Predator Safety Precautions

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Photo credit: US National Park Service

By Carley Fairbrother

I’ve written a few pieces on bear safety for Camping for Women, but I’ve never really covered how to avoid them when you are on the trail, or what to do when you come face to face with them.

Now before I get started, I want to attempt to alleviate any bear fears you may have. In 2017 Conservation officers in my home province of British Columbia killed 373 bears because of humans encroaching into its habitat.  Hundreds more were killed read more

Experience the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup 2

By Robin EH. Bagley

If you’re on the lookout for new, memorable experience, point your compass toward the Black Hills of South Dakota. Every September, Custer State Park rounds up their herd of 1,300 buffalo, not something you see every day. Disclaimer: the proper name for these animals is American Bison; however, they are colloquially referred to as buffalo throughout this region.

In fact, it’s something that might not have happened at all if hadn’t been for conservation efforts in places read more

Avoiding Bear Problems in the Backcountry

Avoiding Bear Problems 1

By Carley Fairbrother

I went on my first backpacking trip when I was 19, and since then, solo backpacking has been an important part of my life.  It does shock people sometimes, though.  One of the first things people ask is, “what about bears?”

On the other end of the spectrum, I hear people talking about their bad habits and saying, “I’ve been doing it like this for years, and I’ve never had a problem.”

Both these mind frames can really ruin a trip.  On one hand, the fear of bears read more

Band on the run

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By Robin EH. Bagley

We’ve all seen that iconic plains animal, the American Bison, in Custer State Park. They loaf, wallow, saunter, and thunder around the park like they own the joint. Perhaps they do; I don’t want to argue with a buffalo. Yes, I’m using the vernacular; if you’re from South Dakota, they’re buffalo. Anyway, my point is that the buffalo really aren’t the most interesting animals in the park. If you’re looking for entertainment, grab some apples or carrots and drive read more

Bear spray or guns for protection?

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Personal protection against bears – guns or bear spray?

By Carley Fairbrother

I spent seven years as a backcountry ranger in northern British Columbia, and one of the questions I got asked the most was, “do you carry a gun out there?”  They seemed genuinely concerned when I told them that I usually just carried bear spray.

To many folks in the north, and I’m sure wherever gun culture is prevalent, bear spray is seen as something a gimmick. I can understand that.  I have been approached read more

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