Recommended Maintenance Practices

Please Read Carefully!

Yellow Dog Lodge, Inc. (YDL) and it’s owners and directors are dedicated to your safety, the safety our staff, other trip participants and preventing the spread of COVID-19. We have therefore made several changes in our program, in line with industry best-practices, to reduce exposure to the novel coronavirus. These are some but limited to recommended practice while staying cognisant of the novel coronavirus Covid-19.

The Big 3 – barriers to exposure

  1. Social Distance! remember to stay a minimum of 2 meters apart from anyone. Including co-workers or guests. It is proven that social distancing works and will help prevent the spread of any virus not just Covid-19.
  2. Wash your hands frequently! Please wash your hands and avoid touching your face or body parts.
  3. Wear a Mask! While in transit or close proximity to another group member remember to wear your mask. A simple barrier will save lives.

Daily Self Assessment

The Government of the North West Territories strongly recommends a daily self assessment during the time you are in camp. The GNWT has provided this form as a guide. This form can be found at the following URL:

COVID-19 Information: Camp Workers - Daily Self-Monitoring Form screenshot

Staff Responsibilities

  • To not come to work if they are feeling ill
  • Maintain a high level of personal hygiene at all times
  • Follow the Territorial health and safety guidelines provided by the employer
  • Instruct participant(s) on health and safety procedures
  • Inform a supervisor immediately if during their employment they feel ill and, self-isolate and remove themselves from the work site when safe to do so
  • Monitor participants for signs of illness and, if noticed, isolate them from the rest of the client group
  • Inform their supervisor if there is an incident of illness within their cohort
  • Maintain situational awareness for emergency evacuation options at all times

Guest Responsibilities

  • Declare any illness to staff or operator facilitating trip logistics (outfitter providing transportation, equipment rental and/or air charter services)
  • Maintain a high level of personal hygiene, including frequent hand washing and/or the use of a sanitizer. In addition, respiratory etiquette is essential in preventing the spread of illness. The key elements of respiratory etiquette are:
    • Covering cough/sneeze into a sleeve or tissue
    • Disposing of used tissues in garbage
    • Sanitizing hands after coughing or sneezing
    • Sanitizing of personal equipment
    • Clothing, backpacks, personal items including towels, hygiene equipment, medication, sleeping bags, tent and sleeping pad and anything else not easily disinfected. These items should not be shared with others.

Please follow these recommended practices:

Arrival Orientation will include an explanation of the safety measures, muster point, physical distancing, proper hygiene, monitoring and reporting illness.


  • Wash frequently!
  • There is access to bathrooms and sinks where each bathroom is equipped with soap, hot and cold running water, paper and cloth hand towels and sanitizer.
  • Participants and guides will soap their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and rinse with water.
  • Sanitizer dispensers are set up at each sink and entry point.

Bathroom and Outhouses

  • Each person will have access to their own private bathroom complete with flush toilet and sink within their cohort
  • A shared shower tub is provided in the main lodge and must be cleaned and disinfected after each use
  • Ample sanitizer and cleaning solution will be left in each bathroom
  • Soap, shampoo and sanitizer dispensers are placed in each bathroom.
  • Ample toilet paper is available.
  • Out houses will be subject regular cleaning, power washed and disinfected after each cohort use (outhouses are unnecessary during summer operations, there are 9 flush toilets and sinks available)

Hot Tub and Sauna

  • Cedar barrel soaker-style Hot Tub can open when night time temperatures are predominately > -10 °C and wood heat can be managed effectively.
  • Only one (1) cohort or family is allowed to use either the hot tub or sauna during one approved rotation. No other cohort may use the sauna during the rotational period.
  • Hot Tub must be drained, cleaned and sanitized after each cohort use.
  • Re-filling the hot tub directly from the lake then the circulation pump and filter and chlorine. Tablets are used to control bacteria and virus spread.
  • ALWAYS check water level in the hot tub before lighting the fire, the water level must be a minimum of 3 cm about the aluminum fire box.
  • Hot Tub shall be “screened” before each use to remove debris and dead bugs.
  • Hot Tub pH levels to be measured and maintained at levels 6 to 8.
  • Stir hot tub occasionally until hot tub reaches optimal temperature of 40 °C, then only maintain heat.
  • Sauna must be sanitized after each use. The wood chips left behind on the floor will be swept up and floor shall be bleached.
  • Sauna and hot tub have a maximum capacity of four (4) persons regardless of age.
  • Sauna lighting shall be disposable tea lights and LED lanterns. The lanterns and candle holders shall be sanitized after each use.
  • NEVER use soap, water conditioners or chemicals other than what is supplied by the lodge.

Sewage Handling

  • Black water and grey water collected separately, are piped, collected and combined in cisterns.
  • Each cistern and sewage piping is regularly inspected for damage, leaks and blockages.
  • Each cistern is treated weekly with bacterial additive to promote solids break downs.
  • The main lodge cistern will also undergo a period of flushing with a fire hose to further break up the solids and greases before being pumped out to the lagoons.
  • Each cistern will be pumped weekly to a holding lagoon for further natural filtration.
  • The lagoon perimeters shall be shorn up with sand bags to prevent leakage.
  • The lagoons are placed a minimum 60 metres from any water body and are allowed to filter the sewage naturally.
  • When tending the sewage system, staff must wear protective clothing/gloves/masks/face shields and change and launder clothes after every inspection or maintenance.

