Dollar Lake Provincial Park – Our first trip in a tent – or – Why we now ‘Glamp’

Our very first Canadian camping trip. May, 2012.

Last year we decided to try out camping.  This trip was pre-Tilly pop-up…in a tent…on the ground.

As far as glamping goes…it was a bit of a reach, but we learned many lessons.

I had spent the past 13 years living in a country where camping was, quite frankly, impossible.  Ireland stands by it’s ‘four seasons in a day’ weather forecasts and planning a pleasant camping weekend was never something we were able to achieve successfully.

So when we packed our trusty unused Irish tent (which we had shipped overseas along with the rest of our house) in late May, we were unaware that camping too early in the season is a recipe for a chilly, damp night.

Not wanting to travel too far on our first adventure we opted for Dollar Lake Provincial Park, which is less than hour drive from Halifax, NS.

A once spacious minivan becomes squishy and claustrophobic.
A once spacious minivan becomes squishy and claustrophobic.

Some things we were naive about:

  • packing for two nights of camping is equivalent to packing for a week, in that the amount of gear required for three kids, two dogs and two adults with a tent is huge!
  • if you’re planning on camping in late May/early June you risk being the only tenters in the park (we were surrounded by pop-ups, VW’s and hard-sided campers and didn’t cop-on why, until 4 a.m. in the morning).  As the cold, damp seeped into out tent we all realized WHY we were the only tent in the park.

What the kids remember most about the trip?

  1. Dead raccoon in the ditch across from our site that enticed our dogs for a visit.
  2. Wearing all of mum’s cold-weather clothes because everyone else didn’t pack properly for early season camping (hence I ended up freezing as my husband stole my socks, track pants and sweaters).
  3. Dogs make great blankets but fluffier dogs would have been warmer than our skinny whippets.
  4. Conveyor belt dish-washing is fun…for a day or two!

What I remember most?

  1. Tenting with three children and two dogs is not glamping nor will it ever be. Hence…the origins of a Tahloola (and later Tilly) our glamping pop-up tent trailer.

We pitched our tent along Loop A, at Site 25. Click here for details on the site.


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