This year is going to see a lot more campers getting back to nature, the Saskatchewan Government says.

With camping season officially getting underway Thursday, the province says there’s already been a record amount of campsites booked. In total, 43,566 nightly, group and seasonal campsite reservations were made during the 2021 reservation launch.

This was a 110 per cent jump compared to the 2020 bookings and an increase of 65 per cent compared to the 2019 bookings. The province adds that this is also on top of only 50 per cent of sites being open due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The province says while most sites are booked over weekends, there’s still campsites available throughout the weekdays this summer, or into September. Also, new this year is a feature called ‘Camping this Weekend,” allows campers to find a last-minute spot that might have been cancelled and is now up for grabs.

What to know before heading out to camp

There are a few things that campers should be aware of before heading out to their camping spot this year.

Firstly, campers are asked to be aware of fire bans where they may be going. Restrictions are currently in place in a number of parks due to dry conditions. All open fires in the affected parks are prohibited, however, the Canadian Standards Association’s approved self-contained portable gas devices will be permitted for cooking and heating purposes. Fire bans can be found on the SaskParks website. 

Also in effect this year is a ban on alcohol and recreational cannabis ban Thursday to Monday in all provincial park and recreation site campgrounds, for the safety of everyone at these parks.   Cottages, rental cabins and any business facilities serving liquor in licensed establishments in parks are not affected by the ban.

Campgrounds will also need to continue following all COVID-19 guidelines, and increased sanitization will be in place, with more signs up. A full list of COVID-19 rules can be found on the Saskatchewan Government’s website.