Yukon has become a major tourist destination in Canada and North America, with thousands of people heading there every year to partake in its natural wonders and explore the history of the Klondike Gold Rush. With massive mountains, breathtaking valleys, unique wildlife, and much more, Yukon is one of the most spectacular places you can visit. However, if you’re planning a trip to Yukon, you need to know how to protect yourself.
Yukon can be one of the most dangerous places on the planet for unprepared visitors due to its isolation, weather, and wildlife. Read on to discover how you can stay safe during your Yukon visit.
Staying Safe When Traveling in Yukon
Depending on what you are planning to do in Yukon, you may need to take different types of precautions. If you’re going on a guided tour of Klondike Gold Rush history, for example, you’ll have less to concern yourself with then someone who wants to go kayaking or skiing. Regardless, there are a general set of precautions that everyone should take.
To begin with, you need to prepare for inclement weather. Regardless of the time of year, Yukon weather is known for changing on a dime, so you should bring warm, multi-layered clothing and shoes designed for hiking in mud or snow. Much of Yukon is isolated from civilization and you may end up in places that are hundreds of miles away from the cities, so you should always have supplies such as food and first aid kits to ensure you are prepared if something bad happens to you.
If you are journeying to Yukon via car, you should have an emergency survival kit in the event your vehicle breaks down. For example, much of the Alaska, Klondike, and Top of the World Highways are uninhabited and cell phone service is not available in many places. If you have problems with your car, you need to be able to stay warm and eat until help can arrive. If you are planning to hike or drive, you should tell a trusted family member or friend and give them your contact information so they can get help if something bad happens to you.
If you are planning on hiking, you should ensure that you are physically able to endure the rigors of your trip. Yukon trails are known for being difficult to hike for inexperienced travelers. While you don’t need to be in tip-top shape unless you’re planning to hike a major mountain, you should have enough endurance to be able to climb hills and stay on your feet for long stretches of time. If you have chronic health issues, you should avoid trails that are known for being exceptionally strenuous.
When packing food for your Yukon trip, you will want to purchase items that don’t need to be refrigerated or prepared and can be eaten when opened. You also want food that is calorie-rich and contains important nutrients, so don’t buy candy or other junk foods that may taste good but lack the nutrients you need to stay healthy and alert. When storing food, keep it secure and don’t open it until you’re ready to eat, since food can attract animals such as bears.
Internet access in Yukon can be spotty and unreliable, so you should always have a map and compass, even if you own a GPS. This will ensure you’ll always be able to find where you are. You should also research the wildlife in the area you’re traveling to so you know what hazards you might come across. Additionally, knowing what kinds of plants and animals live in the area will allow you to identify them and have more fun.
When it comes to wildlife, you should keep your distance. While most animals are scared off by human activity, some, such as bears, will become more aggressive. You don’t want to provoke animals into coming after you, so you should try to admire them from a distance and avoid interacting with them.
If possible, you should travel Yukon with a friend, family member, or group so you can watch over each other and ensure that you stay out of trouble. While solo traveling can be fun, in a region as remote and isolated as Yukon, it can be dangerous. Traveling with a group can ensure that your vacation is both safer and more fun.
When driving in Yukon, you should always obey local traffic laws and speed limits. While you might feel inclined to speed a bit given the large distances you’ll have to cover, Yukon roads are often treacherous and feature sharp switchbacks and poor weather. A large number of Yukon roads are also unpaved. A good practice in some areas is to keep your headlights on, even during the day.
While traveling to Yukon can be dangerous, if you make the necessary preparations before you leave, you won’t have to worry. By doing your research and avoiding taking unnecessary risks, your trip to Yukon can be as easy as possible. Above all else, don’t worry too much. A few basic preparations will ensure that your trip to Yukon will be a relaxing one that you’ll remember for years to come.