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Official Tourism Website of Bruce County, Ontario, Canada

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Camping with Kids

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Disconnect to Reconnect
Disconnect to Reconnect

The world is a busy place these days. With technology bombarding us at every turn, sometimes a family needs to disconnect from the 9 to 5 world and reconnect with nature. For our family, camping is the perfect opportunity to do this. For a few days at a time, a few times a summer, all the normal time constraints cease. Our days are structured around who's hungry, when the fish are biting and whether it's time for another swim yet. Seeing the stars together, roasting marshmallows for smores, carving pencils out of leftover campfire wood to do a crossword. These become the highlights of your day, your trip and sometimes even your summer.

Check Out Popular Spots
Check Out Popular Spots

Bruce County is home to some well-known camping destinations like Bruce Peninsula National Park, MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Sauble Falls Provincial Park. While these popular spots can book up early, they are bucket list destinations and thankfully not the only options. A winter yurt at MacGregor is an amazing experience. A multi-day camping trip at Bruce Peninsula gives you unrivalled access to the Grotto and the Georgian Bay shoreline. Sauble Falls provides the perfect combo of camping and beach days.

Or Hidden Gems
Or Hidden Gems

But if you missed out on those reservations (you'll need to book months in advance), there are many more family-friendly private campgrounds scattered around Bruce County. From Fisherman's Cove outside Kincardine to Summer House Park near Miller Lake and the Saugeen Riverbank Campground near Walkerton, there are many campgrounds that have transient sites available alongside a crew of seasonal campers who return year to year. These campgrounds are a great place for beginner campers as they offer many amenities like playgrounds, showers, flush toilets, dish-washing stations, camp stores and some even have social activities like crafts for the kids, karaoke, parades and more.

Bring A Trailer
Bring A Trailer

Many families choose to trailer camp and the idea of pitching a tent can be intimidating. In our family, we started tent camping when our daughter was a baby (truly the most portable stage) and have continued since. We often paddle to our campsite (in Bruce County, the McBeath Conservation Area on the Saugeen River is a great introductory site for this) and then spend several days at a quiet, natural campsite. When camping further afield, you need to be prepared in advance with food and water, fire starting materials and enough clothes for several days. If you are a new camper, 'car camping' can be a great way to start. You'll get a better idea of what you actually need for a few nights away before you venture further next time.

Some Great Tips for Camping with Kids
Some Great Tips for Camping with Kids

Having camped with kids many, many times-here are a few tried-and-tested tips.

 

  1. Snacks are key-we have a few treats that are only for camping-you know when the variety pack of mini Frosted Flakes and Corn Pops come out, it's time to go. Dried fruit, hard cheese, cured meats like salami last really well and along with hard crackers (that won't get smushed) are perfect for the last meals of a trip.
  2. Your kid is going to get dirty. So are you. Embrace it. That doesn't mean letting all your clothes get soaked on day one. It means packing waterproof layers and clothes that are not your favourites so you don't have to stress. Dirt is good for kids after all.
  3. It rains sometimes… and rainy-day activities are a lifesaver. From playing cards to favourite books, crayons and a jack knife, many hours can be spent playing Go Fish, doing crosswords, whittling sticks and reading by flashlight. This down time is sometimes a quiet highlight of the trip.
  4. Lower your expectations and keep an open mind. No camping trip goes exactly according to plan, but as long as everyone has enough to eat, a dry place to sleep and a positive attitude, you'll make great family memories.
  5. Plan ahead. You'll need reservations for literally every campground in Bruce County. Call ahead to confirm which services and sites are available then pack accordingly.
Brought to you in partnership with
Brought to you in partnership with

Learn all about visiting Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe counties here