Hiking tips

Tips for summer getaways in Saskatchewan. families

Summer is the season for travel, adventure and family.

If you’re planning a camping trip this year, it’s important to plan ahead, according to Go-to Grandma podcast host Kathy Buckworth.

“It’s great to get away with the kids and grandkids to the cabin, but someone has to put it all together,” she told CTV News.

Saskatchewan parks have seen a record number of visitors in 2021. Over one million visits were made to provincial parks last year.

Over 400,000 campers spent the night in the parks, breaking the 2016 record, according to the Government of Saskatchewan.

Some of the things Buckworth said needed to be discussed ahead of time were activities, rooms, and cleaning.

“What do people want to do? Do they just want to sit on the beach? Do they want to make campfires at night? Do they want to go hiking? Maybe they want to go for a bike ride or maybe they want to go to the nearest small town and just sit in a pub.

She said it was important to discuss people’s “must-haves” during their stay at the cabin.

“Let’s incorporate everyone’s needs into the calendar.”

She said it was also important to think about where people will be sleeping.

“You want to make sure everyone is comfortable. Don’t always assume that married couples want to sleep in the same room because there might be snoring and things like that. Or someone stays up late, he thinks “I’m on vacation”. I’m not going to bed at the same time as that person,” she said.

“You want to count the beds, count the rooms and make sure everyone is comfortable before you arrive to avoid any problems.”

Planning meals and cleaning ahead was another imperative, according to Buckworth.

“If there are meals that everyone can eat, if you have barbecues like that, that’s great. Ask everyone to say “I bring the salad”. I will bring anything. Don’t put it all on the parents or grandparents.

She said another area to plan for is cleaning.

“There’s all the dishes to do. We don’t want to use disposable products, it’s not environmental. We want to use real crockery, wash it, dry it, put things away and if you have grandkids, grandkids like me, a bit of cleaning under the table if you don’t have a dog.

“If some people say, ‘Well, I’m not very good at cooking or I don’t want to bring food.’ Guess what you’re doing? Many chalets do not have dishwashers.

THINGS TO DO AT THE LAKE

Keeping everyone engaged and active at the lake can be a challenge. Here are a few things everyone in your family can appreciate.

AQUATIC ACTIVITIES

Taking a dip in the lake can get your family moving and help keep you cool on hot summer days. But you can also plan fishing, canoeing, kayaking, paddling and more. Remember to be safe and wear life jackets.

TREK

Hiking and exploring nature is one of the best camping activities. Getting out into nature can be exciting for all ages. Know all the trails in the area where you will be staying and bring plenty of water with you.

GAMES

Not every day is sunny when camping. It’s good to have backup plans by bringing cards or board games to keep busy on rainy days. Think of games anyone can play like Uno, Jenga, and Go Fish.

PARK ACTIVITY KITS

Some parks in Saskatchewan offer park activity kits for families. Kits include arts and crafts, word searches, crayons, bingo and other children’s games. Stop and ask at the visitor center. You can even plan ahead and know what family activities will be offered at your nearby provincial park.

GEOCACHING

If you are staying in a place where you have cell service, you can hunt for treasure with geocaching apps. It can also be an educational activity for children as you need to use latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates to find the hiding place.

BIRD WATCHING

Finding animals in their natural habitat can be a great way to pass the time and connect with nature. Make it a game and try to find Saskatchewan’s provincial bird, the sharp-tailed grouse. You may also spot other wildlife such as deer, squirrels, etc.