Canada is known for its friendly locals proud of their history, so you are likely to meet some interesting people that will add to the experience of your touring holiday. Canadians usually have a very relaxed dress code, so whilst you might like to pack some smart evening attire for dining out, you won’t find it a necessity.
If you are hiking or camping, be considerate and cautious of local wildlife. Keep a safe and legal distance from any wildlife including marine animals and birds and closely follow any park regulations.
Take particular care if you’re touring an area where bears have been sighted. Bears are powerful, unpredictable, potentially dangerous and can move as fast as horses. Most bears will try to avoid people, but some have been fed by visitors and have become “food-conditioned”. This means that they have lost their natural fear of people and so can become a threat to visitors and therefore often have to be destroyed by rangers. Hence the expression “a fed bear is a dead bear”. There are some simple precautions you must take to prevent the food-conditioning of bears and to avoid dangerous bear encounters. Information will be readily available at the provincial and national park campgrounds.
Detailed information is also available from BCParks
• Never feed or approach bears or other wildlife.
• Store food in air-tight containers in your motorhome, and treat any food items with great care to avoid attracting animals to your site.
• Store your rubbish out of reach of bears before taking it away and disposing of it correctly.
• Never leave cooking utensils or washing-up lying around after cooking.
• Perfumed items such as cosmetics, toothpaste and insect repellent should be stored out of reach with your food and rubbish.
• Walking alone is not advisable.
• When walking, check ahead for bears and if you see one make a wide detour and leave the area.
• Walk ‘noisily’ – make warning noises and loud sounds.
• Watch for bear signs such as tracks, droppings, rotten trees torn apart, fresh diggings or trampled vegetation. Stay clear of dead wildlife as carcasses attract bears, and if you come across any leave the area immediately and report the location of the dead wildlife to park staff.
• If you encounter a bear, leave the area immediately and report it to park staff as soon as possible.
• Obey all park regulations, stay on designated trails and comply with posted warnings.
Other wildlife may also pose a threat to park visitors. Animals with nearby young or nests will be particularly aggressive when protecting their territory. Research the region and learn how best to deal with the local wildlife you might encounter. Elk can become very agitated and aggressive if approached too closely, and this is especially true of cows nurturing calves, which are born during the springtime. Please use binoculars and telephoto lenses for wildlife viewing.
As anywhere in the world, it is good practice to be vigilant about your property, oth in terms of your motorhome and personal belongings, take sensible precautions to protect yourself from petty crime. Don’t leave your handbag or luggage unattended. Leave copies of important documents with family and friends in the UK. Carry photocopies of your passport and driving licence, and keep them somewhere separate to the originals.
As is the case anywhere, if you feel threatened by any situation, simply move on.