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Camping Around Banff - Your Guide to Campsites In Our National Park

Camping Around Banff National Park Rocky Mountains

May long is finally here! What’s so special about this long weekend?

It can be thought of as the kickoff for camping in Canada! Campsites around Banff are open and it is the first long weekend that families can escape to the beautiful scenery that Banff has to offer. 

Banff National Park is an amazing place to go camping. We've met so many people who come into our store, and one question that we hear so often is: “Where are some good camping spots around Banff?”

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered! Below is a collective list of some of the best places to camp around Banff. Oh, and while you’re in the area, remember to stop in at Rocky Mountain Flannel Company and grab yourself a flannel shirt – perfect for those nights by the fire!

Tunnel Mountain Village

Tunnel Mountain Village Campground

Within walking distance to downtown Banff, Tunnel Mountain Campground offers a camping experience with the option of venturing into the town. Tunnel Mountain is the perfect place for those that want the wilderness and to visit the shops & restaurants downtown.

Two Jack Campgrounds

Two Jack Lakeside Campground

If you’re looking for a more "hidden" camping experience, Two Jack Campground is located in a beautiful wooded area with 381 secluded campsites. Right across the road from the Main Campground is the Two Jack Lakeside Campground. It is approximately 12km outside of Banff and has plenty of nearby walking trails to explore.

Johnston Canyon Campground

Johnston Canyon Campground

If you haven’t explored Johnston Canyon yet then it is a must! Johnston Canyon has a campground with breathtaking scenery and plenty of opportunities to see some wildlife in the area. Take the trails up to the Lower Falls or Upper Falls to experience some unforgettable waterfalls. 

Protection Mountain Campground

Protection Mountain Campground

Looking for an area with lots of hiking? Protection Mountain campground is situated approximately 48 km from Banff and is great for those who want to explore areas a little further outside of the town.

Lake Louise Campground

Lake Louise Campground

Lake Louise is a must see! The views here are absolutely breathtaking. If you really want to make the most of exploring the area, Lake Louise Campground is a great spot to allow you to do so.

Mosquito Creek Campground

Mosquito Creek Campground

If you’re looking for a more authentic camping experience at a small, quiet campground, then Mosquito Creek is a great option. Here you'll have the option to explore some great hiking trails and most likely see some wildlife.

Waterfowl Lake Campground

Waterfowl Lake Campground

Waterfowl Lake offers plenty of hiking trails along the Cirque and Chephren lakes. It's located right next to the well known Icefields Parkway and is perfect for those looking for a truly authentic camping experience!

Rampart Creek

Rampart Creek Campground

A small campground nestled approximately 28kms south of the Columbia Icefields, Rampart Creek is a great option for seclusion. There are many hiking trails around this area and plenty of opportunities to view some wildlife nearby.

Camping Around Banff National Park Canada

April 6th is National Tartan Day: Celebrating Scottish Heritage

royal stewart tartan day

Featured: Rocky Mountain Flannel Kimono Robes in Royal Stewart Tartan - View Product

On April 6th, 1320 the Declaration of Arbroath was signed, confirming Scotland as an independent kingdom. Centuries later, the provincial government of Nova Scotia declared April 6th as Tartan Day to commemorate the Scottish heritage. Eventually this observance would spread across Canada and officially declare it as a nationally recognized day on the calendar.

Tartan Day has since grown outside of Canada’s borders and is now recognized and celebrated in many countries. The United States Senate Resolution adopted the 6th of April as National Tartan Day, due to the efforts of the Scottish Coalition in 1998. The group recognized Canada’s observance of this date and looked to see it recognized in the USA as well.

The first Tartan Day festival in Scotland was held on April 6, 2004. The festivities continue to expand in reach, as the Angus Council seeks to develop it as a global celebration. Today you can find many celebrations in nearby communities. These mostly involve parades with pipe bands, highland dancing and sports, and other Scottish-themed events. There you'll most likely witness the famous tartan pattern, usually found on the Scottish kilt.

This pattern is iconic to not only Scottish heritage, but to Canada as well. On April 6th 2011, celebrations at Parliament Hill marked the first time that Tartan Day celebrated Canada’s official “Maple Leaf” tartan. This beautiful pattern features the rich colours that our iconic leaf goes through during the seasons.

