Daytripping Safely in the West Country

Abraham Lake

With warmer weather upon us and Spring officially here, it has never been a better time to pack up the family and head out to Clearwater County, part of David Thompson Country. There is something for everyone, with many outdoor activities including hiking, water sports, mountain biking, fishing, boating or hunting.

Our partners at Ram Rides- Ram River Tours offer pack trips, day rides, Kids N Horses Camps, and so much more. They have an easily accessible campground, family, dog & quad friendly, and cabins for rent. Pursuit Adventures is another excellent option with everything from guided hikes to Heli Adventures, a fantastic way to take those you love for an experience of a lifetime.

If you prefer to do things on your own, make sure you take the time to be prepared for your safety and to protect the environment you are visiting. There are few regions in Canada as rich and diverse in natural beauty as in our west country. Here are some ways you can keep this area pristine for years to come as you enjoy the beauty and all the outdoor activities offered.

1. Make sure you are aware of all the rules and regulations for the area you are travelling to.

2. Garbage is a real problem, so please, whatever you bring with you, take it back with you and dispose of it at home, everything from garbage, food, toilet paper and hygiene products.

3. Use toilets whenever they are available.

4. Please avoid polluting the water; bring hand sanitizer instead. If you have biodegradable soap, use at least 70 meters from water bodies.

5. Travel on durable surfaces, such as established trails, rock, gravel, or dry grasses whenever possible.

6. Avoid shortcuts and focus activities in areas where vegetation is absent.

7. Leave what you find and do not build structures, rock cairns, or use flagging or marking paint.

8. In areas where campfires are permitted, use established fire rings, pans or mound fires. Keep the fires small, and do not burn leftover food or other garbage that will have to be removed after.

9. Respect and know the proper procedures to follow if you encounter any wildlife. Observe from a distance, never feed and make sure your food and garbage are secure from all wildlife. Avoid wildlife altogether during sensitive times such as when mating, nesting, raising young or during winter.

10. Be respectful and courteous of others so that we can all enjoy the experience of what the outdoors has to offer.

This is wilderness, and unlike Jasper and Banff they don’t have the services that many of us are used to when going out to the parks. Economic Development Officer and promoter of Tourism in David Thompson County, Jerry Pratt, “they are having a problem of people leaving their garbage including human and dog feces. Never litter, dispose of waste properly, please pack out what you pack in.”  He also states, “safety is hugely important and with little, or in many areas, no cell service, it is challenging to get emergency services out there. If you get hurt and need help, the wait time is at a minimum of 30 minutes to two hours, and that is if you can find cell service, so please come prepared.” Here is a link to recreation safety incidents in 2020 in the Clearwater County & David Thompson Country to give you an idea of the problems they are facing and how you can keep yourself safe while visiting this beautiful area  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISoOy6mfBPg.

So be prepared, plan ahead, and you will have a fantastic experience in our west county. Abraham Lake

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