Camping Checklist and Pinery Provincial Park

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beautiful sunset from the sand dunes at Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend Ontario
Pinery Provincial Park

Pamela: Hello and good day, eh. Welcome to the Super Good Camping Podcast. My name is Pamela

Tim: and I’m Tim

Pamela: And we’re from SuperGoodCamping.com. We’re here because we want to educate and inspire other families to enjoy camping adventures such as we have.  

Our Camping Checklist

Today we thought we would talk a little bit about our camping checklist.  When we’re loading the car, what we need to have packed. Tim mentioned it last week when we were talking so we thought we would go through it quickly today.

Tim: Ok, so short version, you need to have shelter. The list would be:

  • Tents
  • A dining tent if you have one
  • A couple of tarps to keep the rain out
  • The things that go inside those shelters, things like sleeping bags, air mattresses
  • You’re going to need bits of rope and/or bungee cords.  I quite like using bungee cords when I’m rigging tarps.
  • A hammer to bang the pegs into the ground.
  • You want seating. We do seating for 4 so we take our fold-up camping chairs.
  • You want to eat, so it depends on what our meal plan is, we either take a portable camping barbeque, which I enjoy the most.  But we also have, if we’re feeling a little tight on space and stuff, we have a Coleman stove which has a sort of a mini grill and then a side burner for doing coffee and that sort of jazz.
  • I also have a couple of single burner things for doing coffee or for doing green beans on the side or what have you.
  • You want something to eat off of, so dishes, cutlery, that sort of jazz. 
  • You want something to be able to wash all those things in. So some kind of a pan of some type. It depends on how much space you have.  We have a big pan that we can wash all of our dishes in. But we also have a smaller mess kit
  • Pamela: a Bugaboo
  • Tim: Bugaboo, there you go, part of the bit that holds it all together is a washing bag so that you can wash everything in it. It makes a very small, light package. 
  • You want light, whether you are out for a tour in the evening or what-have-you.  Or sitting around playing cards. We have a Coleman lantern, a battery-powered lantern that we use at the table.  We have headlamps if we’re headed out and about.  We usually have a couple of flashlights. 
  • With all of that electricity that you are using, batteries.  You want to have spare batteries. We try to use rechargeables as much as possible, including in our cameras.  So we have to take the accouterments. 
  • We take a power bank
  • I’ve got a solar panel to recharge the power bank. As the better half has mentioned she’s doing emails and whatnot often while we’re camping, we need to recharge her phone, so make sure you’ve got that cable with you. The camera batteries are all fairly specific so I have a charger for those batteries, or I have a few chargers for those batteries, but you can plug them into the power pack and charge them up that way.
  • And then you want stuff to light your fire with
  • Firewood
  • We have a small hatchet so we can break things down into smaller kindling
  • Bits of newspaper to start your fire or there are firestarters now where they literally take paraffin wax and lint from your dryer and little bits of wood shavings and it’s a firestarter.
  • You need matches or a barbeque lighter for those things. 
  • And then it’s personal hygiene type things, soap, shampoo, toothbrush. We try to use biodegradable stuff as much as possible. Just a side note on biodegradable soaps. You can’t go and wash with it in the lake, that’s not how that works.  It’s biodegradable, and I believe it needs to be 200 feet away from any water.  It uses the earth as a filter, this gives it time to break down. 
  • Sunscreen is a good thing.
  • A first aid kit. 
  • Bug spray, absolutely bug spray, some need it more than others. 
  • Pamela: Can’t do without bug spray.
  • Tim: And then fun things, you want some toys and games. If it’s pouring rain, you’re all sitting around, yes you can all read, that’s generally my go-to, but playing some cards, playing some checkers and when it’s nice a little frisbee to throw, or baseball gloves, that sort of deal.
  • Pamela: badminton rackets.
  • Tim: And there you go. Oh, and take towels because hopefully, you’re going to do some swimming while you are there.  And that’s it for our checklist.

Pamela: If you would like a copy of that for your very own, you can sign up to download it below.