If you’ve been to our store in Banff, or shopped with us online, you’ll already know – we love the rich tartan design! Be sure to browse our website and see the beautiful Tartan designs we carry. Wearing your tartan is a great way to pay homage to a rich heritage! 

What Is Flannel? The History Of Our Favourite Fabric

So, what is flannel? 

More often than not, flannel is confused and mistakenly used interchangeably with terms “plaid” or “tartan”. These are actually patterns that can be displayed on the flannel fabric, but are by no means exclusive to it.

This confusion is understandable. As you’ll soon learn, the rise of the plaid pattern in the 1990s with the grunge movement might have something to do with this misconception. Popularities such as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain would often be seen wearing plaid flannel shirts. The rise of the plaid pattern on a flannel shirt definitely leaves room for the terms to be misconstrued. 

Remember, plaid is a pattern, not a fabric itself.  

Further, flannel is a soft, loosely woven and slightly napped fabric used for a wide range of garments. 

Originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, flannel is now made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber. It features either a plain or twill weave usually brushed in either a single or double “nap” (a technique using a metal brush to rub the fabric, raising fine fibers for an even softer feel).

Flannel is commonly used to make tartan clothing, blankets, bed sheets, and sleepwear. The fabric is well known for its extreme softness and warmth, which is a result of the loosely spun yarn.

Did you know?

Flannel has even been composed of fibres from the Scots pine. “Vegetable flannel” was invented by Léopold Lairitz in Germany in the 1800’s!

History of Flannel Shirts

While the origin of the word “Flannel” is uncertain, it is most likely that it came from the Welsh word gwlanen, meaning “woolen cloth”. Due to the differentiation in sound, some suggest that it actually originated from the Old French word flaine “a kind of coarse wool.”

The fabric itself can be traced back to 17th century Wales. Textile workers in the late 1600s began using a surplus of sheep’s wool, using a process called “carding” to disentangle and soften yarns. This allowed for a softer fabric that still retained the toughness of wool. It wasn’t long thereafter that Welsh textile mills were distributing flannel shirts to be used by Welsh farmers, and soon thereafter the entire working class. This new fabric became a popular product for fighting the country’s cold, wet and windy climate.

(photo credit: @igorovsyannykov)

Textile traders soon brought the fabric over to England and France. More advanced textile mills were able to produce materials quicker, and at a fraction of the cost. This meant mass-produced flannels that were becoming popular among the working class for their tough, warm qualities.

Then, in 1889, Hamilton Carhartt founded his namesake company. His clothing was made specifically for the working class. His idea was to provide them with a top quality product, which would meet his standard of excellence he wanted his garments to reflect. Flannel fit the bill; and Carhartt can be largely credited for popularizing the fabric in the United States.

The rise of flannel wasn’t only popular amongst the working class. The United States Army issued soldiers flannel shirts during both World Wars, as an added layer of warmth. Rather than using it for an additional layer of warmth, soldiers began wearing it as a casual wear. Featuring a cargo style design for utility purposes, the extra pockets starting gaining popularity among outdoors-centric individuals. Softness and comfort with added functionality allowed for the once working class attire to expand interest towards everyday outdoorsmen over the decades that followed.

It wasn’t until the rise of the Grunge movement that plaid flannel would really take off. Bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam embraced the style and flannel was repurposed as a fashion statement among teenagers and young adults in support of the music and culture that was rising during that time. Soon, plaid flannel shirts would become a popular trend for those seeking self-expression.

With the rise of Grunge, flannel gained popularity into a more mainstream audience. The shirts worn at the time were rather loose and sloppy, but they would eventually change. Enter the early 2000’s, where more sophisticated images of the flannel shirt would be seen with a more tailored fit. The Americana-centric wardrobe pieced flannel shirts with raw denim and thick wool cardigans. The “hipster” culture began to rise and flannel was largely embraced as a favourite style piece. 

Today flannel is one of the most versatile in terms of style and usability. No longer specific to the working class, a fashion statement, or a just trend, but largely embraced by everyone. Whether you’re looking at slipping into a warm pair of flannel pyjamas, or heading out in one of our mens flannel shirts; we think you’ll agree: flannel is one of, if not the best, fabric you can wear!

Remember to visit our collections and pick yourself out one of our beautiful Rocky Mountain Flannels!