Being away from home frees you up to explore new experiences – campfire food, park activities, and Canada’s awesome nature. Being in an unfamiliar place can poses certain risks. Parks Canada wants you to get the most out of your camping adventure – safely.

Nature can be beautiful, awe-inspiring, exciting…and challenging! Just like at home, knowing your environment, being prepared, and using common sense will keep camping fun. Read more about campfires and wildlife.

Water Safety

Near the water

Many national parks feature access to water – lakes, rivers, and oceans. Exercise any basic safety precautions. Adults should always supervise children near water.


On the water

Children and non-swimmers should always be supervised around water. Always swim with a buddy and wear a life jacket when going boating.

Trail safety

National parks often have well marked trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Check at the visitor centre for hiking or riding ideas and information, including trail maps. You’ll also find out about different animals you might encounter while on trails.

Carry insect repellent, sunscreen, a snack, plenty of water, and a small first aid kit with you. Make sure you are prepared for weather conditions – you might need a jacket, even in the summer.

Sturdy footwear is essential for hiking. Although sandals are good on a beach or near the water, closed-toe shoes are best on rocky terrain.


Weather

Before heading out on a day trip, a hike, or an overnight camping trip, check the local weather forecast. This will help you plan – but be prepared for changes in weather, especially in the mountains or by bodies of water where conditions can change rapidly.

The sun can be strong – wear sunscreen or long-sleeved tops and a hat. If you are camping or hiking near a body of water, pay special attention to the sun’s reflected rays.

Lightning can also be dangerous. When storms move in, make sure to watch the weather and take precautions before the storm hits.

While behind the wheel

Most national parks have spectacular driving routes, offering you access to trailheads and lookouts. Keep in mind that you are sharing the space with other park visitors and with the abundant nature all around you. When you are driving, remember to:

  • Follow the posted speed limits – there might be wildlife on the road!
  • Watch for other drivers – they might be distracted by the beautiful scenery!
  • Be mindful to share the road with the many cyclists who use national parks.

Staff tips

Having a first aid kit can help with some of camping’s bumps, bruises, and bites. Make sure you bring it with you!

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