WEYBURN - The Victoria Day long weekend is traditionally the start of camping season in Saskatchewan. While there are a few regional and provincial parks that offer camping options throughout the year, the busiest time is the May to September months.
There is something very peaceful about sitting around a campfire, with only the sounds of the fire crackling, and for many it provides an opportunity to get offline and spend quality time with friends and families. Campfires are so popular that there are even ways to get a special fire permit for a backyard campfire when you live in a town or a city (check with your local municipal office for more details).
There are some campfire favourites of mine that are part of my core memories of childhood, including s’mores and bushpies. The joy and pleasure of cooking over a live fire really has not changed, and there is just something special about sitting around a fire as a family and cooking wieners or marshmallows together.
It is important to be mindful of fire bans that might be in your community, before you get the camping wood prepared for a fire. It is also important to be mindful of fire safety when you decide to have a camp fire, and the proper ways to make sure the fire is out when you are done.
Access to provincial and regional parks also is an opportunity for avid fishers. There is also something very peaceful about sitting in a boat, on a dock, and just letting your fishing line do the work.
For anyone who wants to try to catch fish, make sure you understand the provincial fishing and wildlife regulations. Residents can use the Saskatchewan Hunting, Angling and Trapping Licence (HAL) system to purchase a licence, or to update information to renew a license. It is also important that when using a boat in provincial and regional parks, that residents are aware how to clean and dry their boat to prevent Aquatic Invasive Species and protect our ecosystems.
Recently, the Saskatchewan government amended regulations to allow alcohol consumption in municipal parks, but it is important to be mindful that the actual legislation is up to each individual municipality. Check with your local municipal park before deciding to pack up any alcohol.
It definitely will be a busy time at the parks, especially since many offer baseball tournaments, or golfing tournaments, depending on what services are offered. Sometimes you are lucky to have a cabin or full-time camping spot already reserved, and sometimes you need to schedule in a camping weekend. The SaskParks reservation will help anyone who wants to see what is available, and offer tips and suggestions to make the most of camping season.
Just remember the sunscreen and the mosquito spray, and make the most out of your camping experiences.