Safety in the Outdoors
Saskatchewan’s parks, forests and wilderness areas attract hikers, campers, backpackers, climbers, canoeists, ATV riders, hunters and others who seek adventure or just want to enjoy nature
Expect the Unexpected—Before you set out, try to imagine what conditions you might face. How would you survive if something goes wrong? Even on a short trip, you might need to spend the night—and the weather could deteriorate. How would you get help if you became lost or injured?
Find out about the area you plan to explore. Bring a good map, and check the weather forecast. Tell others of your intended route and timetable. Never travel alone and always stay with your group. Wear the proper clothes and footwear. You’ll also need enough water and food.
Whenever you go hiking, hunting or fishing, take along something to protect you from cold, rain or wind. A waterproof reflective survival blanket is ideal; it’s cheap, reusable, highly functional, and takes very little space in your pack. As well, bring along a whistle so you can let others know your location, and a flashlight in case you are still on the trail when the sun goes down.
If you get into trouble, early detection can mean the difference between a safe return and a life threatening situation. Anyone who likes to venture into the wilderness, whether on foot, by water or on a vehicle such as an ATV, should invest in a first aid kit adapted to the wilderness. Take a wilderness first aid course too!
Make yourself Easy to Find—when you head into the wilds, bring a map, GPS (Global Positioning System) and mobile phone. A GPS, used in conjunction with your map, should enable you to find your way out.
As soon as you realize you are lost or need help, STOP! Staying in one place makes you easier to find. In case of a serious injury, build a shelter and wait for rescuers. Trying to transport an injured person may lead to exhaustion or further injury. If you are stranded because of a broken-down vehicle, such as an ATV or aircraft, it is usually best to stay where you are. Large objects are easier to spot than a lone hiker.
If you need to signal, move to higher ground. Aerial flares and signal mirrors can attract attention. Once help is on the way, smoke flares, whistles and distress flags can help rescuers identify your exact position and keep them on course.
Beware of bears—Saskatchewan is known for bears. However, confronting a bear in the wild can be deadly.
Safety Code for ATV Riders
- Ride off-road ONLY! NEVER on public roads
- Know your Owner’s Manual
- Wear your helmet
- Protect your eyes and body
- Check the ATV before you ride
- Ride with others—NEVER alone
- Carry NO passengers
- Always supervise youngsters
- Keep noise levels low
- Ride sober—NO alcohol or drugs
- Lend your ATV to skilled riders only
- Ride within your skill
- Respect riding area rules