Sirmilik offers spectacular scenery, wildlife, and opportunities to experience Inuit culture and learn about northern places. But there are a host of dangers associated with travel in this northern wilderness. The remoteness of this area and limited rescue capabilities increase the risk of the challenging natural hazards. All visitors must be prepared to deal with extreme and rapidly changing weather, unpredictable river crossings, high winds, and travel in polar bear country. You must be self-reliant and responsible for your own safety.
We rarely head out for an outdoor adventure with the expectation that something will go wrong, and most times everything will go right. However, sometimes the unexpected happens and when it does, it's important that you are well informed and well prepared to minimize the negative impact of unfortunate circumstances.
For general information on how to stay safe and a list of the 10 essential items you should bring when enjoying the outdoors visit adventuresmart.ca.
For general information on how to stay safe while enjoying Sirmilik National Park, please explore the topics below:
Safety is everyone's responsibility. At Parks Canada, we do our part to make sure you can have a safe visit by assessing the risks, managing hazards, and making sure that safety information is freely available to everyone. You can do your part as visitors by making sure you seek out the information you need to stay safe and make well-informed decisions while enjoying these special places. Visit our websites and stop at a visitor center to speak with our employees for the most up to date information. Make sure you are fully prepared for whatever activities you choose to participate in so you can have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable visit.
Satellite phones are becoming more and more popular with travellers in Nunavut. Check with the park office on the satellite services available before you rent a satellite phone to bring on your trip. As this service becomes more and more reliable, it will become the most recommended form of communication for backcountry travellers.
Single side-band radios are the most common form of communication used by local people out on the land. However they can be unreliable and you may not be able to reach anybody.
Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) are being carried more often into remote areas. Be sure to register your PLB with RCMP in Pond Inlet or Arctic Bay before your trip. When activated, they send a distress signal to the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario who will initiate a rescue from there. Once activated, the signal is non-reversible; these are to be used in a life-threatening situation only.
Check in advance with local outfitters to see if satellite phones or single side band radios are available to rent. You may have to rent or purchase these before your trip begins from suppliers in the south. PLBs cannot be bought or rented in Pond Inlet or Arctic Bay. You must bring them with you. Contact us for more information. Remember if you are travelling in cold weather that any batteries must be kept warm to ensure their longevity. We recommend carrying them in an inner pocket.
Navigating in and around Sirmilik National Park. Sirmilik National Park lies within the zone of compass unreliability. GPS units are the preferred mode of navigation.