- Have Fun & Stay Safe

Your safety is important to us, and we want your visit to our parks to be filled with wonderful memories with family and friends. You can do your part by getting informed and being prepared. Plan your activity and share that information with a friend or family before you begin. Here are a few apps and links that will help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip. Always check with the park you are planning to visit for the very latest in alerts and events. 

Severe Summer Weather Safety

Watch the Skies

Severe weather conditions often develop during our summers. Thunder, lightning, hail and even tornadoes can develop quickly and have the potential to be extremely dangerous. During severe weather, assistance from emergency personnel will vary depending on the location. Weather conditions and the number of park visitors will also affect emergency response times. That is why it’s important that you protect yourself when severe weather threatens. The following information will help ensure your personal safety.

Look for the signs

Hot and/or muggy days and warm nights indicate that thunderstorms may be forming, so be prepared. Always keep your eye on the sky and watch for the possible development of thunderstorms.

Listen for the warnings

Environment Canada monitors the weather. If a severe storm is on the horizon, the weather service issues watches, advisories and warnings through national, regional and local radio and television stations and Environment Canada’s Weatheradio. Weather Watch – conditions are favourable for a severe storm, even though one has not developed. This is usually issued early in the day. Keep monitoring weather conditions and listen for updated statements. Weather Warning – severe weather is happening or hazardous weather is highly probable.

Be Prepared

Pack a “72 Hour” emergency kit. Your kit should include food, clothing, blankets, medication, bottled water, first aid and tool kits, as well as flashlights and a battery-powered radio, with extra batteries for both. You should have enough supplies in your kit to last 72 hours.

Boating Safety

  • Always check the weather forecast before you go boating.
  • Never go out in a boat during a storm
  • If you are on the water and you see a storm approaching, head for shore immediately.

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms are common on the prairies. They are often accompanied by hail, lightning, high winds, heavy rain and occasionally, tornadoes.

Lightning – No aspect of severe summer weather presents more of a danger than lightning. To estimate how far away lightning is, count the seconds between the flash of lightning and the thunderclap. If you count fewer than 30 seconds, take shelter. Remain sheltered for 30 minutes after hearing the last thunderclap. If you are far from shelter and you feel your hair stand on end, lightning may be about to hit you. Squat on the ground immediately, with feet together; place your hands on your knees and bend forward. Don’t lie flat. If your group is in an open space, spread out, keeping people several yards apart.

Take Shelter

If you are camping in a tent, it is important to remember that tents offer no protection from lightning. If you have time, run to your car, get inside, roll up the windows and do not touch anything metal. If your car is parked near trees, move it to an open space. If a cabin or a camper is available, get inside but don’t touch any electrical appliances, as lightning may travel through these objects. If you cannot get to a car or a cabin, leave your tent and squat down away from any trees with only your feet touching the ground. Do not seek shelter under tall trees as this will significantly increase your risk of being struck by lightning.

Tornadoes

These devastating wind storms form suddenly, are often preceded by warm, humid weather and are always produced by thunderstorms. Do not follow tornadoes in your car or attempt to take photographs of them. If you see a tornado, take shelter immediately.

Tornado warning signs include the following:

  • An extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by green or yellow clouds.
  • A rumbling or whistling sound.
  • A funnel cloud at the rear base of a thundercloud, often behind a curtain of heavy rain or hail.
  • Take shelter – Cabins offer little or no protection from tornadoes. Leave your RV, tent, cabin or campsite immediately. Take shelter in a sturdy building and if there are no buildings nearby, lie down in a low area, covering your head and the back of your neck.
  • Do not try to outrun the storm. If you can, wrap some clothing or a blanket around your body, as even small objects can cause serious damage when propelled by tornado winds. Do not take shelter under your trailer, in your vehicle, near big trees, or under highway bridges and overpasses.

Emergency Response

REMEMBER, severe weather is unpredictable and most often strikes without warning.

To assist emergency personnel, remember to:

  • Listen to and obey all staff instructions.
  • Stay calm and be patient.
  • Take only essential personal items (identification, cash, keys, medication, personal/baby care products, first aid/emergency kit) and pets.

After Severe Weather

Be prepared to ensure your own safety. Emergency Personnel may not be able to get to your area immediately. Administer emergency care to injured family and friends. If additional care is required please try to contact 911 or the local park office for assistance.

  • Stay away from power lines and puddles that have electrical wires in them.
  • Watch for broken glass, nails and other sharp objects.
  • Stay out of any heavily damaged buildings as they could collapse at any time.
  • Use flashlights rather than matches or lighters, in case there are leaking propane pipes or fuel tanks nearby.
  • When phone lines are available for public use, call your family’s emergency contacts to let them know what happened, that you are safe and how to contact you.

Download - printable version of this information


More Information

WeatherCANReceive weather alert notifications in your area, as well as in your saved locations, wherever you are in Canada. Get your latest forecast information directly from Canada’s official weather source. or see Local Weather and Warning

SaskAlert: Saskatchewan's Emergency Public Alerting program used to alert the public in real-time of an emergency situation. Learn more about SaskAlert

Alert ReadyYou may also receive an alert on your device from Canada’s national emergency alert system.

