And what to pack.
Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or someone just looking for some R&R in a beautiful setting this summer, Canada's national parks offer a truly spectacular experience for any adventure seeker. No matter where you live across the country, there's always somewhere to go and something fun to do.
If you call the West Coast home, you can pitch a tent at the foot of a mountain and explore towering cliffs, majestic waterfalls and emerald lakes. On the East Coast, you could set up camp near one of the Maritime's beaches and enjoy a relaxing oceanside campfire. And if you live in the heart of Canada, you might choose to sleep under a canopy of trees, steps away from a babbling creek.
Camping is one of the most satisfying ways to connect with nature and live in the moment (something many Canadians are craving right now), and when it comes to choosing a destination, you're spoiled for choice in the Great White North. But before you set off, be sure you're prepared for a weekend of living in the wild.
Along with the basics like a tent and sleeping bags, make sure to pack a few creature comforts like your favourite pillow and a cast-iron skillet for cooking over the campfire. Another essential is your first-aid kit. Stacked with things like bandages, insect repellant, sunscreen, lip balm, and a broad spectrum antiseptic like BETADINE®'s Antiseptic Cream or Spray (to treat any minor cuts, scrapes, or burns you may encounter), your kit will help make your nights under the stars a little comfier.
Of course, you probably can't make it to all of the country's wondrous national parks in one summer, so check out the hand-picked selection below to help you plan your ultimate camping trip. And don't forget to check travel restrictions for your province before you get going.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
As the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper won't disappoint. This park is perfect for camping, with many lakes, trails and an abundance of wildlife (you'll find 53 mammal species here). Don't miss the Icefields Parkway and the gorgeous, roaring Athabasca Falls en route.
Another cool thing about Jasper National Park is its designation as a Dark Sky Preserve, making it an ideal place for stargazing and, if you're lucky, catching a glimpse of the northern lights. You might even consider setting up a cozy, crackling fire and sleeping directly underneath the stars for this trip (and don't forget your camera).
Whether you're into stargazing or simply love escaping the city for some tranquillity, there's nothing quite like Jasper's dark sky to make your camping trip special.
Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario
Fantastic for camping, Bruce Peninsula National Park features woodland trails, stunning cliffs overlooking Georgian Bay, and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for taking a dip.
With large forested areas home to black bears, reptiles, ancient cedar trees, beautiful ferns and orchids, this place always has something for you to admire. And if tenting isn't your thing, you can book a stay in a yurt for a unique experience.
As you get ready for your adventure, don't forget to bring bug spray for those pesky mosquitos and some to apply BETADINE® Antiseptic Cream or Spray to any minor scrapes you may get while hiking through the park in order to help prevent or reduce the risk of infection.
It's important to note that, in alignment with the Ontario stay-at-home order, Parks Canada isn't booking reservations for dates between May 1 and June 2. Reservations are available for dates between June 3 and October 31, 2021.
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
For an outdoor Maritime experience like no other, make your way to Fundy National Park. When you camp here, you can swim or paddle among the world's highest tides — they get up to at least 12 metres! At low tide, walk the ocean floor or hike your way to one of the waterfalls deep within the park's Acadian forests.
The weather can be unpredictable in this part of the country, so be sure to pack accordingly if you want to enjoy this Atlantic paradise and all it has to offer.
Yoho National Park, British Columbia
Just a stone's throw from Alberta and 11 kilometres northwest of Lake Louise, the majestic Rocky Mountain wonders of Yoho National Park can't be missed. Paddle the pristine Emerald Lake or do an all-day hike at the remote Lake O'Hara, which is only accessible by bus.
All sorts of campers are drawn here each year for the park's dramatic waterfalls, rock walls and mountain peaks. Pack your swimsuit, a towel and first-aid kit staples like antibiotic-free BETADINE® Antiseptic Spray or Cream (just in case) and come see what they're raving about.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Ontario
For a camping experience like no other, visit the world's largest freshwater archipelago (the very one that inspired the Group of Seven), right at home in Ontario. Accessible only by boat, Georgian Bay Islands National Park is your chance to take in the exposed granite of the Canadian Shield, dramatic rocky outcrops, beaver dams, painted turtles and dense forests of pine, beech and sugar maple trees.
You can cycle the wooded trails or enjoy views of the emerald shoreline at the end of a rewarding hike. If you choose to camp out in this peaceful and secluded wilderness, remember to pack all of your first-aid essentials.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, BC
Though it's not the shortest trip from Vancouver, trust that your trek to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will be worthwhile. If you're into surfing, swimming, ocean fishing, kayaking or just need to be near water, you'll love the crashing waves and sandy beaches of the Pacific coast.
When you camp at this park, you can learn about the local Indigenous peoples, take on the infamous West Coast Trail, or enjoy an evening with family and friends around a campfire on the beach.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Highlands National Park is home to the famous Cabot Trail coastline and some truly beautiful scenery. Here, the forested, lush river canyons meet the ancient plateau and rust-coloured cliffs.
Hikers will love the park's panoramic views of coastlines, highlands and canyons that showcase the best of northern Cape Breton Island. If you're a photography buff, bring your camera to capture photos of bald eagles, moose and whales in the area. A bonus for seafood lovers: you can get fresh, local lobster just about anywhere in these parts.
No matter what you fancy, minor injuries are common on camping trips and it is important to be prepared with your first aid kit and look to prevent or reduce infection wherever possible.
Note that Parks Canada is delaying camping in Nova Scotia until at least June 1, 2021.
La Mauricie National Park, Québec
With more than 150 lakes, La Mauricie is a paddler's dream. When you've had your fill of exploring by canoe or kayak, take a dip beneath one of the park's many stunning waterfalls. The call of the Canadian loon echoing through the beautiful forest at dusk is the soundtrack to this idyllic camping adventure.
No matter where your camping adventures take you in Canada this summer, know that BETADINE® Antiseptic Spray or Cream can help with those cuts, burns and scrapes that inevitably occur during a weekend of campfires, swimming, hiking, cycling and just having fun.
BETADINE®'s Antiseptic Spray and Cream rapidly kill germs, are free of antibiotics and help prevent or reduce infection, letting Canadians fully enjoy the great outdoors.
To learn more about the best antiseptic products for your family's next camping trip, check out BETADINE®'s website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
Before applying these products always read and follow the label's instructions and consult your Health Care Practitioner should any questions arise.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.