Camp Policies and Fees

Welcome to Wilderness.

This place is deeply loved by many who have camped here over more than five decades. The Camp and non-profit Northwest Wilderness Society of the Unitarian Church are run entirely by volunteers.

Download this PDF of the Camp Handiguide.

Please review Covid 19  Pandemic Protocols for NWWS and forms prior to arriving at camp.

To help keep the experience as originally intended, there are only four “rules”:

  1. Cut no living trees
  2. No illegal drugs
  3. No pets
  4. No firearms

Motorized watercraft  (other than the camp boat and other craft at the Camp Director’s discretion) are not permitted at Camp while the Camp is in operation.

Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites cannot be saved or reserved. The Board has implemented a 2-night (3 day) minimum stay for the 2021 season.

Membership and Camping Fees

Every adult, 19 and over, who camps for more than three nights must become a Society member. The annual fee is $20 and allows members to camp and  have a voice and vote in the Society after 2 years of membership in good standing.

Persons under the age of 19 not accompanied by an adult are not permitted to camp at Wilderness.

Camping fees, per day:
Ages 0 to 12 – FREE
Ages 13 to 18 – $5 per night
Members $13 per night
Non-Members $15 per night

Membership is $20 per year, per individual.  Please click on the form below to apply for or renew your membership.

Make a donation 

If you missed paying membership fees,  visited the NWWS property out of season, or want to make a donation of any kind, IT’S EASY!  For membership please go to the button above.  For donations, see below.

Now you can donate online easily with an E-Transfer.  Please include your name, email, phone number and note describing the funds in your e-transfer message. Please send funds to the Treasurer at:  Remember donations give you a charitable tax credit in Canada.

Recommended equipment and supplies

The Wilderness Camp is not close to civilization so you should bring everything that you will need for your camp. (except water, mountain stream water is great!) Food, cooking utensils, tents, tarps and ropes (the more the better!), warm wear (even toques and mitts), but likely also swimming and hot weather clothes, and hats. Check out the suggested kit list. At least one large tarp 15′ x 20′ or larger is highly recommended to cover your camp kitchen.

Photo 2013-08-30 1 02 36 PM
Having a camp kitchen tarp protects you from hot sun and weather and provides an effective “cabin on the lakeshore”.


Parking – There is a suggested donation of $1 per day per vehicle.

These funds go to cover Wilderness expenses such as property taxes, insurance, camp boat maintenance and fuel, toilet supplies, canoe and equipment repairs, etc.

Make a donation or pay fees online

If you missed paying camping fees, or visited camp out of season, or want to make a donation of any kind, IT’S EASY!

Now you can donate online easily with an E-Transfer… send a note with your transfer code to the Treasurer at: Then send an e-transfer from your account. Remember donations give you a charitable tax credit in Canada.

Good neighbour camping

Campfires are permitted in safe locations so long as a burn ban is not in effect.

Campers must take all their garbage out with them when they leave.

Radios and musical instruments should be played quietly enough to not be heard in other camps.

Discrete nudity is OK if it doesn’t make others uncomfortable.
Life jackets must be worn at all times in the camp boat and canoes.


The weather in the two summer months is usually fairly nice – hot sun in the day and quite cool at night. However, this area is known for its short, violent storms bringing strong winds and rain. Rain gear as well as a good tent and a big tarp to go over the kitchen area are advised.


Mostly birds, bats, squirrels and mice around the camping area. Moose, deer and black bear can sometimes be seen when hiking in the mountains behind the camp. It is important to keep ALL food and food waste tidy and in covered containers to avoid attracting wildlife.


Wilderness is a 160 acre delta of natural forest at the mouth of a glacier-fed mountain stream and along the shore of a large lake.  The camping area is flat and thinly forested – a steep canyon containing the stream leads back into the mountains behind.   There is about a mile of shoreline along the lake with a beach consisting mostly of round, wave-washed rock interspersed with areas of sand.


Facilities Onsite

There is one composting toilet and several pit toilets located in the woods behind the camping area.

Over the years, several established campsites have been created out of driftwood and deadfall.  With a few tarps, these can be fashioned into comfortable, reasonably weatherproof living areas.  Campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis.

The camp has several canoes, paddles and life jackets are provided for everyone’s use. Life jackets are required.

Water in the stream is potable and is very cold.  Campers often store their perishable food items in the stream to reduce spoilage.

Arrival and Departure

Access to the Wilderness is by means of the camp boat.    Campers are asked to sign a liability waiver before boarding the boat.  The camp director is onsite, and the boat is in operation from July 1st to August 31st.  The camp director has a medical kit – and limited outside communication capabilities. There is NO cell service.

Camp Director Don Vaillancourt takes the boat across Kootenay Lake, 20132.
Camp Director Don Vaillancourt takes the boat across Kootenay Lake, 2013.

Wonderful wilderness camping on Kootenay Lake in southern British Columbia. Tenting, hiking, paddling, wilderness!