A decline in core body temperature is a serious safety concern. Cold-related emergencies, such as hypothermia, can happen to anyone who is exposed to cold temperatures (or rain, wind, water or snow) for too long, and can be life threatening.

  • Bring extra clothing. Replace wet clothes with dry ones before you get chilled.
  • Dress in layers; adjust as you go to prevent overcooling or overheating.
  • Wear clothing that retains its insulating properties when wet (e.g. polypropylene, fleece, wool, gore-tex). Do not wear cotton, e.g. jeans.
  • Be alert to the first signs of hypothermia: shivering, difficulty using your hands, disorientation, and a drop in body temperature.
  • Drink plenty of water and snack throughout the day.

Learn more about the prevention and treatment of cold-related emergencies (Canadian Red Cross)

Ice thickness

Parks Canada does NOT monitor natural ice surfaces for safety.

Many environmental factors affect the thickness of the ice. If you choose to venture on natural ice, you do so at your own risk. The recommended ice thickness is at least 15 cm for walking or skating.

  • Please be sure to arm yourself with safety information (AdventureSmart) before heading out
  • If you are not sure if the ice is thick enough, stay off it
  • Never venture alone on the ice
  • Don't walk or skate on ice in the dark

Learn more about Ice Safety (Canadian Red Cross)