All it takes is one wrong move in the woods and you could have an unwanted guest at your campsite. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to keep your family camping trip safe and secure from potentially dangerous animals.1. Eliminate odors from food and suppliesBlack bears roam all over the Blue Ridge Mountains with a population of 300,000 in the U.S. alone, making them a common concern amongst campers. Many established campgrounds throughout the Blue Ridge feature bear resistant trash receptacles to reduce the chances of bears smelling any types of food odors. It’s not only trash that will attract a bear; toiletry items such as toothpaste, soap, lotions, deodorant or bug sprays (especially citronella) should be secured from bears as well. To keep your food, supplies and gear away from bears, there are several different ways to keep them out of a bears reach. You could keep them in a hard-sided vehicle, a certified food storage container, or put it all in a bag and hang it between two trees at least 10 feet from the ground.2. Stop by the store and grab the basicsStock up your packs with flashlights and bear spray to keep in the tent at night. Flashlights can always be useful to help find things and point you in the right direction when walking at night. The bear spray, on the other hand, is a purchase that you most likely and hopefully will never use but is something worth having for that extra piece of mind when you hear rustling in the woods.3. Get loud!It might seem strange, but being loud will keep many of the furry creatures out of sight. With that said, if you have close-by neighbors, don’t cause a full out ruckus. The sounds of the campfire crackling, voices, and other man-made sounds like car engines usually do the trick in scaring off wildlife.4. Keep pets on leash… alwaysAs much as you may love and trust your pets to stay close by, it’s not worth the risk of letting them roam off on their own. An alternative to always holding the other end of the leash is buying a spiral stake to put in the ground to keep the pup close by while granting him or her a little freedom to roam.5. Be ready for the non-furry threatsWhen it comes to snakes, be particularly careful if you move logs or brush as most snakes get to moving when their environment is tampered with. If snakes are a high concern of yours in a particular area, consider wearing sturdy boots and gloves when moving such things.6. Keep your distanceMost animals will scare off easily from a far distance. However, in the instance of getting a bit too close to a bear or other animal, you should brush up on what to do in the event that you are in a face-to-face situation. While these circumstances are extraordinarily rare, it is better to be prepared than to make a wrong move.7. Wear different clothes cooking and to bedHave you ever gone to a restaurant and can distinctly smell the food even hours after you’ve left? The same happens in the wilderness. Cooking smells cling to fabric and can attract bears, making the clothes you wore while making dinner not the best pajamas. Store your “cooking clothes” in an airtight bag or container to reduce the risk of any wildlife catching a whiff.8. Keep it cleanYour campsite, that is. Continuously making an effort to scrub pots and pans and picking up trash throughout the day’s adventures will work wonders in making it less of a task to keep your site pest free.9. Consider a bear proof cooler, especially for car campingDefinitely not necessary, but it is a precaution that might be suitable for some. If your cooler is on its last leg and you are looking for an upgrade, there are always certified bear tested coolers that are sure to keep your food and beverages cold and the bears locked out.10. Know the area you are inOne of the sharpest tools you can have up against wildlife is knowledge and familiarity with the woods you will be setting up camp in. For information on the wildlife in the area, you can seek out tips from the local park ranger or wildlife official.Getting outdoors for a camping adventure is an enjoyable, freeing experience that is almost never dangerous, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared in the event of an unlikely guest.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionPolitical division is due to Clinton’s lossOur political discourse has gone off the rail. In my 76 years, I have never seen such hate and division in America as exists today. Methinks it has a lot to do with the fact that the “Queen” did not win the White House.Incidentally, insofar as the popular vote is concerned, the two most liberal states in our union (New York and California) gave that to her. Discounting those two, Trump won the popular vote by 3,137,877 votes. Look it up.In addition, he won the majority of individual states. That’s why we have the Electoral College, folks. Our forefathers knew what they were doing. Words have meaning, or should have. Sadly there are dozens of similar recent PC word substitutes: Google, “Substitute PC words.” “When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom.” — ConfuciusClyde MaughanRotterdam The Washington establishment and mainstream media have had their worlds rocked. The deplorables and WalMart shoppers did that. Partisan politics aside, it appears that Schumer, Pelosi, Gillibrand, Booker, Feinstein and their kind want our country to fail. Their mantra is divide, deny and obstruct.By the way, it astounds me that The Gazette shows little editorial balance. I have to assume the newspaper’s headline writer has worn out his thesaurus.Jim CallahanBallston Spa Cuomo policies are why people leave NYMy husband posted a letter in this paper a few weeks ago as to why people are leaving New York. It’s apparent that Gov. Andrew Cuomo only goes with his own progressive thoughts on all matters.I’m surprised he actually admitted it’s more than the weather. It’s something most people in this state (upstate) understand. But we do not count, as we only pay ridiculous taxes.His progressive spending and over-the-top laws are driving out not only the wealthy, but many in the middle class. Every time they hurt the honest person and do nothing to the criminal class with gun control, more people move out to go to a free state. How much of our money was wasted in Puerto Rico to get Andy tons of air time? How did he pay for that new bridge with Cuomo plastered all over it?Why does everything that happens in this state get him bloviating about it, and how much he is doing to help out? He is on the air more than Sen. Chuck Schumer, and that is certainly a major accomplishment. Hey Andy, let the people that actually take care of big emergencies like snowstorms and floods. They know things a lot better than a big-mouth New York City boy does.Barbra J DeMarcoHadleyMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccine Get back to the real meaning of wordsIt’s interesting to see The Gazette discuss the problem of gambling, rather than the problem of gaming. (Mr. Precious and Ms. Foss, first page of Sections A & C, Daily Gazette, Feb 7.)Well, who in the media would refer to gaming as a problem? Still, if we were to return to the original meaning of words, we would again see the word “pornographic” used for “adult,” “race” for “ethnicity,” and even the color blue again associated with Republican (and red for Democratic), as it was for 100 years until one recent day the PC media quietly reversed the colors. (“Red” fell out of favor, e.g., Red China, red communism.)