Old Photographs of Camping in British Columbia (Gallery)

From pristine provincial parks to secluded campgrounds, from roughing it in the bush to glamping in a yurt, British Columbia is a perfect province for camping, RVing, and living the van life.

1892-A group of campers in Lynn Valley.

The Vancouver Archives has a host of vintage camping photographs from the 1800s and early 20th century, and aside from the tents and a campfire, it is difficult to tell what exactly they got up to, and what their idea of a good time while camping was.

In some of the pictures, a musical instrument is displayed prominently, which is a nice thought, singing and playing music in the great outdoors. Others are perhaps creating, and hoping for inspiration.

1892-Camping on Beach Avenue, foot of Denman Street.

Without the modern iconography of camping, beer, sleeping bags, and marshmallows, it’s harder to discern the campers for leisure from the campers using tents as a more permanent shelter. These days it’s also common to find tents in public parks.

What ever their reason for camping, it seems that we’ve always been drawn to the lure of getting out of our homes once in a while, and out from under a confining roof, to get some fresh air, find ourselves alone in nature, and sleep under the stars.

1896-Crickmay’s camp on the beach at the foot of Bayswater Street.
1900s-Boy sitting in tent on beach.
1905-A camp at Roach Point.
1910-Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rogers and their daughter Mina camping at Point Atkinson.
1912-A.A. Bradbury sketching in forest at his camp at the foot of Alma Street.
1912-Bootahnie Valley Camp – V.N.H.S.
1913-All good cooks.
1913-B.C. Mountaineering Club camp in Black Tusk Meadows.
1915-Camp in Black Tusk Meadows in Garibaldi District.
1920-A camp at Tenquille Lake.
1921-At Gordon Head.
1921-Some Camp.
1927-1931 -View of three camping tents and mountain in background.
1934-Beatrice Timmins at our camp, Yale.
1948-F.V. Longstaff at an Alpine Club camp at Peyto Lake in Banff National Park.


To check out the Vancouver Archives and their incredible gallery of old photographs and documents, visit their website HERE.


About Tara Collum 4 Articles
Tara Collum is a Toronto writer, book hoarder, and aspiring cat lady.