Be Safe While Camping!

Choosing a site
  • Pick a site that is close to a water source and sheltered from the wind
  • Build your fire on a rock surface or bare dirt
  • Build the fire at least three metres away from logs, stumps, trees and overhanging branches
  • Make sure the fire is 15 metres away from buildings or tents.

Preparing the site
  • Clear a space about two metres wide
  • Remove pine needles, grass, leaves and twigs
  • Ensure you have a pail of water and a shovel to control the fire.

Building your campfire

  • Keep the fire smaller than one metre high and one metre wide
  • Small fires are safer, easier to control and easier to put out
  • A small fire will also keep cooking tools from blackening and let you get close enough to cook.

Stay nearby

  • Never leave a campfire unattended
  • If you start a campfire, make sure you keep it under control and put it out before you leave.

Putting the fire out

  • Use the following steps to put out your fire:
  1. Pour lots of water on the campfire
  2. Stir the ashes with a stick
  3. Pour on more water.
  4. Repeat these three steps until:
  • The ashes don't hiss
  • Everything looks wet
  • No more smoke comes from the ashes.

Fire safety tips for kids

  • Always have an adult supervise when you're around a fire
  • Never play with matches or fireworks
  • If you see a fire burning with no people near it, tell an adult immediately.

Additional Resources

Boating and Water Safety

Boating Safety
No matter your age or experience, you must take a boating safety course.
 Visit  Ontario Boating License to obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card.  The course is on-line so you may take the course from anywhere at your conveniece. 
Take A Course - Get your Card
Anybody who operates a motorized recreational boat or jet ski in Canada must legally have proof of competency regardless of their age, engine horsepower or vessel length. The most common proof of competency in Canada is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC).

Even if your boat is equipped with an electric trolling motor or a motor with less than 10hp, you still need a PCOC. The minimum fine for operating a boat without a PCOC in Canada is $250. 

Age-Horsepower Restrictions
Youth under 16 years of age may not operator boats with motors over certain horsepower limits unless someone 16 years of age or older is in the boat and directly supervising them. Youth under 16 may not operate a personal watercraft (PWC) under any circumstances. Are you old enough to operate a motorized boat? Find out from the chart below. 
 Age  Horsepower Restrictions
Under 12 years of age with no direct supervision May operate a boat with up to 10 hp (7.5kW)
Age 12 – 16 with no direct supervision May operate a boat with up to 40 hp (30kW)
Under 16 years of age, regardless of supervision May not operate a PWC
 16 years of age or older No horsepower restrictions
Remember that these restrictions are separate from the requirement for proof of competency and both must be followed.This means that youth under 16 require proof of competency to operate any motorized boat, supervised or not.

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Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife
Outdoors Card and Hunting LicencesTo hunt and fish in Ontario, you need a valid Outdoors Card and a valid hunting or fishing licence.
Click here for informaiton on how to obtain your Outdoors Card. 

Click here for information on obtaining a Fishing License. 
Click here for information on obtaining a Hunting License.  
Please remember that you are visiting the animal’s homes. Please be safe and do not approach any wild animal. You can also make sure to not leave any food around for the animals to eat. Click on the following for tips on how to behave with wildlife.
Trailer Safety
Trailers come in many shapes and sizes. Pulling a trailer requires extra care and attention. A trailer puts extra weight on your vehicle and increases the space you need to drive and stop safely. Trailer safety involves some simple and important rules. For Trailer Safety information, please click here.
Remember to check your Fire Alarms and Carbon Monoxide monitors each spring when you open up the trailer for the season.  Always install new batteries for the upcoming summer.   
Stay Informed and Stay Safe

Many people enjoy the Ontario outdoors in spring and summer. With increased time spent outside, it's important to know what to do when threatening weather approaches. Lightning is the most common danger associated with thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may also produce very strong winds, large hail, heavy rains and, in rare circumstances, tornadoes. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the safety tips below.

A good way to stay current with the latest weather forecasts and warnings is to listen to Environment Canada's Weatheradio broadcasts. Most of Ontario's Weatheradio network transmits continuous weather information on special VHF-FM frequencies. Compact, battery-powered Weatheradio receivers are available in most electronics stores to monitor these broadcasts. At a few selected locations, low-power broadcasts are transmitted on regular AM or FM bands. Environment Canada's Weatheradio Web site has a full list of transmitter locations.

Being aware of your surroundings is another important part of staying safe outdoors. Identify in advance the places where you could take shelter if threatening weather approaches. Then, if the skies darken and you see lightning, you will know what to do and where to find the most appropriate shelter.

Click here for Current Conditions
from the Weatheroffice Environment Canada.

Here are some tips on what to do if you encounter the following phenomena.

Lightning, Strong Winds, and Large HailIf in a tent or tent-trailer, move to the closest comfort station/washroom or your hard-topped vehicle.

If no shelter is available, seek refuge deep in a thick stand of trees. If no trees or only solitary trees are nearby, then find the lowest-lying area. Crouch down and cover your head.

For additional Lightning Safety Tips: Environment Canada Lightning Safety, Mesures de Sécurité et État de Préparation en cas de Foudre, What to do

Heavy Rain/Flash FloodsAvoid camping close to streams or rivers as heavy rain can cause water levels to rise rapidly.

Never cross rain-swollen streams or rivers as the undercurrents could carry you downstream.

If flash flooding does occur, get to higher ground immediately.

TornadoesMove to a campground comfort station/washroom. Crouch and cover your head.

If there is no comfort station or washroom nearby, evacuate your tent or camper van. Lie down flat in a low-lying area and cover your head with your hands.

DO NOT get into your vehicle to escape a tornado! Strong tornadoes can overturn vehicles.
For more information on how to be prepared for an emergency - click here. 

Click here to download the French version of this document.

Click here to learn more about Environment Canada's Weatheradio.