Travel Advice and Health Information for Canada
Travel Safety in Canada
Canada is famous for its fantastic hikes and trails. The Rocky Mountains have some of the most stunning scenery in North America, and exploring them on foot is one of the best ways to enjoy the experience. However, it is important to be safety conscious when hiking and some general advice is as follows:
The Rocky Mountains are ideal for hiking, but if you are going on a serious trek, you should be aware of the unpredictability of the weather and be prepared. Different valleys in different areas of the Rockies have different weather conditions. The weather can change suddenly and to find yourself in a sudden rainstorm without a waterproof jacket, or in a chilly area without a fleece can spoil your journey.
The key with clothing is to wear light layers that can be taken off and carried easily, or worn comfortably to keep you warm. Good footwear is essential. You should consider buying clothing and equipment in Canada. The stores there are good value and have excellent ranges. Proper hiking socks that provide protection for your feet against water, heat, cold and blisters are also invaluable.
- Bears. If you are in the Rockies, you could be in bear country! Find out from the park wardens how likely you are to see a bear, and if there are any bear warnings. The best way to see a bear is from a distance, with them moving away from you.
- Beaver Fever. Definitely not as funny as it sounds, Beaver Fever is a stomach bug that you can catch from drinking water in the mountains that has been contaminated with beaver or deer droppings. Medically known as Giardiasis, symptoms include stomach ache, diarrhoea and nausea, and it can hang around for up to three weeks. Not what you need when camping out! You can avoid the bug by boiling any water you drink in the mountains, or by using sterilizing tablets.
- Sasquatch. Easy to avoid, as many people don’t believe it actually exists, the Sasquatch is the Canadian name for the Yeti or Bigfoot. Standing around eight foot tall, covered in hair and by some (totally unreliable) accounts, a bit stinky, the Sasquatch is believed to be a distant relative of the mountain gorilla. Sightings of the Sasquatch have been reported in the Alberta and British Columbia Rockies. If you see one, take some video footage and you could make a fortune by appearing on cable TV talk shows exaggerating your experience.