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Ivvavik National Park of Canada

Minimizing Risk

Experience Level

Only visitors that are capable of wilderness travelling (and preferably with wilderness experience) should consider visiting Ivvavik National Park without a licensed guide. Your group should have advanced skills in wilderness first aid and be ready and equipped to handle any medical or weather related emergency.

Recommended Equipment

Be prepared for emergencies and sudden changes in the weather. Park staff can help you decide what clothing and equipment is appropriate. Be sure to bring a portable stove and enough fuel, as campfires are prohibited in the park.

Recommended emergency survival gear includes: a comprehensive first aid kit, waterproof matches, extra food and fuel, extra warm clothing, a survival blanket, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, an aircraft signalling device such as flares, a satellite phone, maps and a good quality GPS .


There are no emergency communication systems in place in Ivvavik. Lightweight, portable satellite phones have been proven reliable for use from most locations in the park. While they are still expensive to purchase, rentals are readily available. A satellite phone is the best way to make contact with rescuers in case of emergency. We recommend you carry a satellite phones above all other communication methods.

Note: Some satellite phones do not function north of 70 degrees. Check with your local provider for more information if you plan to go farther north.

In case of an emergency, you should call the Duty Warden at (867) 777-4893. This number is monitored 24 hours a day in June, July and August. Contact the Park Office for a list of other emergency contact numbers.

Personal Locator Beacons ( PLB ) can also be carried into remote areas. When activated, PLB s send a distress signal to the Canadian military who then initiate a rescue from Trenton, Ontario. This signal is non-reversible and should only be used in life threatening situations.

The PLB distress signal contains the serial number of the beacon that allows identification of the registered owner. Make sure your PLB is properly registered by calling the Canadian Beacon Registry at (Toll Free) 1-877-406-7671. A PLB transmits a distress signal at 406 MHZ. The use of a PLB that transmits at 121.5 MHZ is not permitted in Canada.

Good Research and Trip Planning

Research and planning will help make your trip safe and enjoyable.

Ask yourself:

  • What kind of trip will it be? (hiking, rafting, kayaking)
  • What experience, skills and equipment do we need to safely complete the trip?
  • Where will we start and end? What are the transportation options?
  • What route will we take?
  • What topographical maps do we need?
  • How long will we take? (Plan a buffer of at least two days at either end of the trip for bad weather or other unexpected delays.)
  • What are the hazards and risks?
  • What conditions, such as climate and water levels, can we expect?
  • What are the park regulations?
  • What other information do we need?