Squamish Camping Gear Guide
Spring isn’t the only thing that’s arrived in Squamish, so has camping season. The campgrounds at Alice Lake and Paradise Valley just opened in March, and although it’s still a little chilly, now is the perfect time to beat the summer rush and take advantage of Squamish camping. However, before you set out on a camping trip in Squamish, make sure you have all the essential camping supplies.
Although average temperatures can get as high as 22°C by June it gets cold at night. Even in summer, the average low is just 12°C. This makes it especially important to invest in a good sleeping bag, and not the kind you used to sleepover at your friend’s house when you were a kid. Err on the safe side and use a sleeping bag that has a temperature rating that will still keep you comfortable at even 0°C. Synthetic materials are also preferable. Although down is lighter, Squamish gets 213cm of rainfall every year, so synthetic sleeping bags may be better suited for the wet environment.
Having a warm and insulating sleeping bag will mean very little if you’re sleeping on the cold, hard ground, which is why it’s always one of the most important camping supplies. There are many types of pads that vary in weight, cost and convenience, so it’s not hard to find one that suits your style and budget. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as it’s included in your camping supplies you’ll get a warm, good night’s sleep.
Even if you’re not very outdoorsy, when you visualize camping supplies a tent probably comes to mind. Although your sleeping bag should focus on warmth and insulation, the tent should be more versatile to account for warm weather during the day. Choose a tent that has windows for ventilation and comes with a rain fly and ground cloth to shelter you from the Squamish camping elements.
Luckily, in Squamish the sun only starts setting between eight or nine and rises early as well during spring. However, if you do need to get to something in the middle of the night, or plan on hanging around the camp fire chatting late into the night, a flashlight is an essential part of any camping gear guide, even if you only use it to lead the way to the bathrooms without stumbling over twigs and logs.
Don’t forget the most important part, food! It’s hard to survive out in the wilderness and enjoy your Squamish camping trip if your thoughts are marred by ravaging hunger. Although the classic trail mix and PB&Js will tide you over during the day, at night you’ll want a real meal. Bring the works and get creative. It’s easy to cook corn and potatoes, but with the right cookware and a little tin foil you can also make more complex things from pancakes to quesadillas. Don’t forget to bring cooking oil.
Food is one thing, cooking it is another. Make sure you bring camping cookware which includes pots and pans as well as spatulas, spoons, knives, tongs, and any other utensils you’ll need for your meals. If you plan on cooking directly over the fire, make sure nothing on your cookware will melt, and to bring an oven mitt to easily grab hot handles.
Portable Stove or Fire Starters
Depending on the campground and how you prefer to weather it out in the wild will determine your cooking method. If you are more of a modern camper, you may want to think about bringing a portable gas or electric stove. They come in a variety of sizes to suit even the most weight-conscious backpacker. If you’d rather test your survival skills by building a campfire, make sure to bring matches or lighters, newspaper, lint, and firewood.
Garbage Bags and Storage
The last thing you want to do is leave your garbage out in the open. Not only will you litter the beautiful park, you’ll also attract wild animals. Alice Lake, in particular, has had a problem in the past with bears dying after eating garbage left by campers. Throw away your garbage and keep it in an enclosed space out of reach from animals or place it in the designated dump areas to keep the campgrounds clean and protect Squamish’s wildlife.
Insider Tip: Camping supplies like this and much more can be found at Valhalla Pure in the center of Squamish
Spring is an exciting time for Squamish camping. Flora and fauna begin to flourish and everyone is eager to explore the changes in the parks after a long winter. With the right camping supplies, you can hike the trails during the day and sleep out in the immensity of nature at night, admiring the light of the stars and the thick smoky fell of your campfire.