People just want to pitch a tent, and instead, they’re finding themselves pitching a fit.
It isn’t quite a campground crisis yet, but camping trips on long weekends are becoming less accessible in B.C., and that’s a concern. The provincial government should make it a priority to look at ways to expand campsite offerings at B.C. Parks.
Our provincial parks are there to preserve British Columbia’s wilderness and natural beauty, but they’re also there to be enjoyed. We must avoid discouraging people from visiting our parks; rather, we should be creating opportunities for more people to get out and explore.
The great outdoors is a pillar of our province’s tourism marketing and we need to be able to deliver on our offers. We need to make sure people who were inspired by those pretty Instagram photographs have the chance to create their own adventures here. We know that camping, too, brings spinoff benefits to our tourism and service industries.
Improving camping accessibility doesn’t mean we’re destroying our parks, as long as we’re careful. One strategy could be to improve amenities at some of the less-used campgrounds in hopes of making them into more attractive destinations. At certain larger parks, adding a dozen campsites here or there won’t really change the character of those places. After all, the best campgrounds aren’t the ones that sit atop clearcuts, they’re the ones that are in harmony with nature.
We would hope that all but the most ardent environmentalists would acquiesce to new campsites in B.C. Those who enjoy camping are, by and large, respectful of the environment, and by getting more folks out camping, maybe we encourage more of that respect and stewardship.
B.C. is a beautiful place and it’s a big place, and surely we can fit a few more people around the campfire.