- advertisement -

Camping with bears

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Susanne, May 24, 2011.

  1. Susanne

    Susanne Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    73
    We are heading to the Berkshires this weekend for our first camping trip since diagnosis. The campground seems to get frequent visits by bears. I know we are supposed to keep no food/drinks/toiletries in the tent.
    Any tips on how to keep emergency food/juice in the tent? How do you treat night lows while camping? Is insulin going to be a problem in the tent (I can surely smell it but I hope it would not attract them to the camp site)?
    I am pretty nervous about this trip - but they kids so want to go camping again!

    Susanne
     
  2. frizzyrazzy

    frizzyrazzy Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    14,141
    you need it all to be in your car or a bear box, away from your tent. You do not want that stuff in your tent. Even something as silly as bandaids will attract bears. It's a PITA.
     
  3. Susanne

    Susanne Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    73
    So how about the pump then? My kid always seems to have a bit of an insulin smell on her (maybe that's just me).
     
  4. frizzyrazzy

    frizzyrazzy Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    14,141
    ah..the last time we camped out that way we didn't have a pump. YOu might be best to call the ranger.
     
  5. Lizzie's Mom

    Lizzie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    For night-time lows you could put Gerber baby juice in the tent with you. It's very well sealed - plastic bottle with a tough foil seal and a screw-on lid. Apple juice is 14 carbs and grape juice is 20. Dispose of the bottle away from your tent, though, as after opened, bears would be able to smell the juice.

    Maybe run your cwd a little higher than you normally would at night during the camping trip?

    Have a great time!
     
  6. stevecu

    stevecu Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    403
    No amount of sealing with keep a bear from smelling anything.

    We go backpacking a few times a year, mostly with scouts, and it frankly scares the hell out of me.

    I've always done my best to get all but the bear necessities :) out of the tent. For us that means almost everything in a bear bag (seperate from all the other bear bags) hung from a tree. The big problem is nightime lows (and the one you just raised - insulin). I've always kept a sleeve of glucose tabs in the tent, out of fear it will be raining and Sean will have a low overnight. I think all the noise we generally make keeps them at bay to some degree.

    A bear's sense of smell is something like 500 time better than a human's. So they are going to smell anything; food, toiletries, glucose tabs ... that drop of ... BLOOD on the tissue in with the meter. Honestly the insulin never occurred to me before... one more thing to worry about.

    So, in conclusion, there is just about no way to do it safely.
     
  7. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    5,560
    My son went hiking/camping at Philmont. Everything went up in the bear bag at night, but he did wear his pump.

    It simply isn't worth risking a bear attack. If you go low at night, you have to get up and take down the bear bag. I think you can have a bag separate from all the other supplies that might be easier to take down.

    My son ran his basal a little higher at night than he would at home.
     
  8. stevecu

    stevecu Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    403
    Did they question letting him wear the pump? I would think that is something they would strongly discourage at Philmont, insulin having such a strong smell.

    I think if you really wanted to do it "right" , you'd have to go tethered and put the pump up a tree as well.

    Our problem is that Sean always has nighttime lows when camping, and I have a very hard time waking up (on the rare occasions when I fall asleep).

    Where did he keep his meter?
     
  9. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    5,560
    The scout leaders at Philmont knew my son had a pump and said nothing to him about taking it off. My son put his meter in his boot and the boots were in the tent.

    Insulin is not food. It does smell, but so do people and they aren't attacked unless they have food in their tent. After 2 weeks of Philmont, I imagine the crew smells very strong indeed.
     
  10. meggiemoo

    meggiemoo Banned

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Why would you go camping where you even have to worry about it? There are alot of campsites around. I guess I don't get what our advise would give you?

    I once read that women during their time of month were at a much greater risk of bear attacks, sense it smells like a lady bear in heat, but I haven't heard of insuline being an attractor.
     
  11. selketine

    selketine Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    6,055
    I have an unnatural fear of bears and I know the park rangers at Yosemite had me too scared to sleep with their talk of how bears smell stuff in your tent.

    They also went on and on about not leaving anything in your car and we had to clean our car out of everything. They said a bear has no problem getting into your car.

    So I'm wondering would the car work? I have thought since that trip that the car was off-limits.

    I am not a fan of camping but my kids are in scouts and they go and I'm sure I'll have this question down the road with William.
     
  12. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    Bears are omnivores, but I think what you have to remember is that they are not predators (like a mountain lion would be), they are just being opportunists. Given that, and given the wide circle their nose smells out, I think you don't have to be completely odor-free. You just have to have a spot that smells less appealing than at least enough other places to keep the bear busy all night. :eek::eek:

    We live with bears out here. They are powerful animals. We had one in the neighborhood that couldn't get into a chicken coup so he turned the whole thing over, same with a dumpster they'd locked well, he rolled the thing in his frustration!

    But the fact is you are much more likely to get killed driving your car to the campsite than you are to get killed by a bear while sleeping, right? I mean, like thousands of times more likely? There's lots of things we do with kids that mean risk, we don't even think about them, but camping risks are unfamiliar so they seem bigger than they are. The bathtub is more dangerous than your average national park campground.

