How to build the perfect campfire
The crackling of the wood, the magical glow of the fire, the nostalgic smell – is there really anything better than the perfect campfire? Whether you’re one to sing songs, tell stories, or snuggle up close to someone or roast marshmallows, these simple steps will ensure your campfire is the best one around.
How to make the best s'mores
What happens when you combine graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and slabs of chocolate? You get a little taste of heaven. A campfire classic, make sure to try these out for your next camping trip! Whether you stick to the traditional version, or find ways to be creative with fixings, everyone will surely be asking for some more!
Your camping checklist
Planning a camping trip? Unsure what you should be packing or afraid you might be forgetting something? Use this handy camping checklist and do a trunk check to make sure you have everything you need before you get to the woods!
Learn to camp
Never been camping but want to learn? The Ontario Parks “Learn to Camp” program will teach you how to master the great outdoors so you’ll be a camping pro in no time!
Easy as 1, 2, 3?
Do you know how to properly pitch a tent? Arguably, it is one of the most challenging and important tasks when heading to the campsite. If you don’t want your outdoor experience to be ruined by a change in elements, make sure you’re prepared before you venture out! Practice setting up your tent in the backyard, park or even in the basement before testing the “waters” in the great outdoors.
Wildlife in our own backyard
As Canadians, we’re fortunate to have a vast amount of intriguing creatures in our own backyard. No matter how cute or cuddly they may appear, the last thing you want is an unexpected visit from our furry friends. Learn more about how you can avoid unwanted guests from joining your campsite.
Nature and mental health
More and more studies show that nature has significant, positive impacts on our overall wellbeing and mental health. Disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature helps everyone feel better. And this doesn’t mean you have to go deep in the wilderness to reap the benefits! Community parks, green spaces and even your own back yard can provide you with a reprieve.
Take a hike
The Young Hikers Program was created by Hike Ontario to foster the appreciation of hiking and walking amongst young Ontarians (under 29). Hike Ontario wants to inspire young people to take action in the protection, preservation and growth of Ontario’s footpaths. Click on the link below to learn more and get involved.
Boost your mood!
A growing body of evidence shows that outdoor physical activity not only improves mood and enhances well-being, but relieves stress and improves memory. Studies show that we naturally relax when we’re surrounded by nature and that our attention becomes focused on our surroundings: a process that’s energizing, rejuvenating and refreshing.
What's bugging you?
There’s nothing quite as irritating as pesky critters that buzz and bite! Blackflies, gnats, mosquitoes, horseflies… you get the picture! Many pests share our love of the outdoors. Here are some tips to keep these critters from bugging you this summer.
Trips for kids
Are you thinking about taking your little ones on their first fishing adventure this summer? Check this out to learn more about what you’ll need! And make sure not to overlook the camera, you’ll be making memories you won’t want to forget.
A dose of camping for good health
Instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, it may be time to reach for our sleeping bags and tents. Research shows that camping in nature is good for our mental and physical well-being. #GetOutside and reap the benefits of a cherished Canadian tradition! To learn more about the brain and body benefits of camping, check out this blog from Ontario Parks.
- 2 large cans of beans
- 1 package of hot dogs
- 1 large onion
- 8 slices of bacon
- 1 hot pepper
- 1 tsp of salt
- 4 tbsp of ketchup
- 3 tbsp of mustard
- 2 tbsp of molasses
- 4 tbsp of bbq sauce
- 4 tbsp of brown sugar
How to Prepare:
- Dice up onions
- Places slices of bacon in frying pan and place on Coleman camp stove – Flip as needed, DO NOT OVERCOOK
- Dump beans in pot along with all other ingredients except hot dogs and bacon
- Let simmer on Coleman camp stove or camp fire, stir frequently to prevent burning
- While beans are cooking, put hot dogs on grill
- When hot dogs are done, cut into 1/2 inch lengths, place in pot and stir
- Place bacon slices over top of beans
- Let sit for approximately 15 minutes and keep stirring
- 2 peaches, sliced
- 8 -10 strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup grapes
- 1 (750 ml) bottle wine
- 1 (750 ml) bottle vodka (you will have leftover)
- 1 liter Fresca soda or 1 liter Sprite
How to Prepare:
- Fill up mason jar with peaches, strawberries, and grapes.
- Pour in vodka a 1/4 of the way up the jar.
- Fill up the remainder of the jar with wine cork the rest of the wine.
- Chill sangria concentrate overnight or at least for several hours.
- Pack up the sangria concentrate, 1- liter bottle of soda and remaining wine in an insulated bag.
- When you get to the campsite, mix all 3 together in the pitcher and enjoy!
- Corn Chips
- Grated Cheese
- Jar of Salsa
- Toppings (all optional) Bolognese Sauce, olives, diced tomatoes, refried beans, diced onion, sour cream, guacamole
- Disposable aluminium tray (the sort you might get takeaway in)
- Aluminum foil
How to Prepare:
- Your campfire should have been going for a while so that you have some good coals (but not too hot). A grate placed over the coals will elevate the pan, and stop burning on the bottom. The grate is not essential, though.
- In the disposable tray, add your chips, salsa, toppings (like sauce, olives, beans) and spread grated cheese all over the top. Some prefer to put the cheese on the chips and THEN the toppings….it all comes down to your personal preference.
- Place aluminium foil over the top of your tray to protect the contents. You might want to make the cover “peaked” so the cheese doesn’t stick to the foil.
- Put the now prepared tray on the coals, and wait for the cheese to melt, around 10 minutes.
- You can eat out of the tray or empty onto plates, and add remainder of toppings like sour cream, etc.
- Baking Powder
- Vegetable Oil
- Maple Syrup
- Butter (optional)
How to Prepare:
- In a mixing bowl or pot, mix with a fork 2 cups/500 mL flour, 1 Tbsp/15 mL baking powder and 1/4 tsp/1 mL salt
- Add 2 cups/500 mL milk. Mix well
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat 1 egg. Add it to the mixing bowl
- Add 1 Tbsp/15 mL oil. Mix well
- Add water until you reach the desired consistency
- Heat the skillet over medium-low heat
- Grease the skillet with a bit of butter or oil
- Spoon batter onto the skillet. I can fit 3 pancakes in my large cast iron skillet
- Watch the batter. Bubbles will form on the surface of the pancakes, and the edges will get firm
- When the bubbles begin to burst, flip the pancakes over
- Cook the second side until it is lightly browned
- Top with your favorite topping, and dig in!
- 1 Banana
- Small handful of mini marshmallows (or regular marshmallows cut into small pieces)
- Small handful of chocolate chips (or chocolate bar broken into small pieces)
- Aluminum foil
How to Prepare:
- Peel one strip of the banana back. Cut the banana lengthwise, without cutting through the peel below
- Fill with marshmallow and chocolate pieces. Replace the banana peel back over the stuffed banana
- Wrap banana in aluminum foil. Cook on campfire grill over hot coals until marshmallows and chocolate are melted.
- Remove from grill, pull back the top peel and eat with a spoon