No Campfires? 10 Things to do During a Fire Ban

This July and August has been one of the driest in 10 years and has put Southern and Central Ontario into a severe drought and and extreme fire hazard. Many Ontario Parks have issued fire bans over the last few weeks to help avoid accidental fires and Algonquin Park has suffered at least two forest fires this camping season due to careless campfires.

So if you’re camping and the campground is currently under a fire ban, what’s there to do instead of staring into the campfire til the wee hours of the night?

Here are 10 suggestions for having fun in the evenings during a campfire ban.

  1. Night hikeNight hiking, night swimming
    This will depend on the rules of the campground, but can be very exhilarating.
  2. Some might say there could be a baby boom 9 months from now…
    nuff said.
  3. Portable Campfires
    Portable campfires are spark and smoke free and provide campers with comfort and heat. Many include a cooking rack allowing campers to make cowboy coffee or cook with a skillet. Check with your campground first to see if these propane, controlled campfire alternatives are acceptable.
    portable campfire
  4. Glow Art!
    Get creative with your camera and some glow sticks to create soem glow stick drawings!
  5. Story Telling
    Tell ghost stories, or start a collaborative story, where everyone takes part adding to it. Break out the guitar and have a sing along… folks may be less bashful in the dark!
  6. Evening Programs
    Attend an evening program. Some campgrounds offer interpretive night programs, Algonquin Park offers an outdoor theatre where you can see historic films and learn about the Park.
  7. Candles
    Use candles (solid fuel candles in glass or metal, citronella…) to simulate a campfire. Place them in the fire pit and enjoy their subtle glow.
  8. Star gazing!
    How often do you get the chance to see the sky at night with little or no light pollution from the city? Depending on when you’re camping, the Perseid Meteor Shower could be in full swing, and you’ll have quite the free show. Bring a star chart, or an astronomy app, and try your hand at locating constellations.
  9. Night Bugs.
    Watch the fire flies or search for interesting moth species!
  10. Card Games
    Gather in the dining tent and play cards – check out Cards Against Humanity for a hilarious, adult game.

Wondering if a park is currently under a fire ban? Visit the Ontario Parks Alerts Page for the most up-to-date information.

What do you do in the evenings when there is a fire ban? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Camping!

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