So there’s a fire ban. Now what?

Today’s post comes from Meg Bethune, an assistant naturalist at Killbear Provincial Park

Campfires are an essential part of any camping trip. Whether you’re toasting marshmallows and spider weenies, or just chatting with friends,  the memories made in the flickering glow of the fire are ones we hold dear to our hearts.

So what happens when a fire ban hinders one of our favourite camping traditions?

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Campfire safety: If you love Ontario Parks, don’t burn them!

Today’s post comes from Marketing and Communications summer student Mitch Jackson. His campfire talents include cooking stuffed peppers, grilling barbecue chicken, and always managing to forget to pack a lighter. 

For many campers, a fire is a must. Gathering ’round the flames, sharing stories with friends and family, making s’mores, and burning marshmallows are all part of the quintessential camping experience.

While you may have the perfect campfire recipes, or the perfect campfire building technique, you should also be aware of how to keep your campfire perfectly safe.

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Our free PFD Lending Program

Our visitors enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches and waterfronts in Ontario – from the barrier dune formations of Sandbanks to the Caribbean blue waters of Pancake Bay.

While swimming, boating and other water activities are a centrepiece of any Ontario Parks adventure, there are also risks associated with these activities.

We want our campers and day-trippers to stay safe when they hit the waves.

And that starts with a PFD (personal flotation device)!

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Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

You’ve recently unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.

Now you have itchy shutter fingers. You’re ready to point our camera at something spectacular and capture a beautiful memory forever. But where to go?

Not to brag, but Ontario Parks are beautiful, iconic places. Covering nearly 10% of the province and protecting some of Ontario’s most rare and scenic habitats, our parks are home to a variety of wildlife, from fascinating insects to enormous moose.

Basically, they’re a photographer’s dreamscape.

We’re animal lovers too. We know how exhilarating wildlife encounters can be. We understand how badly you want that perfect photo.

But before you hit the road, ask yourself: is taking the perfect photograph worth risking an animal’s life or an ecosystem’s health?

If your answer is “no,” check out our list of 7 common photography infractions to ensure you’re keeping our parks safe and healthy.

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A winter wander along a frozen Lake Superior

Today’s post comes from Bob Elliott, Superintendent of the winter wonderland that is Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Every so often, the winters around Lake Superior are cold enough to freeze the waters of Gitchee Gumee, providing a magical opportunity to walk on the ice of the world’s largest freshwater lake.

The winter of 2017/2018 has been cold enough to provide that magic.

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Ice fishing safety all season long

Today’s post comes from year-round multispecies angler and writer Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com.

Brr! Winter weather has hit Ontario hard.

As the ice freezes up across the province, anglers are beginning to venture out onto the hard water for some ice fishing action.

Ice fishing is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors during our long, cold winters. Trust me, when you’re outside hooking fish, winter passes by in a flash!

Thankfully with the wide range of equipment available today, ice fishing doesn’t have to be a chilling experience. In order to enjoy a safe and comfortable season from start to finish, make sure you are prepared by checking out the list below.

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How to dress for your winter adventure

What you wear can make all the difference between having an amazing winter adventure or a disappointing – even dangerous — one.

Winter camping enthusiasts say it’s all in proper layering: you burn up energy and get warmer as the day goes on, so being able to shed a layer or two is critical to staying dry, and that’s the key to being comfortable and safe.

We chatted with MEC to cobble together our top 8 rules for safe, comfortable winter-wear:

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Fall paddling safety

Fall is the perfect time to paddle.

As the temperatures cool there are no bugs and the lakes become less crowded. Plus you can catch some of our beautiful fall colours!

But fall weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too late, failing to respect weather conditions, or paddling beyond your skill level isn’t just risky — it’s downright dangerous.

We chatted with Paul Smith, Superintendent of Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, to get some top do’s and don’ts for fall paddling safety:

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