05/30/2019 16:23 EDT | Updated 05/30/2019 16:23 EDT

5 Ways to Make Camping More Fun This Summer

Summer is almost here, and for many, that means loading up the car for a camping trip with family or friends. But if you are a camping newbie or haven’t overnighted in the great outdoors for years, you may be a bit apprehensive about getting out into the woods. After all, pests like mosquitos can make sleeping outside a miserable experience. But the world of camping has evolved and there are many ways to make it more comfortable than ever before. In partnership with Mark’s, here’s how to make camping a fun experience this summer.

Mark's

Mosquito repellent clothing

For those too nervous to venture outside the tent for fear of being attacked by a throng of hungry mosquitoes, Mark’s exclusive WindRiver No Fly Zone® will bring comfort. The first ever mosquito repellent clothing to be sold in Canada is treated with a solution that binds to the fabric for convenient protection against insects. The pests simply fly away without trying to bite. And unlike mosquito spray, these hats, shirts and pants for both men and women are odorless and lasts up to 70 washes. Layering a WindRiver No Fly Zone® jacket with a back yoke vent will also help you avoid roasting during the day while providing comfort and mobility well into the evening.

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Yurts

Camping isn’t about spending the night in an old canvas tent that leaks with the slightest bit of rain anymore. If weather gives you pause, try something a little more “off the ground.” A yurt, for example, provides a tent-like experience but is mounted on a deck and often has a heat source inside. Some even offer skylights, futons, and bunk beds for large groups. If you prefer even higher-end options, the Glamping Hub provides options across Canada for treehouses and domes in which to sleep under the stars.

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Creative cooking

Gone are the days of heating up a can of beans over the fire and calling it dinner. Camping offers the perfect opportunity to get creative with cooking. Before you pack the trunk and hit the road, check out some camping food hacks that’ll tell you everything from how to cook bacon in a paper bag to muffins baked in orange peels. And for that cup of joe at the crack of dawn? You can enjoy coffee with a portable espresso maker.

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Stargazing

What’s better than sitting around the campfire at night, trying to be the first to point out the Big Dipper or Orion? Canada is full of awe-inspiring stargazing hotspots like Garibaldi Provincial Park in B.C. and Point Pelee National Park in Ontario. And there are numerous apps to choose from that allow you to point your phone at the sky and map the constellations, such as StarTracker or StarChart. Bring along a telescope or binoculars to get an even closer look at nature’s wonders.

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The right apps

Who says you need to unplug? Whether you’re a camping beginner or an experienced backcountry hiker, there are so many apps that will make camping more entertaining for you. Try Park’s Canada’s Learn to Camp app which offers insider tips, packing checklists, national park information and more. Another great app is the user-generated Wikicamps, where people can upload photos, info about rest stops, campsites, rest areas, etc. And you don’t have to worry about your phone dying in the great outdoors with solar-powered charging stations available in different locations across the country.

The Great Outdoors is even greater without mosquitos thanks to Mark’s.