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Ontario Parks: Smart Safety Strategies for Campers

Ontario Parks: Smart Safety Strategies for Campers

Feb 28, 2015

Ontario’s extraordinary parks are home to majestic wilderness terrain and pristine lakes and rivers. It’s only natural that you’d want to check out and then head out in your new truck to explore Ontario’s most extraordinary outdoor spaces. Before you head out on a hike, however, be sure to consider the following safety tips that will make your camping experience a safe rather than harrowing adventure.

Know the Weather

When preparing for your camping trip, be sure to check the weather reports for the region you are heading. You’ll definitely want to pack accordingly. Even if there’s only a slight chance for rain, make sure you pack a rain poncho and a tarp to throw over your campsite in case a storm blows in to catch you off guard. Naturally, you’ll need to pack plenty of warm clothes if you are camping in fall or spring, but even summer evenings can get cool.

Bring a Map

A map and a compass are essential when camping anywhere in Ontario’s wilderness lands. An expert camper isn’t likely to get lost in Ontario’s big sky country, because an expert camper would never forget to bring a compass and map along. The more detailed the map, the better off you will be in case you find yourself lost on a hike.

Don’t Attract Bears

When camping in Ontario, be advised that the province is home to a thriving population of black bears. These predators have been responsible for fatal attacks. You can reduce the likelihood of a bear attack on your camp by eliminating any food scraps from your camp site and keeping all food out of sight–and preferably locked in airtight containers that will prevent its scent from attracting bears. It’s a good idea to have Ontario-approved pepper spray on you in case you come across a bear during your hike.

Know Where to Find Emergency Services

From slips and falls to encounters with wildlife, any number of unexpected events can occur when you’re camping in Ontario’s parks. Be sure you know where to find emergency services in case someone in your party needs medical assistance. Bring your cell phone to the parks as coverage is generally good in these locations. You can call 911 if an emergency arises.

Practice Water Safety

Finally, keep in mind that many of Ontario’s water courses are untamed. Water may appear calm, but there could be swift currents below the water’s surface. Make sure you and your fellow campers wear life jackets when out on the water and never swim on your own. Many of the province’s parks loan personal flotation devices free of charge to visiting campers. Children, even those who can swim, should always wear PFDs.

Finally, be sure to bring along insect repellent as the mosquitoes can be a terrible nuisance sometimes. If you are camping during the summer months as so many do, make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent sun stroke. With these safety tips in mind, you are ready to drive off to enjoy some memorable camping in Ontario’s amazing parks.

Evelyn Perrault is a veteran safety officer who enjoys the great outdoors and likes to share her insights online. She has recently got in the habit of posting her thoughts on camping and travel blogs.


Related Post: 4 Best National Parks in East Africa

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