Get Prepared: Knowing what to do is an important part of being prepared. Find out about risks in your region and how to prepare for different situations.

Additional Resources

Highway HotlineWinter or summer get information on highway conditions, road closures, constructions zones, ferries and border crossings. Maps and information are updated 3 times per day or as conditions require.

Fire Restrictions / BansOccasionally due to extreme fire hazards, the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport will issue restrictions on open fires in provincial parks and recreation sites.

AdventureSmart: For other general information, hints and tips related to how to prepare for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Parks Canada's National App: With features to make your trip planning and site visit even better. It has a Learn-to Camp section, with all the information you need to plan and enjoy your first camping trip complete you can also find it here

Need to know a bit more?

On the Water - Know Before You Go

Safety

According to Transport Canada if you canoeing or kayaking onto open water you fall under "pleasure craft" regulations and are required to have the following items. This is for your safety, you passengers and potential rescuers:

  • One lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board
  • One buoyant heaving line at least 15m long (approximately 50').
  • One bailer or manual bilge pump.
  • One sound signaling device.

More information can be found in the ‘Safe Boating Guide’.

Consider the below safety checklist as you begin to plan your next trip out on the water.

  • Carry a GPS, compass, chart, or map
  • Carry a whistle
  • Know the weather forecast
  • Make a plan and leave it with someone on shore
  • Remember a bilge pump, bail bucket with rope, and rescue gear
  • Stow a drybag with extra set of clothing
  • Wear proper attire, including a hat or helmet and footwear
  • Warm layer of clothes
  • Rain jacket
  • Water, at least one litre per person
  • Snacks, plus extra snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Emergency kit (matches, fire starter, tarp, rope)
  • First aid kit
  • Water-proof bag for everything 

See Paddle Canada forcanoeing or kayaking training.

Leave No Trace is about respecting and caring for wildlands and doing your part to protect wild place and wild lands for future generations. The principles of ‘Leave no Trace’ include:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Others

For more information visit Leave No Trace

 
Hiking - Know Before You Go

Top 10 Tips for Trail Users

  1. Consult the ten outdoor essentials and carry all necessary gear.
  2. Abide by all Leave No Trace principles. Pack out what you pack in.
  3. Avoid hiking alone whenever possible.
  4. Choose a trail that fits your abilities. Prepare for steep and/or uneven terrain.
  5. Dress in appropriate hiking attire, including stable (and comfortable) footwear.
  6. Keep to designated trails. Diverting from the path to avoid puddles can harm vegetation and increase erosion.
  7. Know the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
  8. Make a plan and share it with someone. If possible, set a plant to check in periodically throughout our outing.
  9. Respect all wildlife you encounter. Stop and allow time for animals to leave the area before proceeding on the trail.
  10. Review bear and cougar safety information prior to your outdoor adventure.

Leave No Trace is about respecting and caring for wildlands and doing your part to protect wild place and wild lands for future generations.

The principles of ‘Leave no Trace’ include:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Others

For more information visit Leave No Trace

Biking - Know Before You Go

Etiquette and Safety

Sask Parks are home to diverse landscape, vegetation, animal life, and ecosystems. Protecting this diversity is part of what makes our provincial parks special and unique. Explore safely using the following guidelines:

  • Keep to designated trails. Diverting from the path to avoid mud and ruts can harm vegetation.\
  • Slow bike speed when approaching other trail users and blind spots.
  • Make other trail users aware of your presence by using a bell.
  • Choose a trail that fits your abilities.
  • Review bear and cougar safety information prior to your outdoor adventure.
  • Respect all wildlife you encounter. Stop and allow time for animals to leave the area before proceeding on the trail.
  • Abide by all Leave No Trace principles. Pack out what you pack in.
  • Be sure to wear a helmet and pack a spare tube, pump, multi-tool, water, food, and the ten outdoor essentials.
ATV Trails - Know Before You Go

Safety Tips

  • Carry a map, compass, and/or GPS.
  • Remember a First Aid kit.
  • Pack extra food and water.
  • Let someone know your travel route and expected arrival time.
  • Be alert to on-coming traffic.

ATV Rules and Regulations

  • Helmets must be worn while riding; boots, long pants and sleeves and eye protection are recommended.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license to operate an ATV and have third party liability insurance to ride on Crown land and be able to produce a copy of your insurance if requested by a peace/conservation officer.
  • Children between the ages of 12 and 16 must be supervised by a person who has held a continuous/valid license for one year.
  • ATVs are to be washed prior to entering the park to avoid the spread of invasive species or noxious weeds.
  • Trails will be closed when raining or following a substantial rainfall in order to minimize ecological damage.
  • All-terrain vehicles must be washed and clean prior to riding in the park. This is to avoid the spread of noxious weeds and/or invasive species, as this can be harmful to the parks ecosystem.
  • Weather conditions can change abruptly and the park reserves the right to close any and all trails without prior notice.
  • ATV use is prohibited in the following areas:
    • Campgrounds or cottage subdivisions;
    • Day-use areas or beaches;
    • All roads;
    • Ditches along roadways; and
    • Hiking trails