Camping safety

Auyuittuq National Park

Camping equipment should be lightweight and durable, and able to withstand harsh conditions such as cold weather and strong winds. As fires are not allowed, backcountry campers will have to carry white gas (or naptha) and portable stoves. White gas may be purchased in Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq, but visitors should phone the suppliers ahead of time to ensure that it is in stock. On commercial airlines, white gas can only be transported as a dangerous good. Contact the airline you plan to travel on for further information.

Select campsites in durable locations where signs of your occupation will be minimized, such as areas with little or no vegetation. Avoid camping near potential wildlife habitat such as sedge meadows. Appropriate site selection is especially vital for base camps or if you are travelling in a large group.

Wearing soft shoes around camp is not only a great relief after a day spent in heavy hiking boots but also minimizes the impact around your campsite. Do not dig trenches around tents or build rock windbreaks. If you use rocks to secure your tent, return them to their original position and location. Do not remove rocks from any features that look - even remotely - like archeological sites, for example, tent rings, fox traps and food caches.

Proper food management when camping is essential to avoid problem wildlife situations (birds, foxes, weasels, polar bears). Avoid smelly foods and foods that produce waste. Food scraps should be filtered out of dish water and packed out with other litter. Dish and excess cooking water should be poured into a shallow sump hole away from the campsite and bodies of water.

If camping near the emergency shelters, use the outhouses to dispose of solid human waste. When not near an outhouse, feces should be deposited at least 50 metres from camp sites and travel routes and 100 meters from water bodies. Toilet paper can be burned, packed out or disposed of in the next outhouse. Do not dispose of any garbage in outhouses - pack it out.

The possibility of polar bear encounters exists anywhere in the park. The potential for an encounter is greatest in the coastal areas on the north side of the park. Please read the section on polar bear safety for important safety information.

Water Quality

Although there have not been any reported cases of giardia, we advise you to fine filter (<0.5microns), treat (iodine or chlorine in warm water), or boil your drinking water. To prevent the spread of diseases, human waste should be disposed of in a responsible manner, at least 100 metres from water sources and 50 metres from trails. More information will be provided during your orientation.

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