Low Impact Camping



Please note that fire boxes are required for open fires in NNP-R. A fire box is a collapsible metal box with a grate on top that all fits into a compact carrying case. A fire in this little invention is superior for cooking and requires a fraction of the wood. In environmental terms, a fire box used on sand or stones prevents a fire scar from being formed. The draft created by the box will burn your wood to a fine ash that can then be diluted in the river. Use driftwood and deadwood from the forest floor. Refrain from leaving signs of axe or saw use on wood not used and left behind.


Where possible, dig latrines 50 m away from the river and other water sources. Try to dig into organic soil. The hole should be at least six inches deep. When finished, instruct participants to mix soil with faeces for quicker decomposition and cover with at least two inches of soil. Camouflage the surface. All toilet paper, wipes,sanitary napkins, and tampons must be packed out or burned completely.


Bathe in river using biodegradable soap or portable showers may be used.


Food – Burn all food scraps completely even if it means bagging the scraps and burning them in the supper fire.

Paper – Burn completely

Plastic and Foams – Wash to remove food odors and pack out.

Cans – Burn or wash well to remove smell, then flatten and pack out.

Toilet Paper and Sanitary Napkins – Burn in a very hot fire or pack out.

Fish Entrails – Deposit in deep, fast flowing water.

Waste Water (from dishes or cooking) – Ddeposit into the fast moving flow of the river.


Tents should be pitched in areas with little vegetation. The best location for minimum impact is on the gravel/sand floodplain of the river. Leave your campsite as clean as possible. Never dig trenches, cut trees or move rocks to make the site more pleasant. If rocks are needed for securing tents, pick loose ones from below the high water line.


Respect the needs of all wildlife. The simplest way to avoid disturbing wildlife is to avoid practices that may attract them, causing them to become dependent on human food and lose their wildness and possibly their lives. Avoid harassing animals. The animal’s reaction is excitement, alarm and flight, all of which consume energy needed for growth and reproduction. Learn about the animals in the area; their habits, habitat, nest sites, etc. Armed with this knowledge, make informed decisions about where to travel and camp to avoid undue harassment. Remember the Nahanni and area is one of the last bastions for truly wild species; if we drive them from here, there will be nowhere left for them to go.

Note: In frequently visited areas such as RabbitKettle Lake and Virginia Falls, grey jays, ravens and red squirrels have become scavengers. Keep food sealed in hard, plastic containers to protect it and the animals from continuing the habit. Both these areas are among the most lush in the park and have abundant natural food. 

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