It will be a quiet weekend at Alberta campground this Victoria Day Long Weekend with provincial campgrounds being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But campers will get a chance to start reserving sites starting May 14.
The camping reservations relaunch starts on Thursday for arrivals starting June 1 at select campgrounds.
Launch times on May 14 will be staggered by region.
Group and comfort camping won’t be available this season because of safety concerns and the province is warning campers to be ready to be as self-sufficient as possible. According to the Alberta Parks website, outhouse facilities will be open “when feasible” but outdoor enthusiasts are being warned to bring hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
Day use is permitted and Alberta Parks is monitoring the situation to prevent the spread of the virus and will adjust as necessary.
Brett Lokinger and Elliot Curtis were busy shopping for camping supplies on Wednesday at Cabela’s in Calgary. They plan on joining some friends for some backcountry camping on crown land northwest of Calgary.
“It’s very important. It’s been a tradition for around six years now. We try to get a big group of people to go every year but this year is different,” said Lokinger about the role COVID-19 will play on his camping plans.
“It will be toned down but worth it to get out,” Lokinger said. He said they’ll be limiting the fun this year to 15 people.
“We have a big spot so we can obviously spread out but this is going to be the smallest group we’ve had out, because in the years past we’ve had a decent group out there.
“It’s going to be different but we will make the most of it for sure,” Curtis said.
He said the fire ban will also mean no campfires to gather around.
According to Alberta Parks campgrounds will operate at 50 per cent capacity to ensure physical distancing and reservations can only be made by Alberta residents.
Private campgrounds in Alberta remain open provided they take appropriate steps to protect workers and campers from infection.
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