Camping safety

Terra Nova National Park

A special effort is being made by park staff and campers to ensure that no wildlife attractants are ever left unattended at any campsites. The "Bare" Campsite program is in place for your safety, and to help keep the wildlife in our National Parks alive and wild.

How to keep a "bare" campsite

When camping in Terra Nova National Park, store all food and food-related items in a hard-sided vehicle / trailer / motor home or in the campground food storage lockers not in a tent, tent-trailer, oTENTik or Ôasis. This policy applies whenever these items are not in use, at night while you are sleeping, or when your site is unattended. When away from your site, you may leave out your camping furniture (e.g. lawn chairs, lanterns, and tents).

Food left unattended attracts bears and other wildlife to your campsite. Anything that has an odour or could be considered food may attract wildlife to your site. Never leave any of these items unattended:

  • Coolers, full or empty
  • Food and beverages, open or closed
  • Garbage and wrappings
  • Dishes and pots
  • Pet food and bowls
  • Bottles and cans
  • Any items associated with food preparation
  • Toiletries such as toothpaste and soap

When people leave these items out, bears and other wildlife can become habituated to the presence of humans. Once this happens, it becomes a risk to public safety. By keeping a "bare" campsite, you are playing an important part in preventing wildlife conflicts.

If your campsite is not "bare"

Park staff will be patrolling the campground regularly to ensure that campers have not left anything out at their site that could attract wildlife. If you come back to your site and items that you have left unattended are missing, look for a written warning left by campground staff. It contains further instructions. Campers who fail to comply with the requirements of the "Bare" Campsite program may have their camping permit cancelled, with no refund, and may be charged under the Canada National Parks Act and Regulations.

If you encounter wildlife at your campsite

Animals rely on every part of this landscape for their survival. Their travel routes, natural food sources, mating grounds, and resting sites don't necessarily stop at the campground boundary! This means you may encounter wildlife at any time. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at dusk and dawn, or in densely vegetated areas. Surprising a bear that is busy feeding on natural food such as berries, for example, can be dangerous.


  • All wild animals are potentially dangerous.
  • Never approach, feed, or entice wildlife of any kind, regardless of size.
  • Keep a safe viewing distance at all time (30-100 metres).

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