4 Quirky Alternatives to Tent Camping in BC

4 Quirky Alternatives to Tent Camping in BC

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Note: This story was originally published in 2018.

British Columbia’s backcountry is a camper’s paradise with off-the-beaten-track trails and secluded scenery. But packing your own tent isn’t the only way to enjoy a night under canvas. Traditional teepees, roomy yurts, and safari-style luxury tents give visitors a chance to camp and get close to nature while enjoying the comforts of a resort. Leave the gear at home and try one of these alternatives to tenting.

Great River Fishing Adventures | Hubert Kang


Be at one with nature and keep the rustic vibe by staying in a traditional teepee—a conical tent that has long been used by Indigenous peoples as a form of shelter. At Tuckkwiowhum Village — a First Nations heritage site and village located in Nlaka’pamux territory, just south of Boston Bar—guests can experience an authentic teepee stay; bring sleeping mats and cooking gear to get comfy.

In Chilliwack, Great River Fishing offers a variety of fishing experiences, including staying in a teepee just steps from the Fraser River, where your jet boat will pick you up for a day on the water.

A yurt at Soule Creek Lodge near Port Renfrew |


Inspired by the circular tents of the nomadic peoples of Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey, yurts are a popular choice for campers looking for added luxe. Situated above Vancouver Island’s Port Renfrew, Soule Creek Lodge’s yurts let guests stay high in the forest with wrap-around decks that have sweeping views of San Juan Bay and the Salish Sea, and hotel comforts like mosaic tiled bathrooms and comfy king beds.

Beach camping can also be turned up a notch with a stay in a yurt . At Penticton’s Skaha Lake, Barefoot Beach Resort’s yurts range from simple options equipped with the essentials to luxurious ones with vaulted ceilings, domed skylights, deep soaker tubs, and hardwood floors.

Glamping on the Sunshine Coast at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. | Dolf Vermeulen

Tent Cabins

Combining the comfort of a cabin with the freedom of canvas, tent cabins are an upscale way to enjoy nature. Like yurts, tent cabins include “proper” beds and can range from a simple sleeping area to upscale romantic options.

On the Sunshine Coast, adventurous souls can stay in a tent cabin for a glamping experience at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. Their Tenthouse Suites take hotel amenities like hydro-therapy tubs, fine linens, and a fireplace and house them in luxurious tents set in the forest.


Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort in the Cariboo | Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

Safari-style Tents

BC is also home to world-class wilderness retreats where nature meets luxury in remote locations. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, near Tofino in the UNESCO-protected Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, has canvas prospector-style riverside tents that are decked out with antique furnishings, vintage oil lamps, and private decks. Some have an outdoor en-suite bathroom.

In BC’s interior, Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort, which is on a dude ranch overlooking Siwash Lake, has tented structures made of handcrafted spruce logs and pioneer-style white canvas. These are nestled amid Douglas firs with lake views.

Ruby Lake Resort on the Sunshine Coast offers 12 safari tents on wooden platforms, all equipped with comfortable beds, power, and light, providing rustic but comfortable accommodations for a true back-to-nature wilderness getaway.

Whether you sleep under the stars in a traditional teepee or splurge on a safari-style wilderness resort, combining nature and creature comforts makes for an unforgettable trip.

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