Going into the backcountry? Be smart about it…

Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Rich Coleman want to remind everyone to stay safe by using common sense and following the rules when enjoying outdoor activities this winter season.

Avalanche safety begins with the individual. Before you go into the backcountry, make sure you have the right training, the right gear and check the avalanche bulletins at the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s website: http://www.avalanche.ca

Common sense is the most important avalanche safety tool for individuals to use. Know the risks before you head into the backcountry.

Avalanche awareness signs are posted at key locations along highways travelled by backcountry enthusiasts and at all 79 managed snowmobile areas in the province.

Historic mine sites and other structures are not always marked and can be extremely dangerous so be aware of these dangers. Play safe, obey signs and stay away from abandoned areas such as mine sites.

Regulations will be put in place to ensure that all off-road vehicles riders on Crown land must wear helmets and use lights at night. As well, age-appropriate safety measures and adult supervision for young riders will be required. While these regulations will be part of the full implementation of the Off-Road Vehicle Framework by November 2011, riders are encouraged to adopt them now.

Skiers and snowboarders should stay within the marked runs of ski resorts. Straying out- of-bounds puts themselves and others at r