Scouts Canada launches free helpline for all your camping calamities
If you find yourself up the creek without a paddle on a camping trip this summer, there is a new number you can call for help.
Scouts Canada has launched a free 24/7 camping helpline where callers can find expert advice on common camping conundrums.
After calling 1-844-SCOUT101, campers can select pre-recorded solutions — from trying to start a fire with wet wood, getting a tent up with damaged poles, righting a capsized canoe and basic first aid.
"Some people might have some rusty skills or lack of confidence going out there, so we wanted to provide a way that people can get the tips and tricks they need," said Scouts' volunteer Graham Rice, speaking Tuesday on The Early Edition.
The helpline went live on May 1. Callers are greeted with the recorded voice of a young scout, who helps callers navigate the system until they get to pre-recorded solutions to their particular problem.
"A lot of options were generated by the kids," said Rice about the selections available.
Since the pandemic, when people were encouraged to get outside, there has been a significant uptick in camping in Canada's most western province.
B.C. Parks says more than 317,000 reservations were made last season on its updated online booking system, an increase of 26.5 per cent from 2019. Camping reservations for 2023 have been open since January and can be made on the B.C. Parks website.
This spring, when reservations opened for national park campsites, there were more than 40,000 people in line to book a spot and B.C. parks are among some of the most coveted. Parks Canada reservations can be made online here.
Rice said one of the great benefits of camping in B.C. is that you don't have to go that far from home to get into nature.
Two preemptive tips before heading out? Bring two tarps (one for a covered shelter space and one for your tent) and a handy roll of duct tape — especially if you have to deal with damaged tent poles, he said on CBC Radio.
"It's the number one tool!"