Province wide campfire bans in place, Campers know before you go camping.

Be a Respectful Camper and Practice the Camper’s Code

The Camper’s Code is a health and safety initiative comprised of nine easy-to-follow rules. When outdoor enthusiasts abide by these rules camping continues to be enjoyable for all, nature remains pristine and animals stay wild. Let’s examine three of these rules: Plan Ahead and Be Prepared, Respect Others and Respect Staff and Signs.

Camper’s Code Pledge Sticker | BC Parks

Plan Ahead and Be Prepared

Anything can happen in wild spaces or en route to them so have a plan, even if you’re car camping or going somewhere easily accessible. Stay safe by adhering to the ‘Three Ts’: Trip Planning, Training and Taking the Essentials. By following these easy steps campers, hikers and other outdoor adventurers will significantly improve their chances of survival should they become lost or distressed.

  • Trip Plan

Decide where you’re going and how long for and give the plan to someone you trust in case of an emergency or if they don’t hear from you. This way they can better assist search and rescue authorities. Read the Camping and RVing BC Coalition’s (CRVBCC) Know Before You Go webpage which has essential information on travel resources, alerts and news.

  • Train (and know your limits)

Obtain the knowledge and skills you need for the terrain you’re embarking on. Know and stay within your limits; unprepared people can get into sticky situations! When hiking, factor in descentsmany slips and falls occur when legs are tired. AdventureSmart offers the Survive Outside – A Guide to Outdoor Safety program where participants learn about search and rescue in their region, and the Three Ts.

Plan Ahead & Be Prepared | BC Parks
  • Take the Essentials

No matter the length of your camping adventure, always pack the essentials and know how to use them. Add other equipment specific to your chosen activity, season and location. Recommended items are:

  • Flashlight/headlamp and extra batteries.
  • Fire-making kit (including waterproof matches/lighter and fire starter) and a reliable pocketknife; a knife can be an important survival tool. It is important to practice making a fire and know how to start one in wet weather.
  • Signalling device (whistle or mirror) and GPS device. Signalling mirrors have been spotted from rescue planes over 8 kms away!
  • Extra food and water; factor in 1 litre of extra water per person in case of emergency. Pack high energy items such as granola bars.
  • Extra clothing (rain, wind and water protection and toque or warm hat) and wear layers should clothes get wet. Invest in a good rain jacket and a long sleeve that wicks away sweat. (Remember that wherever you are in Canada or British Columbia the weather can change quickly while you are camping or hiking, particularly at altitude.)
  • Navigation/communication devices (GPS, etc.), trail map(s) and compass with magnifier.
  • First aid kit, bug spray and antihistamine and sun protection. Understand how to use the items in the kit or better yet, take a first aid course.
  • Emergency blanket and shelter, such as a rain tarp
  • Seasonal and sport-specific gear, including decent sunglasses.

For additional camping tips, including how to build a campfire, visit the CRVBCC’s Camping Tips webpage.

For more information on the Three Ts visit AdventureSmart, Canada’s national outdoor recreational activity prevention program for Canadians and visitors to Canada.

Respect Others | BC Parks

Respect Others

Some people go camping for exploration or quests of inner solitude, while others go for outdoor activities, campfires songs and family fun. Whatever the reason, respect your camping neighbours by keeping noise levels low and adhering to posted quiet hours. Follow these unwritten rules to be a respectful camper:

  • If you are arriving extra early or leaving late, turn down car high beams and car radio/music. Remember that sounds carry outdoors so try to keep voices and music down within reason, both late at night/early in the morning.
  • If you smoke cigarettes or use cannabis, dispose of the butts in a responsible manner. Be mindful of nearby campsites as not everyone appreciates the smell of cannabis!
  • Don’t cut through campsites.
  • Before leaving, return your campsite to the condition in which you found itor better.

For further reading, the Camping and RVing BC Coalition has an informative article on Camping Etiquette.

Respect Staff & Signs | Glacier National Park, Parks Canada

Respect Staff and Signs

Staff and signage exist in campgrounds to help and keep campers and hikers safe, and we should adhere to their guidance. Staff have been trained to make your vacation enjoyable and they’re a great resource for information and tips. Remember to be patient at check-in and check-out times as these are the busiest hours and follow any COVID-19 guidelines.

Educate yourself regarding campground or recreation site rules prior to (via a website) or upon arrival and observe and obey posted speed limits. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists and park in designated areas only. Be mindful that many children feel liberated while camping and will often zigzag on bikes and race to playgrounds. Do not drive over vegetation.

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Check out the video below and make sure to take the Camper’s Code Pledge!

The Camper’s Code is a collaborative campaign started in 2021 by a dozen BC-based organizations who believe deeply in the responsibility of every single person to create a safe, enjoyable, respectful camping experience for all—people, wildlife, and nature.

The Camper’s Code is comprised of nine easy to follow rules: Respect Wildlife, Take only Photos, Control Your Pets, Store Food Safely, Don’t Litter, Practice Fire Safety, Plan Ahead and Be Prepared, Respect Others, Respect Staff and Signs. Other rules will be covered in future blogs.

For campgrounds & RV parks in BC go to the BC Camping Map.

Share your BC camping and travel photos using hashtag #campinbc #explorebc #green #bcnice

It’s always a great day to #CampinBC

Published: April 28th, 2022

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