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Catskills camping/hiking in October

catskills campinghiking in october

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Licence to Quilt

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Posted October 05 2015 - 09:03 PM

My son (11)  is supposed to go camping/hiking in the Catskills two weeks from now with the Scouts. At this time of year, at least where I am from, bears are very active as they prepare for hibernation. How are the Catskills for bear activity this time of the year? There will be four adults with them and none will be armed as far as I know which bothers me. Am I crazy to worry?

Edited by Licence to Quilt, October 05 2015 - 09:04 PM.


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#2 grifhunter

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Posted October 05 2015 - 09:34 PM

They take "bear precautions". Make sure your boy doesn't bring any sweets or food with him and keep it in his tent.
The fall isn't any more or less dangerous. Cubs are on their own about now. Black bears don't feel safe around humans in the woods, only around the suburbs. What camp is he going to? Onteora?
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#3 Barnslayer

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Posted October 05 2015 - 10:16 PM

The best precaution is to pack a really smelly bit of food in an airtight container. Tell your son to give it to the troop butterball.
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#4 Short Track Hunter

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Posted October 06 2015 - 02:21 AM

Bear Spray will make you feel better. However Black Bears usually run from humans. But they have been seen in the dumpsters at Onteora. My son has pictures of a few.

#5 lichris

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Posted October 06 2015 - 03:53 AM

He'll be fine, so long as he isn't the slowest one in the troop - he seems pretty agile though.

Not to sound like an idiot democrap, but give him a whistle (which he should have already while hiking). Usually a bear will do everything to avoid an encounter with people, let alone a troop of Boyscouts. The risk reward of giving him bear spray to carry isn't justified in my opinion - it's just more weight for him to carry. Tell him to avoid walking through the berry patches and thickets though.

Where is he going?
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#6 Beaker

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Posted October 06 2015 - 04:47 AM

Attach a bell to his pack, belt, etc. The constant noise should deter bears.
Talk with him about bear safety/avoidance strategies-especially food storage.
Remind him to keep a wide view out to spot adults or cubs near trails, etc.
He should be fine.

#7 Sig

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Posted October 06 2015 - 06:08 AM

My son camped for 7 years with the scouts all over. In bear country they would hang their food with a rope where the bears couldn't reach it. They never had any encounters with bears doing this.

He'll be fine no need to worry.
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#8 Habsfan

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Posted October 06 2015 - 06:25 AM

Attach a bell to his pack, belt, etc. The constant noise should deter bears.
Talk with him about bear safety/avoidance strategies-especially food storage.
Remind him to keep a wide view out to spot adults or cubs near trails, etc.
He should be fine.


No bells. When I worked for the Ministry of Forests we advised people not to wear bells as the stupid tree hugging planters would wear them. Whenever they saw a bear they would throw their pack at the bear and then run. The Bears learned quickly that the bell meant dinner.... Pavlovian reflect at work!

Whistles are good, they hate the high pitch. It hurts their ears.
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#9 Licence to Quilt

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Posted October 06 2015 - 06:27 AM

Thank you. Bears scare living daylight out of me. They are not going to Oneota. As far as I understand it, they are going for a hike, then they will be making an overnight camp somewhere, than hiking again Sunday before coming back home.

#10 leftjammer

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Posted October 06 2015 - 07:03 AM

just send him out there with a sawed off shotgun...LOL

#11 boosti

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Posted October 06 2015 - 07:06 AM

My son (11)  is supposed to go camping/hiking in the Catskills two weeks from now with the Scouts. At this time of year, at least where I am from, bears are very active as they prepare for hibernation. How are the Catskills for bear activity this time of the year? There will be four adults with them and none will be armed as far as I know which bothers me. Am I crazy to worry?

I know the bears in my area are very active in September with all the garbage left around the summer camps.
Bear do travel a great distance to find food. Like any animal, food will attract them. If the camp has food expect having curious creatures looking to find a free meal.
I would make sure the scouts have sleeping bags that are rated for 20 degrees, it gets cold at night.

#12 grifhunter

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Posted October 06 2015 - 07:17 AM

Bear Spray will make you feel better. However Black Bears usually run from humans. But they have been seen in the dumpsters at Onteora. My son has pictures of a few.


No weapons or aerosols allowed at Scout functions or camp-outs.

#13 mickeyblueyes

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Posted October 06 2015 - 08:09 AM

Believe me he could camp every night of the year till he is a Eagle Scout and never see a bear. As stated they are shy of humans. Unless your at my place and then they pass with in ten feet of you. And still don't care.remind your son these are the best days of his life,and he is learning life long skills that will make him a good father and a man.
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#14 toothpuller

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Posted October 06 2015 - 10:04 AM

People smell bad to bears. They will smell you from a half mile away and do not want anything to do with you. We used to use a bear sack and hang the food from a tree. I would be more worried about ninja racoons alternatively known as trash can pandas.
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#15 blue steel

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Posted October 06 2015 - 10:49 AM

The BSA being what it is today, I would be more afraid of the scout master to be honest.
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#16 gcloss

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Posted October 06 2015 - 05:47 PM

The BSA being what it is today, I would be more afraid of the scout master to be honest.


Pretty crude comment.

#17 brirodg

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Posted October 06 2015 - 06:03 PM

Children, and the fact that they are nearly incapable of staying quite for any amount of time, function very well as bear repellent. He'll be fine.
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