Vintage photos of Okanagan Lake campground show how it used to be | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vintage photos of Okanagan Lake campground show how it used to be

Camping in the 1960s at Okangan Lake Provincial Park.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Patrick Selby
May 02, 2021 - 8:00 AM

As the weather warms, many thoughts are turning to the prospect of spending some time enjoying the great outdoors in a B.C. campground.

Patrick Selby is a British Columbia historical photo enthusiast who recently posted some vintage photographs on the "Old BC: The Way It Was" Facebook page of early camping days at the ever-popular Okanagan Lake Provincial Park.

The images evoke strong memories of what it was like to camp in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when tents were still the main mode of home-away-from-home.

If anyone had a solid roof over their heads, it was likely from a small trailer that could be towed by a typical car of the day. Forty-foot motorhomes and fifth-wheel trailers towed by one-ton pickup trucks wouldn’t be the norm for another decade or two.

Simpler days at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, circa early 1960s.
Simpler days at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, circa early 1960s.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Patrick Selby

Reservations were also relatively unheard of back then, especially for British Columbia’s provincial parks. It was still possible to put in a day's drive, turn into a place like Okanagan Provincial Park, and find a site before suppertime.

Selby’s posts garnered dozens of comments as those who recalled camping back then remember "simpler times,” “the smell of canvas in the morning,” “Halycon days,” and “the good years.”

Okanagan Lake Provincial Park in the early 1960s, without a pickup truck, tent trailer or RV in sight.
Okanagan Lake Provincial Park in the early 1960s, without a pickup truck, tent trailer or RV in sight.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Patrick Selby

“I hear you about the smell of those old canvas tents. We had one, and for some reason my dad cut a large piece of it off before disposing of it. That piece of canvas, almost petrified now, has sat in our back shed for years, and it certainly brings back memories when I take a whiff!” Selby wrote in his post.

Do you have a favourite vintage camping photograph of the Thompson - Okanagan you’d like to share? Send us your camping memories from the past for inclusion in a future story.

Camping by the beach on Okanagan Lake in the 1960s.
Camping by the beach on Okanagan Lake in the 1960s.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Patrick Selby

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to tips@infonews.ca and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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