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bears

Camping in North America gives rise to some special concerns – chief among them, perhaps, is dealing with the potential threat of trouble with bears. I like bears and I’m happy to see them but I’d rather not have them in my camp at night.

Bear.

Bear.

The fundamentals of bear safety are quite simple. There are three main points:

  1. Keep your food far away from where you sleep, preferably in a bear proof container of some sort.
  2. Don’t surprise a bear.
  3. Don’t get between a sow and her cubs.

Number One is quite easy to acheive – cook at least 50 metres from your camp and store your food the same distance away but not in the same spot. Anything that has a strong scent should be considered ‘food’ and this includes toothpaste, shampoo and other toiletries.

Number Two is harder to manage – it’s easy to forget about bears and so, potentially, to come across one unawares. You can buy bells which may alert bears to your presence or you can sing or shout while you are walking (or riding) along.

I have a few bear songs I like to sing. My favourite is The Teddy Bear’s Picnic – it goes like this.

If you go out in the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You’d better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

If you go out in the woods today
You’d better not go alone.
It’s lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Every teddy bear, that’s been good
Is sure of a treat today
There’s lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Actually I can never remember all the words but I just sing bits and pieces of it as I ride along and make up new words.

Sometimes the Playschool theme occurs, as well, because of the first line.

There’s a bear in there
And a chair as well
There are people with games
And stories to tell
Open wide
Come inside
It’s Playschool…

And at other times I just sing whatever bits of whatever songs I can remember.

Number Three, ultimately, depends on Number Two – if you know there is a bear around then you can make sure that you don’t get between it and it’s cubs but if you don’t… well, there could be trouble.

I also saw these bears on the highway.

Bears in the house.

Bears in the house.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Christopher | June 15, 2013 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    That playschool song has two lines that go

    “Knock on the door / one, two, three, four” and I think these go before “Open wide”.

    Enjoying your blog. Stumbled across you from somewhere as you do…

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