Gas Prices and Inflation Impact Next Camping Season

Just as COVID-19 has limited camping in 2020 and 2021, it looks like inflationary pressures will impact the 2022 season.

Rising fuel costs are the biggest factor, some campers at the Fanshawe Conservation Area tell CTV News.

Yet, in an era of rising gas, food and housing prices, Rose and Bruce Beechey of London, Ont. fare better than most.

Both are seasonal campers at Fanshawe, residing at the park from May 1 through mid-October.

As they sip their morning coffee, they express no regrets about their decision to sell their home and move here.

Yet at one point they had planned to move in the RV they now call home. But with the price of gasoline, they gave up on that dream.

Bruce and Rose Beechey are seasonal campers at Fanshawe Conservation Area. After selling their house, they planned to eventually travel with their RV. But, with rising gas prices, that dream is on hold. May 11, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)

“It’s a great gas pig,” Bruce said, “And, wow, I can’t imagine people driving these things and what it must cost them. It’s probably a couple hundred dollars to go to Toronto and back, from London here. It’s a lot.”

It sure is, according to Mike Knapp. Another Londoner, Knapp didn’t travel far in his new diesel van and trailer, bought at the start of the pandemic, to camp at Fanshawe.

Knapp confirms that distant excursions have been completed for the summer of 2022.

“We took it to British Columbia last year, but I don’t think I’m going there this year with the fuel prices,” he said.

So if regional parks are the place many recreational campers will be looking for, is it too late to book?Mike Knapp is seen in Fanshawe Conservation Area on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)

Unlike some provincial parks in the area, Fanshawe has sites available for the Victoria Day long weekend. However, these are all tent sites without electricity.

Still, those coming can expect full amenities for the first time in two years.

“We are reopening the pool this year. We will be renting canoes and kayaks,” says Alison Miller, the park’s assistant superintendent.

It’s music to Jake Hopf’s ears. He called Fanshawe home for 28 summer seasons.

“It’s been really great so far. I sure hope it stays that way,” he said.

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