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Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Staying Healthy in the Backcountry: Personal Safety in the Backcountry
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Staying Healthy in the Backcountry

Personal safety in the backcountry

​​​There are a few important things you need to do before you head into the backcountry.

  • Learn to read a map before you go and always take one with you.
  • Take a first aid course and always carry a first aid kit with you. To learn about what other equipment you should bring, see the Parks Canada Equipment Checklist.​
  • ​Tell a responsible person where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Make sure you let the person know when you get back.
  • Check the weather for the backcountry area you’ll be travelling in. Wear the right clothes and shoes, and bring the right equipment for the conditions, like tents and tarps.
  • Make sure there are no restrictions for the area you’ll be in. Restrictions could include area closures for wildlife or a ban on open fires.
  • To learn about bear safety in the backcountry, see Parks Canada visitor safety.
  • Avalanches are a risk when you go hiking in the winter. Avalanche conditions are available from your local Parks Canada​ office or online at Parks Canada avalance information.
  • Remember that river crossings, difficult terrain, and bad weather will all add time to a trip.
  • Give yourself extra time for rest and meal breaks.

Current as of: January 12, 2022

Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services