Albertans are eager to get outside and shake off the memory of a long, cold winter. But before you pack up the tent, load the kids and dog into your family vehicle and hit the road for a memorable long weekend adventure, here are a few friendly tips and reminders to keep in mind.
Nature is unpredictable, and your equipment can unexpectedly fail, so planning ahead is the key to an enjoyable and memorable experience.
- Check road conditions before you leave and get updates from Twitter before you head back home.
- Construction season is underway. Please be aware of emergency and construction workers and drive at the posted speed limit. Remember: the speed limit drops to 60 km when emergency vehicles are responding to a roadside emergency.
- That text or call can wait – don’t drive distracted.
- Impairment can be deadly, whether it’s by drugs, alcohol, distraction or fatigue. Plan ahead.
- Slow down and enjoy your long weekend.
- Motorcycles are back on the road, so look twice for motorcyclists at intersections or when changing lanes.
- Even if you’re in a rush, always wear your seat belt and make sure your child is buckled in the correct safety seat.
- Watch for cyclists. A bicycle and rider are smaller than other vehicles, less visible, and more vulnerable in a collision. Share the road.
- When eyes lock, it’s safer to walk. Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility between both drivers and pedestrians.
- Alberta’s 250 provincial campgrounds are ready to receive visitors for the 2018 season. Still looking for a campsite or a day-use area? Check out AlbertaParks.ca/camping.
- Be aware of liquor and fire bans; nine provincial campgrounds have liquor bans this weekend.
- Before you head out on a hike, check for advisories, trail conditions and any closures.
- Respect the land and know the rules and regulations around random camping on public lands.
- Albertans share the landscape with wildlife, so be bear and cougar smart and help keep wildlife wild.
- Before you set sail, make sure you know Alberta’s boating regulations.
- Do your part to keep aquatic invasive species out of Alberta. Clean, drain and dry your boat and equipment after every use.
- Check that water levels and conditions are OK by visiting the Alberta River Basins
- Wear a life jacket when recreating in and around the water. Fifteen of Alberta’s provincial parks have life jacket loaner stations.
Know the rules:
- Ensure you know the fishing regulations and the hunting regulations.
- Be aware of regulations around motorized recreation and non-motorized recreation on trails and in waterways.
- To protect Alberta’s lakes, there are mandatory watercraft inspections.
- Wear a helmet. Off-Highway Vehicle helmet requirements came into effect last year.
- If you see poaching or any public land abuse, report it to Report A Poacher.
- Know the rules and regulations around pets in parks.
Don’t play with fire:
- Check for fire bans and restrictions at Alberta Parks and across the province before striking a match.
- Don’t let a campfire get out of control. Even a small campfire can potentially become a dangerous and unmanageable wildfire.
- When extinguishing your fire – Soak it, stir it and soak it again. Remember: If the coals are too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
- Don’t use the great outdoors as your ashtray. If you smoke, please dispose of your cigarette butts safely.
- For up-to-the-minute fire information, download the Government of Alberta’s free wildfire app. Please note this app does not show fire bans in Alberta’s provincial parks system.
- Call 310-FIRE to report a wildfire in the Forest Protection Area.