    Bear almost never attack. They are not interested in you, they are interested in your Doritos.

    I think you take reasonable precautions. Don't leave trash out, lock away from you any supplies that smell of food (I don't see a bear getting into a locked car, why would he bother? but even if he did, as long as you aren't in the car it's just a lost twinkie and an insurance claim -- I would make sure the car is not next to the sleeping area). I'd leave low treatment accessible but not in the tent, and probably put the kid with the pump in the middle of adults, maybe hang some bells on the tent, etc. Personally, I've never understood the "hang it from a tree" thing. Our bears climb trees, I'm not sure I'd be clever enough to hang it so that they can't get to them. If it's a group campground, find a guy with a dog! Bears definitely can smell dogs in the area.

    To be honest, our pets can smell, I believe, when Selah has ketones and when she is high. I think she smells like sugar. :eek: I'd think about that more than a pump, and there's not much to be done on that score than we do already.

    I think rangers and other locals stress bear danger so much because some people are entirely oblivious and careless. They really over-state the case because so many people just don't "get it". They eat all the Doritos and leave the empty bag next to them in the middle of the night, that sort of stupid.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  13. Susanne

    Susanne Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    73
    The reason why we are going to this specific campsite is that 8 families (my sons friends) are also going. It is a State Park Campground, though, and not the "wilderness". I do not know if it makes any difference.
    But all your answers got me reaaaally concerned and I will call the rangers today.
     
  14. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    One of the things my husband and I had to consciously do when we had kids, and then again when Selah got diabetes, was to decide not to "live in fear" (I put it in quotes in part so it's clear I"m talking about a concept, not referencing any post here). My husband and I both worry a lot about a lot of things. So we needed to make a decision when the kids came around, we needed to make it a choice that we would take risks. We do it in a reasonable manner, using proper precautions, not being reckless. But you have to ask what the point of living is, and while it's not to take risks for their own sake it is important to do good things even if they are risky.

    Camping is an irreplaceable childhood activity. Kids that don't get to camp will not be stunted for life. :eek: But they'll have missed an experience they will not be able to substitute any other activity for. It's important in my family that we do things like this, and that we teach our kids to be cautious about hazards like bears but use courage and good judgment to be able to enjoy the good of nature while safeguarding our own well-being.

    There's a great book called "Last Child in the Wilderness" that talks about how invaluable actual interaction with nature is for kids.

    Have a great, great time on your trip. With eight families around, the bears will be afraid of you!
     
  15. frizzyrazzy

    frizzyrazzy Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    14,141
    we're talking Mass state park bears from what I gather from the OP (and from where I"ve camped in the same location) Not Yosemite car breaking into bears. ;) Still, they all have bear boxes that you're supposed to use at each location. But the bear issues isn't as fierce or horrible as somewhere like you've mentioned. :)
     
  16. MegaPug

    MegaPug Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Having grown up and camped in "grizzly country" all my life, and even having had a terrifying run-in with a mom and cubs (long story), I believe I can offer some reassurance to you.

    The reason for keeping all things edible (including water) in bear boxes or cars is to not only keep you safe, but to keep the bears safe as well. Once a bear gets used to finding food sources around people, they become "nuisances" and often, and sadly, have to be killed because there's no undoing its learned behavior.

    State parks are very strict because they want to preserve the wildlife (as they should). I think calling the ranger is a very good idea as they will be able to help with ideas and offer up some options for you. If you are still really worried, purchase pepper spray specifically for bears as it is very effective, but I highly doubt you'll come anywhere near needing to use it.

    Have a great time! :)
     
  17. selketine

    selketine Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    6,055
    Apparently those Yosemite bears are the masters of popping windows out of cars. It is probably a learned behavior and the rangers are probably just trying to keep the bears from being overly tempted to hang out in the parking lot! or not.......:p

    My older son was camping this weekend with the boy scouts in the woods only about 15 miles from our house and he said someone got up in the middle of the night for the bathroom and saw a bear. This was in the Washington, DC suburbs in a wooded area but still - houses were not far away. Their stuff was in bear boxes supposedly...
     
  18. Susanne

    Susanne Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    73
    Thanks for all your warnings as well as the reassuring responses! I called the campground this morning and they said that bears were no concern there and that they did not even have bear boxes. I will call the park rangers in the morning though to play it safe. I am sure threre are bears in the area but do not want to deny my kids this camping trip - you are right, Lisa, memories are made there (hopefully without the bears).
     
  19. Wendy12571

    Wendy12571 Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    476
    Okay, We have a bear that lives around our farm some place. It has been seen at least twice. I personally see dah bear I am LONG gone. Now Bears in cars. I remember reading in the newspaper a couple of years ago about a bear getting stuck in a lady's compact car. The lady had some kind of cereal open in the car. The bear got in said car doors were not locked, very rural area. The bear locks the car doors. Lady wakes up to bear in car, honking horn and destroying said car.
    Wendy
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice