, you’d be better off using the colder months to better prepare for a more epic spring camping trip.


Last year, we wrote about Paddling Separation Anxiety and the symptoms of longing back to paddling trips. Many of those symptoms are similar to what you’re feeling now about camping. So let’s give you a few constructive ways to prepare for your first spring camping trip.


Connect with nature - When you can’t be at Hartley Bay Marina, find some ways to surround yourself with nature, whether it is by taking a stroll through your neighbourhood park, or making s’mores by the fire pit in your backyard. Sunshine provides vitamin D that chases the low emotions away.


Keep your body fit and strong - That first day of paddling in spring can take its toll on your body, so be sure to keep fit throughout winter by biking (if you have fat tires – if not go buy them, you can actually bike in winter!), hiking, visiting the gym and doing yoga throughout the winter. This will ensure that you’re not in pain after Day 1 and you can enjoy the rest of your trip to the fullest.


Prepare your gear - Winter is a great time to get your gear in order. Take time to fix any holes in your tent, kayak, canoe, jacket, shoes etc. now, allowing them to settle properly during your down time. If you are like me or any outdoor adventurer at Hartley Bay Marina, you can relate to the “Oh Doh” when you forgot to fix something from last year in the first spring trip out of the docks.

Buy new gear - The one good thing about winter is that there are many sales on summer gear. Take advantage of it now and go into summer with all-new gear. The excitement should keep you going.


Check out good camping spots - Things can become busy when the camping season rolls around, so use this time to look for good spots. Keep your eye on the Hartley Bay Marina website for announcements so that you’re the first person to know when it’s officially spring camping season.


We’re looking forward to welcoming you back for your first spring camping trip of the year! Don’t forget to get packed and be ready May 1, 2019 (weather permitting we are open). See you then!


Image C/O Alan Calder - Lake Wanapitei

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