Camping requires more than simply booking a camp site, and setting up a tent. It requires knowledge and forethought about keeping yourself and your family safe from wildlife (and protecting the wildlife, since we are sharing their habitat)! Kim Titchener is back to teach us the ins and outs of setting up your camp site, enjoying your camping trip, and leaving no trace behind!
Back in Episode 5, we learned from Wildlife Specialist, Kim Titchener, who is the Owner of Bear Safety and More. In this episode, we dive deeper into wildlife safety when it comes to camping. Kim camps in all seasons and is building a cabin right in the heart of grizzly bear habitat, so she knows a thing or two first-hand!!
The safety we talk about applies to all wildlife, even though we specifically address bears most often.
Before Heading Out Camping:
- Find out if your camp site is in bear country
- Find out if there are bear warnings for the camp area (if so, don’t go)
- Contact campsite beforehand and ask them what has been going on at their site (Provincial or National Parks are often good spots)
Before Setting Up:
- Check site to see if anything has been eaten, if there is a carcass nearby, if birds of prey are flying overhead, or if there is bear food, like berries, near your site…all of these are very dangerous signs and the bear will come back
- Be self-sufficient and keep your food away from animals with bear-resistant garbages or bear lockers
- If there are none of the above, you will need to know where to put your garbage…the car is fine for some locations, but some places in the USA, bears have learned how to get into cars – in that case, you will need to look into a bear hang or bear keg
- Keep anything with scent away from campsite (even to go on a walk or to the washroom): food, toiletries, cans of kerosene, etc.
- Make sure where you are eating and where you are sleeping are separate from each other
- Have bear spray nearby at all times – even on the picnic table with an air horn – and then by your head when in the tent at night, with a glow-in-the-dark safety
- Keep kids supervised, and stay together
- Keep dogs on leash
- Leave no trace, and pack up everything you brought in when leaving
*When hiking, have food sealed up in good containers*
*Teach kids bear safety, without scaring them – Give them knowledge to make lots of noise, make themselves big, back away, get to safety*
*Take a course to feel knowledgeable on what to do in any encounter*
Remember that it is also dangerous for wildlife to come near your site, as they will have to be shot, or put in a zoo, and no longer be allowed to live on the land. Don’t feed bears/coyotes/wolves/birds/etc. Stay in groups!
Some other great tips Kim has for getting kids outside:
- Have layers for them and be prepared for all weather conditions
- Carry a first aid kit, and bliss wool for blisters
- Play games and make checklists for kids to look out for, and check off, on the trail
- Bring stuffed animal, for the kids to focus on and take care of (take selfie with stuffie!)…but, do not leave stuffie on site
Learn more at: www.recsafewithwildlife.com and www.bearsafety.com
Follow Kim at: IG: @bearsafetyadventures
Thank you to Scat Belt for sponsoring today’s podcast! Get your Scat Belt today to always have your bear spray accessible at www.scatbelt.com and on IG: @scatbelt
Production: @kpmediaproductions. Music: @michaelferraro_music.