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CAMPING IN CANADA

September 15, 2006
Filed under Camping News

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Be prepared for mountains… real mountains. For RV owners and trailer campers, make sure your vehicle is equipped to handle high mountain passes. I see people stranded on the side of the road on every trip I take into the Canadian Rockies. The No. 1 cause is vehicle power-train failures, particularly engine overheating. Carry tire chains; it can snow even in July and August.
Summer temperatures typically are in the mid- to high 70s on sunny days. This is mountain country. Expect nighttime temperatures in the 40s. It’s not uncommon to have frost on the ground in the morning. Bring clothing for all weather conditions; it’s likely you’ll need them.
Canadian parks are fee areas. National park day-fees for 2006 are $8 for individuals, $16 for families. Annual passes can be purchased by individuals for $55; $109 for families. Seniors and youth receive discounts. Annual passes allows access into all Canadian National Parks and historic sites.
Canada operates on the metric system, so all roadside and informational signage is in kilometers; temperatures are in Celsius and volumes in liters. Want to learn how to convert metric to U.S. measurements? Visit /onlineconversion.com/ before you travel.
Fuel is sold by the liter, and it’s higher than found in the U.S. Last summer, when U.S. unleaded fuel reached $3 per gallon, in Canada it was often $.95 a liter, or $3.60 a U.S. gallon. That’s the bad news; the good news is the U.S. dollar goes farther in Canada (for current currency values, check /x-rates.com/), but you must pay the seven percent GST (Canadian Federal Sales tax) on all items. The better news is that if you keep your receipts, the GST taxes you paid on your trip are refundable. Check at the international border for information and forms.
Yes, Canada is a foreign country. No, you don’t need a passport – yet! Beginning in 2008 you will be required to have a passport for entry into Canada. Until then, travelers need a birth certificate and photo identification if they want to visit Canada. Passports are encouraged.

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