Love the idea of camping, but hate the sleeping-on-the-ground, freezing-your-butt-off, rain-soaking-through-tent-walls aspect of camping?

Parks Canada has announced they will build twenty oTENTik (authentic) tents in Banff and Kootenay mountain parks this summer.

The tents - described as "a cross between a prospector’s tent and a cabin in the woods" - are the latest in camping luxury. Made with wooden frames and hardwood floors, they have tightly stretched canvas covering a sleeping and living area that comes with two queen-sized beds, a double bed and a table and chairs.

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  • Twenty new oTENTik camping sites will be coming to Banff and Kootenay national parks in the summer of 2013, with 10 more slated to open in Jasper National Park in 2014. A single prototype oTENTik opened in Jasper National Park in 2012.

  • Designed and made in Canada, Parks Canada’s oTENTik tents offer visitors a comfortable, gentle camping experience, ideal for new and seasoned campers alike.

  • “Parks Canada’s oTENTiks will offer a unique blend of homey comfort and a taste of outdoor adventure, and are ideal for visitors who want to discover the joys of camping but prefer the comfort of a bed and a campsite already set up,” said Tracy Thiessen, Parks Canada’s Executive Director of the mountain national parks.

  • “This ‘turn-key’ camping offer is a great way to introduce camping to families as well as to help those who remember the camping experiences of their youth but no longer own the equipment.”

  • “Parks Canada’s oTENTik sites will offer a unique mix of comfort and adventure in the great outdoors, bringing visitors closer to nature while providing a roof over their heads and a floor beneath their feet,” added Thiessen. “With oTENTiks, Parks Canada provides the ideal option for families, friends and couples to discover the joys of camping in all its simplicity and with no hassles.”

  • All oTENTik sites will be equipped with a table, chairs and three beds to accommodate up to six visitors, with ample storage under beds to keep belongings out of the way. Visitors need only bring their food, personal effects and sleeping bags.

  • In consideration of wildlife, strict protocols surrounding no cooking or eating within oTENTiks will be implemented and supported through the provision of fire pits, cooking shelters, storage lockers, dish washing sinks, a picnic table, grey water disposal, bear proof garbage bins and cleaning supplies.

  • Parks Canada is aiming to have oTENTik sites in Banff and Kootenay national parks open by mid to late summer.

“Parks Canada’s oTENTiks will offer a unique blend of homey comfort and a taste of outdoor adventure, and are ideal for visitors who want to discover the joys of camping but prefer the comfort of a bed and a campsite already set up,” said Tracy Thiessen, Parks Canada’s Executive Director of the mountain national parks said in a press release.

In order to keep away wildlife, campers who rent an oTENTik tent will be prohibited from eating, cooking or storing food in the tents, but have access to fire pits, storage lockers, sinks, picnic tables and garbage bins.

oTENTik tents are currently available for rent through Parks Canada in Manitoba and Quebec and will open for campers in Alberta in July.

The tents will rent for $150 a night in Banff National Park and $145 a night in Kootenay National Park.

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