Camping safety

Georgian Bay Islands National Park

How to keep a "Bare" campsite

If you are camping here, you are agreeing to:

Store ALL FOOD and FOOD-RELATED ITEMS in the campground food storage lockers (not in a tent or oTENTik) when not in use. This policy applies whenever these items are not in use, at night while you are sleeping, or when your site is unattended for any length of time.

A campsite with no food items left unattended
A "bare" campsite

When away from your site, you may leave out your camping furniture, (e.g. lawn chairs, lanterns, and tents).

Attention Pet Owners! Please keep pets on a leash at all times. Don't leave pets unattended outside - especially at night. They can attract carnivores such as bears and may be attacked.

We are the key to the long term survival of our wildlife.

A black bear eating food that was left out at a campsite
Food left unattended attracts bears 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/empty
  • Food - open/closed
  • Garbage/Wrappings
  • Dishes/Pots
  • Pet Food/Bowls
  • Bottles/Cans
  • ANY item associated with food preparation

When people leave their food out, bears and other species can lose their fear of humans. Once an animal gets used to human food, it becomes a risk to public safety, and may be destroyed. By keeping a "bare" campsite, you are playing an important part in preventing the creation of "problem" animals.

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.

A campsite with food items left unattended
A Wildlife at-"risk" (and cancelled permit) site

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.

Please report all bear sightings to park staff immediately.

Camp Fire Safety

While visiting the park, campers are asked to beware and follow these fire regulations

  • Fires are only permitted in designated fire pits
  • Use firewood only, please do not collect dead wood and branches from the park. They act as mulch and provide food for plants
  • Please help protect your Islands forest from emerald ash borer.
  • Do not bring firewood into the park. Firewood is available for purchase at Cedar Spring or from park staff.

Fire Weather Index (FWI)

The FWI is posted daily at the Cedar Spring Welcome Center.
For your safety, please familiarize yourself with the chart below and be aware of the following restrictions: time restriction time restriction fires between 8am and 8pm
Extreme .....NO Fires, including cook shelters 

Biting Insects

During the summer months you need to be prepared for biting insects like mosquitoes and black-flies. Cover up by wearing long sleeves and pants or bug jackets. Use insect repellent. The peak season lasts until mid-summer, so you may find them all gone if you visit during late summer early autumn.


The weather on Georgian Bay can be variable and unpredictable. Adverse condition such as storms, high winds, or rain may be encountered at any time.

Visitors are encouraged to the Weather Forecasts.
Environment Canada weather forecast

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