Camping in Tofino

Photo: @laurissamarion

For a true, back-to-nature, West Coast experience, there’s nothing quite like camping! Luckily, the winding road to the town of Tofino has plenty of places to pitch a tent, or park an RV and spend the night. Not sure if it’s the right way to tackle your time in Tofino? Read on for a Pro’s and Cons camping list.


  • Spend 24/7 Outdoors

-Nothing says back-to-nature like spending all your time outdoors, even when asleep. It’s so refreshing!

  • Food Tastes Better Outdoors

-Camping meals, while sometimes challenging, are arguably the best. Also, S’mores.

  • Fun Camping Gear

-Using all your neat camping gadgets is super fun!

  • Beach-front/Ocean-View Camp Sites

-No need to drop $400/night on a fancy suite, you’ve got your own view.

  • Cheaper

-See above.

  • Still Close to Town

-All the campgrounds are within driving distance to Tofino – you can still have a night out and amenities if you please.

  • Close to Surfing Beaches

-Getting to the surf has never been easier.

  • Campfires

-Campfires are better than those gas indoor fireplaces, right? Again, S’mores.

  • Starry Nights

-Small towns and wilderness = no light pollution = lots of stars. Also, in August there is typically a meteor shower.

  • Camping Clothes

-Sweatpants, dirty hoodies, the same clothes for days… Nice to not have to dress up!

Photo: @laurissamarion


  • Rain

-Welcome to the “Wet Coast”. Even summer can mean rain – be prepared with tarps, rain gear and games to play in the tent.

  • No Showers

-Depending on where you camp, there might not be showers.  Prepare to have the ocean be your bath.

  • Pit Toilets

-Again, depending on your campground of choice, but get used to going to the bathroom basically outside.

  • Wet Wetsuits

-With no cozy laundry room or place to hang your suit indoors, putting on a cold, wet wetsuit will be a daily thing if you’re surfing, especially if it rains overnight.

  • Will Need a Car

-Some campgrounds, while on the beach, might be farther from town and the other beaches. Prepare to bring/rent a vehicle to pack the boards and get places.

  • Cooking Outside

-No matter the meal, weather, or hour, you’ll be doing all your food prep outdoors with minimal cooking surfaces.

  • Chilly Mornings

-Rolling out of bed is that much harder when you literally roll straight outside. This plays into the above point – especially when you need to prep coffee out there, too.

  • Nowhere to Charge Electronics

-For some, this is a blessing, for others, it’s the end of the world. Choose wisely, pack a power bank, or get comfortable with the idea of being… disconnected.

  • Lots of Planning

-Meal planning, ingredient prep, equipment, bear safety, clothing choices, weather preparation… There’s a lot that goes into a couple nights in the bush with a tent.

  • Camping Clothes

-Fun at first, but after three days? With no showers? Besides the smell, you might even miss looking nice just because you can.


Hopefully you know by now whether or not camping in Tofino will be your thing. If not, there are plenty of other options! Check out if you discovered you are looking for the exact opposite of a camping experience.

For more about Tofino itself, check out