WildSafe Camping

Before heading out to go camping, be prepared by finding out what wildlife you can expect to encounter. BC Parks and Parks Canada will often have information on their websites and post any wildlife advisories. You can also find out more by stopping by local Visitor Centres.

Learn more about local wildlife by visiting our species pages. Do you know what to do if you encounter a bear, wolf or cougar?

Always assume you may encounter wildlife in BC and practice "bare" camping strategies to avoid inviting a bear or other animal to your campsite. Bring bear spray and learn how to transport it and deploy it safely.

While travelling along roads and highways, also be mindful of your speed and watch for wildlife that may be feeding along the road. Stopping to view and photograph wildlife should be avoided on busy stretches where highway speeds are in excess of 60 km/h, or where sight lines are poor. Always stay in your car and avoid disturbing or stressing wildlife. A startled animal may end up crossing the road and being hit by another vehicle.

If you are a campground operator, you are welcome to download our Camping in Wildlife Country Poster as well as our Bare Camping and other species brochures. If you would like high resolution copies, please contact us for more information at bc@wildsafebc.com.

For the sake of wildlife, your own safety and that of your family as well as the safety of other visitors, NEVER feed wildlife. This includes squirrels, birds, raccoons and other animals. The feed that attracts them is also a powerful attractant for bears.

Note, anything with an odour can attract wildlife. Never leave these items unattended or bring them into your sleeping area, This includes:

  • Food and items used in food preparation
  • Coolers whether empty or full
  • Garbage and wrappings
  • Pet food and bowls
  • Bottles, cans and recyclables
  • Deodorant, toothpaste, citronella etc.

Keep a “Bare” campsite to keep you and your camping neighbours safe.

  • Keep all attractants in your vehicle or use storage lockers if provided – NEVER in your tent
  • Dispose of grey water (water used for dishwashing) in designated areas or at least 50 m from sleeping area
  • Dispose of garbage and recyclables promptly at designated sites

 

Backcountry Camping

If there is a designated campsite, use it and any bear-resistant storage options that are available. If you are in an undeveloped area, keep your cooking and dishwashing activities as well as food storage at least 50 m away and preferably downwind.

Where possible, food should be slung up by a rope system in an area inaccessible to bears (at least 4 m off the ground and 3 m from the nearest tree).

Inspect your choice of camping area closely and make sure it is not in an area likely to be used by bears. It is best to camp away from waterways or other features that may be travel routes for wildlife. Check for signs of bears (scat, claw marks on trees, fresh digging or tracks).

 

Going camping? Print off some of our brochures to learn about the wildlife you may encounter.