Asked to pick her favourite campground in British Columbia, Jayne Seagrave names the one at Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, along the Alaska Highway.
“It’s just gorgeous, because it’s got the natural hot springs,” Seagrave told the Georgia Straight by phone from her Vancouver home. “It’s miles away from anywhere. It’s got about 100 spaces, so it’s not too big, not too small. I like that one very much.”
Seagrave is the 53-year-old author of Camping British Columbia and Yukon (Heritage House), which saw its seventh edition released earlier this year.
First published in 1997 as Provincial and National Park Campgrounds in British Columbia and later as Camping British Columbia, the guidebook now covers almost 200 national, provincial, and territorial parks offering at least basic amenities to campers sleeping in tents and RVs.
For each park, Seagrave details its location, facilities, recreational activities, and additional information. The 256-page paperback and e-book also includes useful tips for “green camping”, camping with kids, cooking, and multi-day tours.
Seagrave is the marketing director for the Vancouver Tool Corporation and has a PhD in criminology. According to her, people often assume she’s a hard-core camper who likes to rough it and hike great distances.
That’s not the case, she maintained, citing her love of Alice Lake Provincial Park in Squamish. It’s home to the family-friendly Four Lakes Trail, one of her favourite hikes, and perfect for quick weekend getaways.
“One of the reasons I like Alice Lake is that, if I get up at seven o’clock, I can drive for 10 minutes to a Starbucks and get everybody coffee and then come back again,” Seagrave said.
Asked to name the worst campground in B.C., she mentioned two provincial parks in the Fraser Valley.
“Kilby has suffered a big decline. It’s got very crowded and noisy,” Seagrave said. “I don’t like Cultus Lake, although everybody else seems to like it. It’s far too busy and also, on Friday and Saturday nights, you get lots of kids from Chilliwack and Abbotsford and everywhere else.”
Her next book, Camping With Kids in the West (Heritage House), is slated for release in spring 2015. It’s a rewrite of 2004’s Camping With Kids, this time featuring more campgrounds in Alberta.
“The sad thing is some people bring their kids, and the kids are still in front of their iPads or their mini computer watching video games,” Seagrave said. “I think that’s really sad. But if that’s the only way you can get your kid out, you should do that.”