BC Conservation is urging outdoor recreationists to remember their dos and don’ts this May long weekend.
“People have cabin fever and they want to get out and enjoy the land—they’re eager to get boating, camping, hiking, riding their ATVs or side by sides. We just want to remind people to be safe,” says Conservation officer Zane Testawich.
Conservation has found that after a long winter even responsible people may forget a step in outdoor etiquette and safety, and recommend slowing down a little to plan things through.
“There are the big things like making sure your recreational vehicles have the right insurance, but the simple things that go with camping is abig concern. Bears are awake now and they’re looking for anything to eat. So secure your food and garbage in bear-proof containers.”
Campfires are also a big concern. The region is particularly dry this year, evidenced already by two wildfires in the Northwest last week near Kitimat and Fraser Lake.
“Don’t leave fires unattended. When you’re ready to put them out you should get them to the point where you feel comfortable touching the embers. There should be no heat.”
Checklist for a safe long weekend
1. Off-Road Vehicles: have applicable insurance, registration and helmets. Ride responsibly.
2. Boating: have safety equipment on vessel and respect other boaters/anglers/swimmers utilizing the same area.
3. Campfires: never leave unattended, always have something at the ready to extinguish the fire.
4. Bears: have food/attractants in bear-proof containers out of reach of wildlife.
5. Hiking: be bear aware, keep pets on a leash and make noise.
6. Camping: clean up after yourself, ensure the fire is completely out upon departure.
7. Any other issues including poaching/polluting or other environmental concerns make sure to call the RAPP Line at 1-877-952-7277.