10 Camper Tips for Camping on Crown Land in Ontario

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September 26th, 2022

Camping on Crown Land in Ontario with a camper isn’t for the faint of heart. There are a lot of extras you need consider as you are not near readily available services. There are also rules and regulations that you must be familiar with before venturing out into the wilderness. First, we will go over some rules and recourses and then we will share 10 Ontario Crown Land Camping Tips.

  1. Ensure where you are going is in-fact crown land and that you can legally camp there. A great resource for determining this is the Crown Land Use Atlas. It is also smart to visit the nearest MNRF office to the area you wish to camp.
  2. You cannot camp in the same location for longer than 21 days.
  3. Non-residents require a non-resident camping permit in most circumstances.
  4. You must dispose of a grey and black water appropriately.
  5. You should familiarize yourself with other rules and regulations that can be found here

10 Camper Tips for Camping on Crown Land in Ontario

1. Water, Water, Water

The amount of water you will need depends heavily on how long you will be camping and how much water you plan to use. Your biggest water consumption will come from showering and washing dishes. Planning to reduce water usage is always a good tip for Crown Land Camping. Some people will utilize a small pump to fill their campers from nearby rivers or lakes. However, this can be extremely dangerous to your camper’s water system. I recommend bringing city water in your camper and/or water jugs.

2. Tie Down and Pack Up

Many crown land areas to camp in Ontario are only accessible by dirt roads. It is extremely important that everything in your camper is packed up tight and anything loose is tied down. Dirt roads are more unforgiving than paved pathways. Take extra care in packing. Even if your camper is new if the road you are travelling is rough it is advisable to empty all clean, grey, and black water. The movement and bouncing can damage the holders on your tanks and cause very expensive damage.

3. Disposal of Grey and Black Water

First things first. It is very likely that you will benefit from a honey wagon. Once full this wagon can become quite heavy so ensure you plan for proper ways to transport and lift it. Ensure that you dispose of your grey and black waters properly and within the laws of Ontario. This may involve a trip away from your camper and into a nearby town with a designated dumping station.

4. Remember Wildlife

The odds of running into local wildlife is higher when camping on crown land. Make sure you take extra care in dealing with your garbage and BBQ accessories. If by chance you catch any small rodents in your camper, make sure to dispose of them properly. If you leave them around the outside of your camper, they will attract larger animals that come with their own set of problems. The last thing you want is to be trapped inside by a skunk (I’ve been there and its not fun!)

5. You Need Light

Out on crown land don’t expect any light except from the sun, moon, and stars. Remember to bring flashlights, lamps, and lanterns. Purchasing small solar lights to put around your camper and in key areas can make a world of difference on a dark cloudy night.

6. Don’t Forget About Power

Many new campers are coming with solar power which is awesome while camping on crown land. However, with or without solar power, a good generator is your friend. This is especially true if your camper is equipped with high energy drawing items such as a fireplace, microwave, or air conditioner. They also come in handy for smaller items such as kettles, toasters, hair dryers, and the list goes on. While selecting a generator make sure it has enough power for the items you wish to use and don’t forget about the weight. They can be quite heavy so a wheel kit might make things easier. Another great Ontario Crown Land Camping Tip is to keep any jerry cans of gas safety put away. Bears can be attracted to the smell of gas and there’s nothing worse than waking up to an empty jerrycan full of holes.

7. Communication

One of the best parts of camping on crown land is the seclusion but you need to make sure you’re being safe. Always tell a friend or family member where you will be and don’t move unless you tell them where you’re moving to. If camping with others it can always be fun to have a set of walkie talkies to easily communicate between campers. Those who camp outside of service areas sometimes purchase satellite phones.

8. Firewood

It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with Ontario law regarding the collecting of firewood on crown land. Speaking of firewood, you will also want to ensure you check local fire warnings and restrictions before starting a camp fire. In most cases its wise to look this information up prior to leaving as you might not have service. Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure you can burn. If a fire ban is activated when you have no access to internet you will still be at fault. Keep an eye on conditions and if your unsure don’t burn!

9. Camper Care

Taking care of your camper is always important. This can often be more important while camping on crown land. If your unit has slide outs makes sure they are clear of debris before bringing them in. If you are traveling on dirt roads, ensure you move slowly to avoid rock chips. Mice and other rodents can be problematic if you are staying in one spot for a long period of time so remember to keep things clean and to keep food in sealed containers to make your camper a less attractive home to rodents. While camping in the later falls and earlier months you are likely to attract more mice due to the camper being warmer than the outdoors. You may benefit from bringing along some mouse traps.


Last, but certainly not least, LEAVE NO TRAVE. It is important to leave your area the way you found it, better yet, leave it cleaner than how you found it. While crown land camping is available to everyone its important that we take care of our surroundings so that it can be enjoyed by all. Treat the forest and all those who call it home with respect.

Well, there you have it. 10 camper tips for camping on Crown Land in Ontario. I hope that you have found some of these helpful and will increase your love of the Ontario outdoors.


In acknowledgement, the term Crown Land has a heavy and complex meaning in our country. I recognize the experience of Indigenous people throughout history and the impact of colonization on their traditional land.

I honour and thank the Ojibway people and Metis Nation of Ontario as the original inhabitants of the lands we live, learn, work, enjoy, play on and share. I acknowledge the contributions of the Indigenous ancestors who came before us and thank the generations of Indigenous people who have cared for these lands.