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March 23, 2021

Tips: How to be a Safe & Responsible Traveller

Thank you for visiting. While you are here, we want you to have an incredible time exploring the Kootenay Rockies. For generations, Kootenay locals have taken great care of the wonder that you see around you. We hope that you will help us continue to do so. By being a responsible visitor, you become a partner in our community efforts to conserve and respect the region’s wonderful natural attractions and heritage.

Here are a few reminders, on how to create happiness ALL together.
(Check out our Instagram Guide too!)

KEEP THE ENVIRONMENT & THE COMMUNITIES CLEAN
*
Whenever available, use public washrooms & outhouses
* Clean up after your pets
* Pack out ALL of your waste & dispose of it into designated wildlife-proof garbage & recycling containers

PREPARE FOR ALL ADVENTURES
*
If you’re new to a sport or to the region, consider hiring a certified guide for hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, paddling, ATVing & fishing;  plus, take a course or some training
* Be prepared with food, water, maps & first aid supplies
* Wear appropriate footwear & clothing and be prepared for sudden weather changes on the water and in the mountains in ALL seasons
* Avoid risking your life for a selfie
* Follow the 3T’s – Trip-planning, Training & Taking the essentials
* Always let someone know your plans before adventuring into the wild
* Whenever possible, travel with a companion
* In some parts of the Kootenays, there is limited cell service
* Be avalanche aware & always carry the safety gear

Photo courtesy of Tourism Revelstoke; Lukasz Larsson Warzecha photo

KEEP WILDLIFE WILD & YOURSELF SAFE
* Wildlife can be anywhere at any time
* Don’t feed the wildlife & keep your distance
* Respect pet restriction & use a leash for pets if & when they’re allowed
* Carry bear spray and make noise (sing & talk loudly)
* Respect areas where motorized vehicles (ATV’s, snowmobile, dirt bikes, etc.) & motor boats are banned
* Be sure to have the proper  fishing licence

Photo by Field & Forest; Bighorn Sheep in Radium Hot Springs

RESPECT TRAIL ETIQUETTE
*
Stay on the trail & share the trail with other users & wildlife
* Cyclists yield to everyone & hikers yield to horses
* Keep motorized vehicles to designated motorized trails only
* Be friendly with people you encounter on the trail
* Did you enjoy the local trails? Consider making a donation or buying a trail pass

Photo by Best Impression Photography; Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

RESPECT EVERYTHING LOCAL
*
Respect & honour Indigenous People as stewards of the land & water you are travelling through
* Respect private property, including private parking spaces
* Support local shops & businesses

Photo by Ashley Voykin

CAMP RESPONSIBLY
*
Only camp in designated camping areas
* Keep a clean campsite
* Pay your camping fees & respect quiet hours and other rules

Photo by Kari Medig; Kootenay National Park

THINK BEFORE YOU LIGHT A FIRE
* Wildfires are a serious threat to our communities & landscapes
* Check for & respect fire bans
* Never leave a campfire unattended & put your campfire out completely when you leave; ashes should be cool to touch
* If you smoke, make sure your butts are fully extinguished & dispose of them in designated waste facilities

STOP THE SPREAD OF INVASIVE SPECIES
*
Ensure vehicles, trailers, boats, bikes, & boots are cleaned, drained & dried before and after visiting an area
* Take only pictures & leave local flora in its natural habitat

Photo by Kari Medig; Lake Windermere

DRIVE CAREFULLY
*
Respect speed limits
* Keep the noise of all motorized vehicles at a minimum
* Ensure your vehicle is equipped for the journey before setting off (such as 4×4, high clearance & winter tires) and check driving conditions before you hit the road
* RV’s & slow vehicles can pull over to let others pass on windy & uphill roads
* Some Forest Service Roads are active logging/mining roads – be informed & yield to trucks

Photo by Kari Medig; travelling on Highway 3

Be mindful when posting on social media and consider the potential impacts that rapidly increases use can have on our wild places. Turn off your geotagging or use a generic location tag such as a community or a business.

And, please ASK if you don’t know. Information is the key to be a responsible visitor. Kootenay locals are friendly & knowledgeable. Stop in local Visitor Centres, outdoor retailers or outfitter, contact a local club and ask for assistance and tips!



Know Before You Go – Plan ahead so you can travel safely and responsibly. Familiarize yourself with weather, road conditions, general alerts for travellers and provincial health orders & recommendations.

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~ Follow the Trail: Kootenay Hiking Adventures
~ Get Informed: Before your Wild Adventure in the Kootenays
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~ Hike, Pedal, Roll & Ski: Out Kootenay Rails to Trails
~ Keeping the Kootenays Natural
~ Kootenay Ambassadors: Mindful Explorers
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~ Outdoor Adventures: Unique to the Kootenays
~ Stewards of the Land: Positive Effects
~ We Are All Connected

Top/cover photo by Bruno Long; mountain biking in Revelstoke, BC.

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