Pinery Provincial Park

We also wanted to talk today about Pinery Provincial Park. Which was our next camping adventure.  Pinery is located near Grand Bend, Ontario. It has all kinds of awesome natural features. It’s 2532 hectares in size, there are over 757 plant species, 325 bird species, and 60 butterfly species.  It has a globally rare Oak Savanna ecosystem. Coastal dunes.  The sand dunes were really quite awesome. It’s a habitat for endangered species and it’s the largest protected forest in Southwestern Ontario. It has all of the usual recreational things to do, there is a 10 km beach, there are 10 nature trails, a 14 km bike trail, 38 km of skiing trails, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, cycling, and a year-round interpretive program. That’s where our kids have really enjoyed some of the programs that the rangers have offered us.  They do offer it year-round. Some of the parks only offer that in the summer months when it’s more populated and busy. So lots of great facilities and lots of amenities within the park and they are opened year-round. There are heated cabins and yurts so if you are looking to camp in the wintertime without having to take a tent, you can use a yurt or a cabin and those include a BBQ and a picnic shelter.  So lots to do at Pinery. The sand dunes were something that really stood out for us when we went there. 

the sand dunes at Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend Ontario on Lake Huron
The sand dunes at Pinery Provincial Park

Tim: Yeah, very cool, very unlike anything else that I’ve seen in southern and central Ontario. Arguably, Sandbanks is somewhat similar, but it’s not the same savanna. It just has sand; this has got sand with things growing out of it which is mind-boggling because sand is awfully dry! It’s very protected. There are paths that go through it. They’re not supposed to be there. You’re not supposed to be on them.  They have built walkways to get you to the beach. This is another wonderful lake.  We’re back to the Lake Huron style, where you’re west-facing and it’s a vast lake and shallow for a long, long way.  It’s great, nice warm water and beautiful sunsets.  The dunes themselves are quite cool and just so different.  Even things like driftwood, you don’t pick it up. It’s part of the ecosystem and how the ecosystem is constantly evolving. Picking up even one piece of driftwood, I remember that from the interpretive program, they say can make a substantial change just in that area of the dunes.

Pamela: Yes, so do be mindful if you are there to walk only in the areas that are designated for walking as the dunes are quite fragile.  One of the other things that stood out about our trip to Pinery was that we had a turkey vulture friend that took up residence in one of the campsites that was quite close to ours.  As much as from the neck up they are fairly ugly creatures, from the neck down, it was quite a majestic bird. It was quite big. 

Tim: Huge. 

a turkey vulture perched in a tree near our campsite at Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend Ontario
Our turkey vulture neighbour at Pinery

Pamela: Yeah and we’ve got some pictures, I’ll post them on our website. I also remember a scavenger hunt that the rangers arranged for the kids. I remember running around to various parts of the park trying to find all of the things that we were supposed to find in our scavenger hunt. There are lots of things like that at all of the parks that the rangers will arrange for the kids to keep them entertained and make it fun and interesting for them and help them learn some things too along the way.

Tim: Yep, and biking, our eldest and I went out one day and did something crazy like 40 km or something like that just because they have so many trails and it’s such a huge park. I think the next day I opted to be a little more chill but went for the win with ice cream because they have ice cream there.

Pamela: Which many of them do.  That’s a perk for your children to get them to go with you and be enthusiastic about camping, is entice them with ice cream.

Tim: Oh, and another cool thing just off the top of my head, there’s a bike path that runs all the way from the park itself into Grand Bend, which is 8 km, I think. And it’s a paved path off to the side, I think it’s paved the whole way.  This is quite a cool thing. You know, you can hit stores along the way or go into the quaint little town of Grand Bend. And spend your afternoon shopping, whatever. Take a big backpack.

Pamela: Yep, we quite enjoyed Grand Bend, it was a nice little touristy town. 

Tim: Yep! 

Pamela: And that’s it for me, as far as our checklist and Pinery. Did you have anything else, Tim? 

Tim: You’ll see on our list that there’s a blank space on the right-hand side of both pages, one is labeled “food list”, the other is labeled “clothes list”.  So don’t forget those things.  You want to be able to eat if you’re taking that BBQ you might as well do something on it and running around naked is very frowned upon. 

Pamela: Yes, these are not nudist colonies.  Yeah, so we’ll upload our camping checklist.  And in future episodes, we’ll talk about our food list and the menus that we will typically have.  And we can also compile a clothing list and upload that in the future. 

Tim: Yep! 

Pamela: That’s it for us today.  I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. And if you would like to get ahold of us, we would always love to hear from you.  Our email address is hi@supergoodcamping.com, that’s “h” “i” at supergoodcamping.com and we try to upload a new podcast every week on Sunday or Monday. 

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