Families look forward to camping season and although we are still dealing with COVID-19, the exciting news is we are allowed to camp. As most campgrounds in our beautiful province have now reopened, we have compiled a list of safety tips that are great for camping as well as for any outdoor activity. We also have attached a handy PDF from BC Parks on their expectations of campers this summer.
It's important to wear sunscreen on both sunny and cloudy days. The sun's rays can damage your skin even on those overcast days. The sun's rays are the strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm. It's best to be in the shade during these times, wear a hat and put on sunglasses. You'll want to pick a sunscreen that is labelled "broad spectrum" and "water resistant" with an SPF of at least 30, and be sure to re-apply throughout the day.
Before you go camping it is very important to check any regulations or campfire bans before you go. Once you know campfires are allowed remember these important points. Fires within your campground site should be at least 15 feet from your tent, shrubs and trees. It's important to keep your fire small and contained in a designated area like a fire pit. You should also never leave a fire unattended. Keep close watch of children and pets around the fire. Also have a bucket of water near by and always put your fire out before leaving and going to sleep. When dousing the fire ensure all embers not just the red ones are extinguished.
Even though it can be thrilling to experience animals in their natural setting, keep in mind wildlife can be very unpredictable. Store your food far off the ground and preferably in your car, a bear-safe container or food storage locker which will help prevent attracting unwanted wildlife. Be well versed in what to do if a bear, cougar, or other wildlife crosses your path. You can also avoid unexpected encounters by carrying a bear bell or other noise makers while you hike.
Protect yourself from pesky bugs that can certainly be a nuisance and potentially dangerous. Use insect repellent that doesn't dissolve easily in water. Wear light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester especially when hiking. Be sure to do a quick check every so often for ticks and after a hike or any outdoor activity putting your clothes in the dryer for a least 10 minutes on high heat which will kill any ticks that may have come home on your clothing.
Camping near our beautiful lakes, rivers and the ocean offer fun activities from swimming to boating. It is important to remember to play safely and the following are some important guidelines. Children must always be supervised by an adult and if they cannot swim should always wear a personal floatation device when near water. Keep an eye out for hazards that might not be visible from the surface of the water. Everyone in boats or canoes should have a personal floatation device and obey any warning signs that are posted.
View BC Parks "Visitor Guide to Camping During COVID-19" here.
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