Remember the Three Big Rules of Outdoor Safety:

  1. Tell someone you are going.
  2. If you become lost, assume you will not be found quickly - dress appropriately and bring the right gear.
  3. Stay with your vehicle - if you brought one, it will probably be found before you are.

Summers in Canada’s “Land of the midnight sun” are nothing less than spectacular. The landscape is breathtaking, but also vast and formidable. Daylight can shine from 18 to 24 hours a day, beckoning people to go outdoors.

Summer weather can be unpredictable in the north.  Summer storms with high winds and rain can occur without warning; cold temperatures and snow can be encountered during any month of the year. These create tough conditions for wilderness travellers and can severely challenge boaters on the lake and river systems.

Dress for the occasion -- but do not overdress, for this can be just as hazardous as underdressing. Some suggested items include:

  • Layers of long underwear bottoms and shirts.
  • Windproof or breathable waterproof jackets and pants.
  • Avoid cotton – when it gets wet from rain, snow or perspiration, it tends to stay that way.
  • A warm parka with a hood 
  • Warm, practical footwear for your activity (waterproof if necessary)
  • Hat, sunscreen with high sun protection factor and good sunglasses.

Top Three Mistakes People Make in the Wilderness

  1. Poor planning: not taking the time to understand the environment and what it takes to survive.
  2. Failing to match adventure with experience.
  3. Failure to pay attention and stay calm

No one plans to get lost. By completing a Safe Travel Plan and carrying these Seven Summer Essentials, you will increase your chances of being found quickly and in good condition.

Seven Summer Essentials

  1. Extra clothing to protect you from the cold and the sun
  2. Navigation and communication aids (maps, compass, GPS, emergency communicator)
  3. Food and water (one litre per person)
  4. Emergency shelter (tarp, sleeping bag, etc.) - preferably high visibility to aid searchers
  5. The Three F’s : flashlight, fire starter, first aid kit
  6. Pocket knife
  7. Signalling device (whistle or mirror)

Summer Insects

When you’re out in the wilds, bugs can be a nuisance – especially in low-lying, marshy areas without a breeze. For your peace of mind, be sure to pack along repellent or a bug jacket.

Preparation can go a long way. The goal to any successful adventure is arriving home safely.