We went on our first camping adventure with my son this weekend and we tried out one of the new oTENTik units that Parks Canada offers. There is so much to share about these units – I’ll get to the details and all of the pictures shortly! First I want to tell you a bit about our camping experience.
My husband is an outdoor nut so he’s been eagerly awaiting the day we could take our son camping. Our son seems to be taking after his dad in the way that he can’t get enough of the great outdoors. He loves running around outside, making new discoveries, waving at all the people that pass by, digging in the dirt, running down the beach – he loves every part of the outdoors. Just ask the people that watched him kicking and screaming all the way back to the car when it was time to go home! Oh yes, we’re at the two year old phase where he knows what he wants but he has trouble communicating it.
We decided to make a trip to Riding Mountain National Park this past weekend. It’s about a 4 hour drive from where we live. We weren’t sure how our son would do with the long car ride but he did awesome. It’s amazing how much fun a toddler can have with an iPad and a few toddler games!
Inside the Wasagaming Campground are some new oTENTik tents. These units are a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin. The units include:
- comfortable, soft and raised sleeping platforms with enough room for 6 people
- indoor table and chairs
- indoor seating bench
- indoor foot stool for little ones to climb into the bed
- fire extinguisher, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- battery powered portable lantern
- wood stove
- broom and dustpan
- door that locks from the inside
- hooks to hang damp bathing suits or towels
- front deck
- outdoor picnic table
- propane BBQ and accessories
- fire pit
- enough parking for two vehicles
To stay within the rustic camping theme, these units do not include:
- lighting or electricity
- running water or plumbing
For your convenience, near each of these units you’ll find:
- a shared kitchen shelter perfect for cooking in the rain
- washroom with showers – very clean and includes electricity & lighting
- water taps
- firewood for purchase
You can read more about the Riding Mountain National Park oTENTik units on the Parks Canada site. This link also provides a list of the items you’ll want to bring along with you as well as instructions on how to book a unit.
The units are available for bookings from early May to late September. It’s a great way to have that rustic camping experience without having to sleep on the ground in a tent. We found the area to be really peaceful and we enjoyed just lounging in bed and listening to the nature outside of the oTENTik walls. The unit was very clean and well-maintained. Actually, the entire area was really cared for like the clean bathrooms and secure garbage locations.
I was worried that the units may be really hot during the day and cold at night but I found them to be a perfect temperature. During the day the inside was cool and the oTENTik windows provided a nice breeze through the unit. At night you could stay warm with a sleeping bag and some family cuddles.
Inside the unit there was a guest book that previous guests could leave comments in. Some of the comments (like indoor hooks and an indoor lock) had been put into place since the comments were left. This really shows how Parks Canada wants to hear feedback from guests and they will look into all recommendations and suggestions.
Clear Lake is just a short drive (so close you could even walk) away from the campground. I’ve written a second post about what Riding Mountain National Park has to offer. We spent most of our time there on the beach or walking up and down the main street.
Have you stayed in an oTENTik unit? To find out what Parks Canada locations have oTENTik units for rent, visit the Parks Canada site.
What is your favourite part of camping?
*Disclosure: We were given a Parks Canada pass and a one-night stay in an oTENTik unit in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.