“It’s called a what ?” I had to have my friend repeat the name several times, and then spell it, before I could remember it. An oTENTik (play on the word authentic) as it turns out, is a cross between a tent and a cabin. The units are exclusive to Parks Canada and are available in some incredible, and sometimes very unique locations across the country. They are perfect for the family wanting some exposure to the great outdoors, without really having to rough it. Each cabin sleeps six, and comes complete with a table and chairs, lighting, storage cupboard with basic kitchen supplies and firewood. Just show up with your bedding, some food, a few other required items (location dependent) and you are camping….or glamping, if you may (A friend explained to me that this was most definitely not camping when I texted her this photo.).
We chose to stay in one of five oTENTtiks inside historic Fort Langley, which is about 1 hour outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. The experience was a historically interesting one, as the fort was once a fur trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. As it is open to the public during the day, there were a great number of demonstrations offered by knowledgeable and appropriately costumed staff. My children spent hours panning for gold, visiting the resident farm animals, geocaching, and participating in activities ranging from churning butter to forging metal into farm tools,
The beauty of staying in an oTENTik in Fort Langley, is that after the fort closes to the public for the day, you and the other campers have it all to yourselves. You even get your own key to the fort. For those who wish to self-cater, there are personal refrigerators and barbecues on site. For those who don’t, walk 10 minutes into the equally quaint town of Fort Langley, where you have several choices of restaurants. After dinner, sit around the large campfire under the stars with a nice bottle of wine, while the kids roast marshmallows. Possibly the thing my own children (and a friend who joined them) enjoyed the most ,was being able to run around inside the enclosed fort after dark, playing hide n’ seek and man hunt with the other young campers. Unique to Fort Langley is that with a cafe on site, a continental breakfast is included with your stay.
important to note: As a historically important trading post, Fort Langley is located beside some railway tracks. The earplugs are in the room for a reason….use them. And if you don’t use them for the trains, you may want them for the 5am rooster.
nightly rate: $120 (rates are lower for some oTENTik locations)
availability: april until mid-oct (dates vary by location)
Want a further peek? Here is a little video of our stay.
further information on parks canada oTENTiks:
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