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Tips: How to be a Safe & Responsible Traveller

We encourage travellers to the Kootenay Rockies region of British Columbia – to explore our unique destination in a better way.  The south-east corner of BC is shared with locals wanting to explore their own incredible outdoors, entrepreneurs passionate about their businesses and destination travellers planning to visit – each balancing to protect and conserve our corner of the world. We believe exploring should be a respectful, safe and remarkable experience.

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!

~ Take extra time to research and plan your trip in advance. Many of our tourism businesses and services have adopted new COVID-19 protocols and changes to their schedules or policies to ensure your safety. You’ll want to become familiar with them ahead of time.

~ If you normally travel with extended family or with several friends, consider travelling in a smaller group. Travelling with fewer people makes it easier for you to practise physical distancing in public, and may have less of an impact on the destination.

~ Consider a slower travel pace to help curb the spread. Instead of checking in and out of multiple destinations during one trip, choose one or two destinations and one/two accommodation properties for your entire trip (and explore all the things to do & see nearby).

Related Stories
~ Best Summit Hikes in the Kootenays
~ Camping & Glamping in the Kootenay Rockies
~ Easy Kootenay Hikes to 360 Degree Vista Views
~ Family-Friendly Backcountry Adventures in the Kootenays
~ Getting into Hot Water: Kootenay Hot Springs
~ Hidden Waterfalls in the Kootenays
~ Hike, Pedal, Roll & Ski: Out Kootenay Rails to Trails
~ Kootenay Hacks: Local Tips Before you Go Exploring
~ Multi-Generational Family Hiking in the Kootenays
~ Our Kootenay Mountain Culture
~ Outdoor Adventures: Unique to the Kootenays
~ Out Your Backdoor: Kootenay Community Treks

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

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