North Frontenac Park Lands are a marvel of natural beauty and home to a wide variety of vegetation and wildlife species. Here are a few “common sense” rules of backcountry etiquette that will help ensure that nature’s fragile balance is maintained for all visitors to enjoy.
Show Respect for Nature and the Wildlife
Let the sounds of nature prevail and avoid making loud noises. Always observe the wildlife from a distance and avoid approaching, following or feeding the animals. When hiking or biking, stay on the trails and avoid stepping on plants.
Before pitching your tent, look for a location that will result in the minimal damage to plant life and that can be restored to its original condition when you leave. Always check for garbage left behind and make sure you pack out everything you brought with you to the campsite.
Most campsites are equipped with stone fire rings, which help to minimize the impact of campfires on the immediate environment. Building a fire anywhere else on the campsite is not permitted. Never leave a fire unattended and always keep a supply of water nearby, just in case. Before leaving the campsite, make sure the fire is fully extinguished
Pit Privies and Cat Holes
If your campsite has a pit privy, by all means use it. A pit privy is designed to contain human waste in as small an area as possible and to prevent the spreading of disease. If a pit privy is not located on or near your campsite, a “cat hole” is an easy solution for safe disposal. Simply dig a hole 15-30 cms deep, at least 30 meters from the water, then when you’re done replace the soil and restore the immediate area to its original condition, as much as possible.
If you need to use soap, either for bathing of dishwashing, please use only biodegradable soap and avoid draining the soap into the water source. It should be disposed of in an area where there is no vegetation and at least 30 meters from the lake or water source.
Bears have a very keen sense of smell. To avoid attracting bears, please follow the following simple guidelines:
- Eliminate odours, as much as possible, including food and garbage, cosmetics, sunscreen, toothpaste and insect repellent.
- Separate your tent from the cooking area and food supply, which should be downwind from the tent.
- Store your food supplies in a sturdy bag 5 meters off the ground, 2 meters from the trunk and 1 meter below the branches. Never store or leave food in your tent.
- Be sure to pack all your garbage with you when you leave. Never bury or burn your garbage. The bears will find it!