Water Purification (At Lodge)

  • Water is pumped directly from Graham Lake
  • Potable water is created by whole house filtering – 5 micron, 1 micron and UV disinfected before distribution in the main lodge.
  • Drinking water is again filtered at the main lodge building and captured in 18 litre water containers for cold water dispensers. Filter with 1 micron ceramic, activated charcoal.
  • Drinking water is distributed via 18 litre water containers and set in water coolers in the main building and executive cabin.
  • Potable water is created in the cabins by whole house filtration – 5 microns to remove sediment.

Water Purification (On the Lake)

  • Although the lakes and rivers are clear cold and clean the water is safe to drink without filtering, we recommend to fill water bottles, canteens and thermoses while at the lodge.
  • There are portable 1 micron ceramic water filters at the lodge which guests may borrow while on the water.

Meal Preparation

  • Guides and/or Cooks to continue following organization’s Food Safe Best Practices.
  • Anyone involved in meal preparation must observe physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Food handlers must wash hands for at least 20 seconds each.
  • Food handlers must place their masks on with clean hands and remain masked during the serving process.
  • All Food shall be plated and passed through the kitchen/dining room opening to the guest to minimize physical contact with the guest.
  • Aprons or chef’s coats shall be warn during food prep and serving. All aprons and coats shall be laundered with bleach on a regular basis. Change often especially after baking.
  • Maximum 3 people in food prep, cooking and serving food to ensure minimal cross-contact of group equipment such as pots, pans, and serving utensils.
  • All cooking surfaces shall be cleaned/disinfected before and after each use.
  • Leftover food shall be packaged and labelled with date, burned if protein and composted if organic.

Cleanup and Dishes

  • Dishwashers should follow the same preparation as food handlers.
  • There will be a triple system: 1 of hot soapy water, 2 of cool water for rinse, and 3 of cool water with a single cap or tablespoon of chlorine for disinfectant.
  • Dishes are left to air-dry and then be collected for appropriate storage.
  • Kitchen shall be swept and mopped every night after evening dishes.
  • All hard surfaces such as cook stoves and counter tops shall be wiped down with 10/90 bleach/water mixture.
  • All food prep surfaces such as cutting boards be wiped down with white vinegar and salted.
  • At no time will guests be allowed in the kitchen or pantry. The guests may inadvertently contaminate food prep and storage areas or distract staff.

Using Reusable Masks

  • Cloth/reusable masks are fine to use.
  • Masks should be made of 2 or more layers of tightly woven fabric and cover the nose and mouth without large gaps.
  • Masks that have become visibly soiled or wet through should be changed and washed.
  • While there are no firm guidelines, most authorities tend to agree that masks should be washed “after every use” or “daily”.


  • All bedding and towels shall be laundered after each cohort use.
  • The duvet covers will need to be laundered after each cohort use.
  • Use bleach and hot water when washing.
  • Hang to air-dry on the clothes line. If weather is not conducive to drying outside, inside hanging or use of propane dryer is allowed.
  • Check for wear-and-tear on the bed sheets, remove and repair or replace.
  • Laundry hampers are placed in convenience locations for guest to discard use towels.
  • Masks may have virus particles from other people on the outside surface and so used/unwashed masks should be stored in a manner that they can not contaminate other items.
  • Machine Wash the mask in the hot water and bleach.
  • The lodge also has a supply of disposable masks on site in the Main lodge by the first aid station

Boat Cleaning

  • The staff who are designated as guides shall dock all boats out at Graham Lake and Duncan Lake marinas
  • Guides will pause group so that everyone may clean/sanitize hands prior to equipment handling
  • Common equipment will be deposited at main lodge kitchen, each person responsible for moving their personal equipment to their room or cabin
  • Guides will commence cleaning the boat – wiping all boat surfaces (seats, gunnels, touch points) with a 10/90 bleach/water mix
  • If required, the guide will leave a cap-full of bleach in the bottom of the boat to inhibit algae and moss growth
  • If the boat becomes inundated with water there are wet/dry vacuums at every dock to extract water from bottom of boat, waste water to be discarded on land in the sewer
  • In extreme wet conditions, the guide will use “pull the plug” method and drain water from a moving boat
  • Guide will remove fuel tanks and re-fill and return before finishing the daily cleaning
  • All boats and fishing rods to be left in the boat to air dry and let nature use UV light to further disinfect the surfaces.

Equipment Cleaning

  • There are many pieces of equipment on a wilderness trip and many look very similar.
  • Each member of the group will have personal gear that is labeled for identification.
  • Communal group gear and tackle will also be labeled as such, and handled and cleaned by the guides. There will be chlorine-based disinfecting spray and soap available for washing and sanitizing gear on a regular basis. Ample vinegar is also supplied for cooking surfaces. UV radiation is encouraged for outdoor gear. Leave the sun and mother nature to cleanse hard surface equipment.
    • Personal gear applies to PFD’s, tackle, stuff sacks, water bottles etc.
    • Communal gear applies to safety equipment, paddles, food containers
    • Most equipment will be pre-labelled prior to your trip by the guides. If at any point you notice a piece of equipment with a missing or damaged label, please let them know!

These are recommended guidelines and are subject to ongoing adaptation and change as current knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 improves. Please check with the Yellow Dog Lodge office if assistance or explanation is required. While challenging, remember that the virus transmission is still prevalent even in the wilderness.