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Alberta’s Camping Explosion

For a number of years now camping has experienced something of a resurgence. More people than ever before are heading to the hills each weekend and chances are you’ve noticed a little less elbow room out there and a little more competition for your favourite spot.

According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, camping’s popularity rose 7.4 percent between 2007 and 2008. Even more astonishing was the 18.5 percent increase experienced in overnight backpacking.

As people continue to tighten their belts during this economic downturn, it is expected that this year we will experience an even greater increase. It seems that people from all walks of life have realized not only how economical camping can be but how the company of family and friends around an open fire can make for an enjoyable outing.

Here in Alberta we have noticed firsthand the camping explosion, with the introduction of Alberta’s Campground Reservation System.

With its introduction in 2009 the reservation system attracted more than 146,000 eager campers within the first three hours of operation, vying for one of 2,800 campsites in one of 25 popular campgrounds. Approximately 23% of those campers were from outside of Canada. This year that number has been expanded to include 5,800 campsites at 50 campgrounds throughout the province.

With the camping season not far off have you reserved your favourite spot?