Vancouver Island Warnings and Dangers
In a part of the world where the attractions are primarily scenery and wildlife, make sure you plan ahead for both.
If you’re visiting the island and plan on doing camping and hiking, make sure you are always prepared for wildlife sightings – in particular bears and cougars. Most marked trails will have warnings posted if an animal has been spotted in the area, and will also usually post tips on how to keep yourself safe.
If you do encounter a bear, stand as tall as possible and make as much noise as possible. Also don’t run – the bear will chase you.
For cougars stay calm and confident so you don’t appear to be prey. If you have small children with you pick them up immediately as small children can get scared/excited and those quick movements and loud noises may scare the cougar and cause it to attack.
If you are not familiar with how to keep yourself safe, make sure to do some research on these animals before you hike. Most animals will not attack if you take the right precautions.
Vancouver Island has an unpredictable climate, and the fact that it is vegetated with temperate rain forest speaks volumes about the weather.
To put things into perspective, it rains an average of 206 days a year in Tofino. Actually, from a tourist’s point of view, the rain usually isn’t so much of a problem as the wind and clouds that may accompany it, which can severely limit your options.
Allow yourself sufficient time to have some ‘wiggle room’ in which to accommodate the almost inevitable days of bad weather.
Retain maximum flexibility within your schedule, and take opportunities as they arise. If the weather is clear, do your float plane trip that day, because it won’t necessarily be nice tomorrow. Plan your itinerary by identifying activities that are absolutely weather dependent, i.e. boat trips, whale watching, float plane trips, and those which are still possible even if it rains.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Vancouver.