fiddle leaf photography
Jul 16, 2017
It’s official, we’ve become hooked on comfort camping. For the family who doesn’t own a trailer and doesn’t have the inclination to tent, it’s such a great solution. Even better, more and more comfort camping sites are popping up each year. We’ve now stayed at the yurts at Pigeon Lake Provincial Park (3 times!), the canvas tents at Dinosaur Provincial Park, and now the oTENTiks at Elk Island National Park.
The oTENTiks are new this year to Elk Island National Park, and given that park entrance is free in 2017 in celebration of Canada 150, it seemed like the perfect time to give it a go. There are 5 canvas tents scattered within the Astotin Campground. The oTENTiks are a bit more bare bones than the comfort camping options available through Alberta Parks, but still nice. We were in campsite 11, which was nice in that it was large, but it was on a bit of a hill and I felt quite exposed. We had quite a few people drive by and ask up about the tent, which was fine, but not exactly the quiet camping experience we’d hoped for.
Inside the oTENTik there’s a huge sleeping platform, that could potentially sleep six, but it would be a TIGHT squeeze. The girls were really excited to sleep on the top bunk together but we quickly nixed that idea as it was sweltering up there. We visited on an extremely hot week, where temperatures were above 30C during the day.
Beside the bed there’s a table and 4 chairs. The ‘tent’ also comes with a battery powered lantern, a full size BBQ, and 4 adirondack chairs outside.
We found this comfort camping a little trickier than what we’d done in the past as these tents don’t come with a fridge, which means you’re using a cooler kept in your care the whole time (because a bare campsite policy is in place). They also don’t allow eating inside the tent, which could be a real challenge if it rained the whole time (thankfully it didn’t for us!)
All in all though, we had a great time. Because it was so hot, we spent most of our time at the little beach in the day use area just playing in the sand. The water isn’t great for swimming, but the kids still put their feet in (with a leach check by me after!), and filled their buckets to build sand castles.
The girls loved that the visitor’s centre provides activity backpacks for free. We did the geocaching one, which had us going all over the day use area to find Bison facts, and the pond dipping kit, which helped us find about a million side swimming shrimp.
Thinking of family photos but don’t want the same type of session you’ve had in the past? How about a camping session? I’d love to come hang out with you for a few hours of your camping day and document your adventures. There are so many great camping options close to Edmonton that I’m sure we could find a place that would be a fit for your family and be a great backdrop for photos. Send me a note today and we’ll start the discussion.
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Lifestyle family & newborn photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta
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