The word "camping" doesn't always bring everyone pleasant visions, especially city dwellers. They may miss the comfort of the constant hum of electricity, the buzz of television or even sleeping on a designated surface.
But for anyone looking to get up close to nature with all the comforts of home while still making minimal impact on the environment, Bear Camp might be the fall destination of choice.
However, this isn't just living in the woods with all the comforts of home. There's an added twist- you can watch bears migrate through the area from a safe distance.
Bear Camp is part of ROAM Adventures, which offers "African safari camps" throughout the world in destinations such as Bhutan, the Galapagos Islands and Patagonia.
Bear Camp operates in British Columbia with the goal of leaving as little impact on the environment as possible.
"It's definitely their environment first, and we've done our best to be as least intrusive as we can possibly be," Ashley Scanlan, the owner and operator of the camp, said.
Scanlan runs the camp with her partner Brian McCutcheon. It's open all year, but the prime season is from September until October.
According to Scanlan, one of the camp's goals is to be as sustainable as possible while still allowing guests to get in touch with nature.
Eight platforms hang in the air overlooking the river. Each platform is built into the trees to be easily removed. So if they were ever to be taken down, it would be as if they were never there. Each platform is equipped with electricity, which the camp generates itself.
"Our footprint on the land is extremely minimal," Scanlan said. "We want it so the wildlife continues to use the land as they normally do."
As this is the time of year that sock-eyed salmon spawn, hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of salmon, swim up the the Chilco River to return to the place where they were born. This provides an ample opportunity for bears to feed.
"There are many resident black and grizzly bears in the area, but some come from as far as 115 km away," Scanlan said.
The bears then feed along the river banks, providing guests the chance to watch the bears in their natural environment. Campers may also see them while kayaking or hiking.
Scanlan said the camp takes precautions to make sure the bears are observed from afar and don't feel threatened.
"Everything starts with education," Scanlan said. "So having an awareness of how to be safe in bear country is first and foremost."
She said all of her guides, of which there are about 6-10, are certified to give tours with the Commercial Bear Viewing Association. All guides are equipped with bear spray in case of emergencies, but none has been deployed in the three years that the camp has been in operation.
The camp has a lot of opportunities for campers, but the best one for Scanlan is the ability to show people how to disconnect from their lives and get up close and personal with nature.
"The power of these places is really transcendent," Scanlan said. "I get to introduce people to a wilderness environment and everything associated with it.... they're really almost never exposed to it."
"That really helps people to connect with the things that are most important in their life."