Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Hike Guidelines

Below are some suggestions for essential items and participant guidelines on day hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park. And be sure to check out the Calendar of Events page for details about upcoming walks and hikes!

Essential items for day hikers
Participants in SWI activities are expected to be self-sufficient and responsible for their own wellbeing.
The items listed below are highly recommended to meet that goal.

• Back-pack; to keep contents dry line the pack with a large plastic bag
• Suitable clothing including waterproof boots
• Rain gear; it is good practice to always carry this even if the forecast is good
• Warm sweater, warm hat, gloves, spare socks
• Water; at least 1 litre
• Hearty lunch
• High energy snacks like granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, etc.
• Sun hat and sunscreen
• Sun glasses
• Bug spray
• Personal medications
• Toilet paper
• Personal first aid kit; MEC or local sports stores carry good handy kits

Emergency Kit

• Flash light and spare batteries
• Whistle
• Pocket knife
• Space blanket
• Duct tape
• Small length of stainless steel wire
• Flagging tape
• Waterproof matches or lighter
• Fire starter
• Sheet of plastic to make an emergency shelter, e.g. lightweight drop sheet about 3m x 3m
• 6m length of cord
• Pack these items in a plastic zip-lock bag and leave in the bottom of your pack

Other useful items
• walking poles
• topographical map
• compass
• cell phone
• camera

Guidelines for participants
• Remember that all SWI trips are voluntary activities. You are responsible for managing
your own safety. SWI is not responsible for your safety.
• Safety is the prime consideration. Follow the instructions of the volunteer leader and respect
his/her responsibilities. Be concerned for and considerate of fellow hikers.
• Communicate. Let the leader know if the pace is too fast, or if you need to adjust clothing, or
tend to personal matters. Inform the leader if you are injured or feeling unwell.
• Stay with the group. It creates difficulties for the leader if you surge ahead of the group. If you
want to deviate you must inform the leader.
• Members are expected to be self-sufficient. You are responsible for providing all your own
gear and supplies, including a first-aid kit that contains everything you would wish to be
available if you were injured. Have an emergency kit in case you have to stay overnight (see
equipment list). Please note that leaders do not necessarily have any special training in FirstAid
or Rescue.
• Hikers should know their own physical limitations. Do not attempt trips that exceed your
fitness level as it will spoil the trip for others. If you are uncomfortable in any situation it is up
to you to let the trip organizer know immediately. Inform the leader if you feel unsafe at any
time and do not attempt something that is beyond your comfort level or capability. Make sure
you have a clear idea of the trip’s goals & what will be required of you to achieve those goals.
• Obtain a relevant map & know where you are going, the type of terrain, the gear you will need
& knowledge of how to use it.
• Contact the trip organizer as soon as you are confident that you want to go on the trip & be
honest with your trip organizer about your level of experience. Accept that the trip organizer
might not accept you on the trip if they think you are not experienced enough. If you discover
that you cannot go on the trip then let the trip organizer know as soon as possible so that
another person can take your place.
• Read, understand & return the signed copy of the SWI waiver form to the trip organizer.
• Wear strong sports clothing and sturdy boots. As a courtesy when carpooling have an extra pair
of shoes so that trail debris does not soil the vehicle.
• Be prepared for weather changes; always have good rain gear, a warm hat and a warm sweater
with you.
• Always bring plenty of water, minimum 1 litre. It is recommended that all wilderness water be
• Bring an adequate lunch and some extra food for delays or emergencies.
• Keep your backpack with you at all times, even when returning by the same route. Keep some
dry clothes in your pack.
• Dogs are not permitted on trips for safety reasons unless explicitly stated in the trip description.
• Carry out ALL your garbage including any organic litter. Practice no-trace hiking and
camping. Be scrupulous about sanitation in the back-country.
• No campfires on SWI trips except in official park or forestry campfire rings when fire bans
• Be prepared to drive or pay transport costs. Return with the same car pool. Drivers should
know the route to the trailhead and account for all passengers on return trip. Do not leave until
instructed by the leader who will make sure that all vehicles are running and free to return.

Click the link for information on essential items for day hikers, and important guidelines for participants & leaders.
Day Hike Guidelines