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Ontario Parks

Tips, Tricks and Gear

Basic Food Safety

Pay attention to any warnings you might receive from an Ontario Parks representative upon entering the park. They may advise of fire bans, animal sightings, boil water advisories or of interesting programs or services happening during your stay. This will be very important information to have when making decisions about how to prepare and store your food.

  • Do not eat in your tent, cabin, or yurt. Animals will follow their noses and your sleeping space is the last place you want them to look. Eat outside, and make sure your hands and clothes are free of food before turning in for the night.
  • Be sure to keep your cooking and eating space tidy after your meals. Food left-overs, garbage, cooking oils or even pots that have not been cleaned can attract for animals.
  • Dispose of your dish water (grey water) in vault toilets, or when in the back country dig a hole for disposal – dish water should NOT be dumped off the corner of your site. Food particles and oils in grey water can attract animals.
  • Store food in your car, secure garbage in designated facilities, and when in the back country, hang your food barrels away from your campsite.
  • Always clean fish away from your campsite or at a designated fish cleaning station.

If refrigeration isn’t an option, pack accordingly, pack perishables in a cooler or freeze ahead of time to extend their useful life. If you do bring meat or dairy products, consider eating them within the first day or two of your trip.

Keep the fuel canister for your stove in a pack separate from your food, to avoid any possible contamination.

Always make sure to secure your knives. As packing space is often limited on a camping trip, make sure your knives are packed in a small case, or consider purchasing a camping knife that comes in a protective case.

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