May Long Weekend has arrived, which has inspired us to talk about one of the tried and true loves of Albertans: The Great Outdoors. As many of us sit in our offices and cubicles today we’re probably fantasizing about being in the woods, hearing the birds chirping and sitting around the campfire with a hot cup of coffee this weekend and in the months to come. We can’t wait to ditch our Dell monitor for a chance to get out and make use of our bikes, rafts, tents and all those other fancy gadgets that we’ve purchased from Mountain Equipment Co-op. But let’s face it, living here means you’re just never really too sure what kind of curve ball mother nature is going to be throwing you.
Going camping, especially before June, can be a real crapshoot. A casual hike in sneakers can quickly turn into a full on blizzard and one sloppy trudge down the side of a mountain that will probably end with you nursing a defeated ego and the beginnings of a bad cold back at camp. Even if you’re planning to stay in the city for the long weekend, your odds of getting some leisurely time in on the pathways or the river aren’t much better. In the last few weeks the Calgary fire department has been telling people to avoid rafting on the Bow and Elbow River due to the hazards from last year’s floods. With all the tons of debris that were washed into the river last year, the risk of getting flipped, tipped, trapped or caught up on your raft are just not worth the risk right now.
But before we get too gloom and doom on you, there’s another cool solution to escaping the city and being in the outdoors for a few days thanks to Alberta Parks. Four Provincial Parks have been outfitted with yurts and canvas wall tents to offer what is commonly referred to as comfort camping… or glamping.
Did you say yurt? That’s right. These nifty little dwellings look like something straight out of a Portlandia episode and serve as a convenient and affordable way to get away without blowing the bank. A yurt is a round portable structure that is kind like a modern-day version of what nomadic Asian tribes would have traditionally lived in once upon a time. These rustic and cozy little huts are now set up at Pigeon Lake and offer the perfect opportunity to experience nature without having to sit in a cold tent if the weather turns sour. You can catch up on some reading, BBQ to your heart’s content, or take a lazy walk around the campsite without having to worry about any real preparation for the elements.
Miquelon Lake, Writing On Stone and Dinosaur Provincial Park are also equipped with Canvas Wall Tents that are essentially massive shelters with standing room and enough space to fit a queen bed, kitchen table and a few other comforts from civilization, including heating, electrical outlets, cooking supplies, a fridge and a futon. Most of these tents are also built right onto their very own decks, so if the sun does happen to be out you have the perfect place to work on your tan.
Besides being reasonably priced and not too far away, this is also a great way to introduce your city slicker friends and partners to the idea of camping. Being able to use your blow dryer and charge your cell phone are always attractive features. Yurts are already open for the season and canvas tents will be open to reserve by the end of the month. To book your next comfort camping experience, click here or call 1-877-537-2757.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
Cover photo: Glamper / Alamy