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Adventure Safely: Essential Camping and Hiking Tips

Apr 30, 2024

There’s something special about nature that consistently draws in adventure-seekers of all ages, whether it’s through a hike in the forest or a cozy night under the stars at a campsite. In the midst of this outdoor adventuring, though, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and preparedness.

National Summer Safety Week is May 1 – 7. The Canada Safety Council wants you to be well-equipped to stay safe on the trails and in the wild.

Ensuring camping safety is not just about enjoying the great outdoors, it’s about prioritizing careful and thoughtful preparation. By keeping safety front-of-mind, we give ourselves the tools to transform potential risks into memorable experiences while remaining out of harm’s way.

Gareth Jones

President and CEO, Canada Safety Council

Here are some camping and hiking safety tips to keep in mind before embarking on your next outdoor excursion:

Plan and Prepare: Take the time to thoroughly plan and prepare for the journey ahead. Research your destination, including trail conditions, weather forecasts, and any potential hazards or wildlife encounters. Create a detailed itinerary and share it with a friend or family member.

Know Your Limits: It’s important to know your limits and plan your activities accordingly. Choose trails and campsites that match your skill level and physical abilities, being honest with yourself about your fitness level and pacing yourself accordingly.

Dress Appropriately: Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions, including moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer shell. Wear hiking boots with good ankle support to protect your feet and ankles. Pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, too.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to prevent dehydration. Pack snacks that are dense and lightweight, including trail mix, energy bars, and dried fruit. While taking part in strenuous activity especially, avoid consuming alcohol or caffeinated beverages — these can contribute to dehydration and impair judgment.

Be Cautious Around Fire…: Use only designated fire pits or backpack stoves. Keep fires small and controlled, and keep water nearby to extinguish the fire if it gets out of control. Be very mindful of the fire’s location at all times, as trips and falls can turn deadly in a matter of seconds.

…and Water, Too: According to the Government of Canada’s Health Infobase, there were 323 unintentional drownings in Canada in 2020, of which 47 per cent occurred in natural bodies of water. Be mindful of water conditions, delaying water-related activities if the waves are too rough. Never go in the water without another person or a group — in case of emergency, they will be able to provide assistance or seek help for you.

By prioritizing safety, planning and preparation, knowing your limits, dressing appropriately, staying hydrated and nourished, and preparing for common risk factors, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable excursion for yourself and your fellow adventurers.



For more information, please contact:

Lewis Smith

Manager, National Projects, Canada Safety Council

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