Safety

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Safety Tips

Leave information about your hike with a friend
• departure and arrival location
• departure time
• expected duration of the hike
• names of the people with you.
Study the section of the trail you’re using.
Check the time required to complete the hike.
Do not go alone. Hiking with friends is more fun and safer.
In a group, stay in touch with the others. A person who strays is more likely to get lost.
Respect the hiker’s code of ethics and follow instructions posted on the information panels. Never light a fire in the woods.

Supervise children at all times.
Carry a sufficient amount of water. If you run out of water and have to get some from a stream, be sure to treat it before drinking (filter, chlorine, iodine).
Bring plenty of snacks.
Walk to the speed of the slowest person.
If possible, carry a cell phone.
Never leave the marked trail. IT’S POSSIBLE TO GET LOST. Are you ready to spend the night in the woods if you get lost?

Accepting Risk

You are responsible for your own safety, and hiking activities involve certain RISKS, such as injury. Know and respect your own limitations and the physical abilities skills required to do this activity. Inform the people you are with, of the peculiarities of the trail and the inherent risks of hiking. You need to understand map interpretation and compasses.

Bears

To avoid them

• Alert thebears of your presence
• Hike in a group
• Make noise by talking or singing
• Wear a bell.
• Keep your dog on a leash (if you cannot leave it at home)
• Travel during daytime and stay on the marked trail.

If you see a bear
If the bear seems unaware of your presence, turn back silently without attracting his attention.
If the bear is aware of your presence, he may pretend to attack by charging and then stopping at the last minute, or may bark, growl, snap his jaws or fold his ears back. He’s asking for space, but rarely attacks.

Keep cool, quiet calm behavior is reassuring to the animal. By speaking calmly and firmly, you will let him know that you are a human and not prey. Back away slowly, never run.
Take young children in your arms and stay in a group.
If the bear is in a defensive mood, try not to sound threatening and speak in a quiet voice. When the bear stops, move away slowly.

If he continues to approach, don’t back down and keep talking and use your pepper spray.
If the bear makes contact, play dead: lie flat on your stomach with your legs spread and cross your hands behind your neck. Don’t move until the bear leaves. This type of attack usually lasts less than two minutes.

If the confrontation persists, the bear may become aggressive. Assert yourself: shout and hit out with branches or rocks, and do everything you can to show him that you are not an easy prey. Attacks like this are very rare.
In Quebec alone, there are more than four million days of outdoor activities annually, and every 10 years there have been only 2 deaths caused by bears. Lightning is more dangerous than bears. Enjoy your hike and be careful.