New campers learn the ropes with Saskatchewan’s Camp-Easy campsites

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New campers learn the ropes with Saskatchewan’s Camp-Easy campsites
WATCH ABOVE: It’s a way for new campers to learn the ropes, or for the more experienced looking for convenience. Meaghan Craig looks at the popularity of Saskatchewan’s Camp-Easy program – Aug 28, 2018

Have you always wanted to try camping, but you’re not ready to commit to buying a tent and all the other extras? A Camp-Easy option being offered at three different Saskatchewan provincial parks might be right up your alley.

The experience is designed with first-time campers in mind and allows you to test drive tenting as well as the great outdoors.

READ MORE: Sask. parks launches ‘Camp-Easy’ campsites in 3 provincial parks

“Although you have the comforts of a bunk bed and mattress to sleep on,” said Craig Krogan, regional director for central Saskatchewan with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.

“You’re still separated from nature by that thin layer of fabric so you hear all the wildlife and the rustlings of the trees and still smell the outdoors.”

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Here’s the pitch – there’s no set-up, tear down, or experience needed.

“It would be nice because if it’s raining we wouldn’t have to set up in the dark,” said Trinity Clark, a youngster who was camping with her family across from one of two Camp-Easy campsites at Pike Lake.

“I think it’s awesome because you don’t have go everywhere to get all your stuff,” said her brother, Zachery Clark.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan saw a huge jump in tourism in 2017

It’s for the casual or inexperienced camper, newcomers to the country or those looking for something convenient at the spur of the moment.

“The Camp-Easy sites come equipped with the tent. It comes with two lawn chairs, two Adirondack chairs and in the lockbox there is a stove and other pots,” Krogan added.

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The tents sleep up to six people and you’re in bunkbeds so you’re not on the cold ground. Most of the camping essentials are already on site. All you need to bring is cooking utensils, food, bedding and company.

“I just get to pull out my sleeping bag and I don’t even have to worry about anything else,” Kyrsten Frampton said with a laugh.

Plus, you don’t have to spend the big bucks on gear to just give it a try.

“A lot of people don’t have a lot of money for camping and tents, here you just bring a blanket and a pillow,” Paul Frampton added.

During peak camping season in July and August, the province says there were 285 overnight stays at these Camp-Easy campsites across all three provincial parks that offer the option.

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Those parks include Pike Lake, Buffalo Pound and Echo Valley at a cost of $65 a night for a maximum stay of two weeks.

According to Krogan, Pike Lake will continue to book the sites until the end of September. Anyone interested in the experience just has to call the provincial park to reserve a spot since it’s not an option that’s available online.

There is also a Learn to Camp program that is offered by park guides who will teach beginner campers skills like how to chop wood and start a fire.

“As a pilot project, I hope that it continues but that decision will be made later on here in the fall and it’s certainly looks promising,” Krogan said.

Other parks in Saskatchewan have even expressed interest in the idea for next year.

For more information on Camp-Easy and Learn to Camp, visit the SaskParks website.

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