Travel Tips and Vacation Safety

Friends and family vacations can be adventurous, exciting, and memorable when planning for a successful safe French River wilderness adventure. This may be that once in a lifetime dream holiday and Bear’s Den Lodge wants to see that everyone remains safe.


Planning a safe travel trip is important for you and your group or family. Several important factors to consider whether you are traveling within Ontario, Canada or from abroad:


  1. Please check your health insurance policies and make sure your covered while visiting abroad and have the appropriate medical insurance numbers to contact.
  2. Simple over the counter medications may make your stay more pleasant if you are prepared during your travel and may include antacids, antihistamines, cough drops for that nagging cough, Tylenol/Ibuprofen or other pain relief for finding those muscles or occasional headaches.
  3. Prepare a simple Medical Information List to carry in your wallet or passport. Include your name and address and phone number, contact information, current medication list including daily dosages, list any allergies to medications, food, or environmental – bees, etc.
  4. Always take extra prescription medications with you should you decide to extend your stay. An extra week or more is normally recommended. Remember, prescriptions from MD in USA is not recognized in Ontario and we can assist you with locating walk in clinics in the surrounding areas, however this will require time away from vacation.
  5. Emergency medications that need to be kept refrigerated like insulin should be packed in a cooler for the trip. Nitro pills or patches should be kept dry and fresh.
  6. Bear’s Den Lodge is located at 500 feet elevation and you will burn very quickly if you are not protected. UV clothing are recommended with large brimmed hats, sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium oxide are the strongest sun screens on the market.
  7. Pack those life jackets.
  8. A small safety kit of bandages and antibiotic ointments are always helpful.


  1. Familiarize yourself with the property, the exits, and main lodge. The faciality has emergency procedures in place and maps throughout the property. Teach the children who are staff and can help them.
  2. Make sure children have life jacket on while around the water so if a slip occurs all are safe.
  3. Apply that sunscreen before heading out before that first burn occurs.
  4. Always wear nonslip shoes on decks and rocks. Avoid wearing new shoes or hiking boots without breaking them in to prevent blisters. Happy feet make for happy campers.
  5. Make sure you have the Lodge phone number 705-857-2757 and location with you when out and about. 911 is the Emergency Call Number.  French River Maps have campsites and can be used as a location marking during your explorations.
    Bear’s Den Lodge unfortunately does NOT have a 911 address from Killarney Municipality.  Our location is our coordinates.   They are: 46.0432° N, 80.7799° W
  6. A travel plan with a French River Map is a must. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return to the lodge.


  1. Carry a charged cell phone with you at all times with the lodge number and 911.
  2. Water and hydrating fluids are important to prevent dehydration while on the river. Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted aboard.
  3. Carry the appropriate safety equipment aboard your boat and never overload it.
  4. Lifejackets should be snapped on prior to getting on board your boat and kill switch cords applied to boat operators.
  5. Sunglasses will prevent glare from the water and protect the eyes from flying objects and lures.
  6. A hat and UV clothing will protect you from unwanted rays.
  7. Prior to applying sunscreen, remember to shake the bottle to mix the suspended active ingredients in the lotion.
  8. If a bug bite or bee sting occurs, apply mud, wet tobacco, or ammonia to the site. Flick the bee sting site with a credit card first to remove any stingers.
  9. Be aware of your surroundings in the back country for wild animals such as black bears, massasauga rattlesnakes – buzzing like bees warming on rocks, wolves, weasel and minks.
  10. A small first aid kit readily accessible is always wise.

Respect nature and your surroundings of the backcountry French River Provincial Park. A well-planned trip will prevent challenging obstacles and allow you to enjoy a trip of a lifetime.

By Brenda Barefoot, BSN