Tent Alternative at Amherst Shore

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

(Originally published in 2010) At some point along my hiking career, I will be attempting more and more back country hikes and the odd overnight in the back country. Over the last three years, I started to transition from the world of tent camping to the new & exciting world of hammock camping.

The advent of newer & cheaper materials have allowed hammock designs to go beyond the traditional image of what we think of when someone mentions the word “hammock”. This has allowed for complete sleep & shelter systems to be produced where it takes up 1/4 of the space & weight than a one-person tent. Local retailers such as The Trail Shop in Halifax offers a few models along with other retailers in the city.

Typical hammock setup with an insulate cover to stay warm and keep bugs away

The main advantage of hammock camping is of course the comfort of not having to crawl out of your tent on your hands & knees in the morning. But other considerations such as reduced impact to a camp site, flexibility in the back country are what makes this a great alternative to the traditional one-person tent.

But while hammock camping is geared more for the back country, you can still enjoy its advantages while car camping.

Hammock car camping has the advantage of not worrying about gear as opposed to the backpackers

Which brings me to my latest adventure – Tent alternatives in Provincial Parks.

I was invited to bring along my hammock camping gear to Amherst Shore Provincial Park to demo in front of park staff from the entire province. It was part of an afternoon workshop where I got to see another alternative to a tent – Yurt.

A popular style of yurt found across Canada at Provincial & National parks

Amherst Shore Provincial Park (GPS: N 45 57.670 W 63 52.740) has been on my list to visit for a few years now. It is located along the Northumberland Shore, it makes for a perfect home base to visit the various points of interest from Amherst to Tatamagouche.

The park itself has a camping loop and beach access. There are also several trail loops that allows you to log some time walking the mixed forest. It is this type of forest that makes the park a great location to hang my hammock and spend an overnight.

12 Years Later…

Looking back at this post we see that the only provincial park that added Yurts was in Whycocomaugh Provincial Park (links below) but Parks Canada really took off with the alternatives by offering several experiences depending on the location. For example in Kejimkujik you will see yurts, cabins, oTENTik and Oasis.

For hammocks, we saw the use of them increase a lot and now you can easily find hammock camping gear at your local outdoor supply store with several accessories allowing you to strap up to a couple of trees and use the space for after a paddle or for an overnight.

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