Edmonton

'Glamping' at Elk Island National Park comes with solar power and USB port

Edmontonians looking for a more luxurious wilderness experience can now try "glamping" - glamourous camping - at Elk Island National Park.

Roomy canvas tents allow campers to enjoy with great outdoors with a little luxury

The oTENTik tent offers a hybrid of homey comforts and a taste of outdoor adventure. (Parks Canada )

Sick and tired of sleeping on the cold ground, or fighting with your tent poles every time you go camping?

You no longer have to "rough it" to enjoy a taste of the great outdoors. Instead, why not try "glamping" — glamourous camping — at Elk Island National Park?

Five oTENTiks, a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin, are now scattered across the Astotin Lake Campground.

The camping shelters were officially made available to visitors over the August long weekend, and only a few available reservations remain for the season.

"We're seeing a big interest in 'glamping' or luxury camping," said Kathryn Tatham, visitor services team lead at Elk Island National Park. "We've had really good feedback."

A touch of luxe 

Each oTENTik can accommodate up to six people, with two double beds, two single cots and a bunk bed. They come complete with heater, barbecue, table and chairs, an outdoor shelter and campfire seats, lighting and solar-power electricity.

There's even a USB port for people who can't stand to be parted from their cellphones.

Tatham says the luxury tents are a great option for people who don't want the hassle of packing or purchasing equipment, or may be new to the camping experience.

"What we've seen at the park is young Canadians coming out to use these as a social setting, as well as young families, but especially newcomers and new Canadians," said Tatham.

"It helps them gain access to the Parks Canada system and experience camping in a really easy setting." 

The oTENTiks are available on Friday and Saturday nights until the September long weekend.

They cost $120 each night.

This season, reservations can only be done through Elk Island staff. By summer 2017, bookings will be available online through the Parks Canada reservation system.

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