To stay safe, and protect the wilderness, you have a responsibility to travel with two goals in mind - limiting your impact by avoiding encounters, and managing food and food smells.
When you go into the woods today....
- Make noise. “Bear bells” are not loud enough – clap, call out or sing instead. Cyclists, who travel quickly and quietly along trails, are most at risk of surprising wildlife.
- Be particularly alert in dense forest or vegetation, near running water and when travelling into the wind. Bears or cougars may not be able to hear or smell you.
- Travel in groups of three or more and keep children within reach.
- Watch for sign. If you see fresh tracks, diggings, droppings, or come across a dead animal – leave the area. Don't linger in feeding areas such as berry patches.
- Keep pets on a leash. Your pet may come running back to you with a bear, cougar or coyote in pursuit.
- Camp in designated areas. Avoid camping near running water, thick brush, or berry patches.
Prevent uninvited dinner guests....
- Set up cooking, eating and supply areas at least 100 metres from your tent. Designated backcountry campsites may already be arranged this way.
- Store all food, including pet food and livestock feed, in special caches provided, or hang it between two trees at least 4 metres above the ground.
- Wash and store all dishes and food utensils immediately after use. Strain food particles from dishwater and store with garbage. Dump dishwater in designated areas, or at least 100 metres from your sleeping area.
- Handle garbage the same way as food. Pack it out in airtight containers. Never bury or burn it.
- Keep sleeping bags and tents completely free of food, food odours or beverages. Do not sleep in the same clothes that you cook in.
- Store personal items (deodorants, toothpaste, etc.) with food. Leave perfumes, hair sprays and scented soaps at home.
Visitor centre staff can provide information on current sightings, warnings, closures and safety tips. Wilderness Passes are required for all over-night trips and can be purchased there.