Camping Safety: How to Avoid Wild Animal Encounters

first_imgAll 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.last_img read more

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Carmelo Anthony to host forum in L.A. on Monday about recent shootings

first_imgOn Thursday, a black therapist who tried to calm an autistic parent in the middle of the street said he was shot by police despite having his hands up in the air and telling them he was unarmed. Although Anthony has appreciated the swift responses shared on social media over these incidents, Anthony believed personal interaction would accomplish something deeper. “Just awareness and being open minded from both sides and all fronts,” he said. “Whether you’re a police officer, a mail man, trashman, homeless, whoever you are, it’s about being aware and open minded.”He maintains, however, he has not wavered on any potential criticism regarding athletes speaking out publicly on social and political issues. “I don’t think anybody can tell me that at this point,” Anthony said. “I won’t listen to anybody that tells me I shouldn’t do this or shouldn’t do that.” Anthony has become vocal in recent years surrounding the various incidents involving black citizens and police officers. Anthony marched in a protest in his hometown Baltimore shortly after Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died on April 19, 2015. Gray suffered injuries to his spinal cord while falling into a coma as he was taken into a police van. He was arrested for possessing what Baltimore police believe was an illegal switchblade. But on Monday, Lt. Brian Rice was acquitted of all charges related to Gray’s arrest and death.During the 2014-15 NBA season, Anthony represented one of several NBA players to wear “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts both during pre-game warmups and when sitting on the bench. The message supported Eric Garner, a young African American who died in July 2014 after a police officer choked him. The Lakers also participated in the cause. “What I’m doing now is trying to lay the foundation down and just trying to take advantage of this platform that we have,” Anthony said. “Hopefully everybody with their own individual rights branch out and start doing things.” *The Associated Press contributed to this report He has brainstormed various unspecified topics to bring up to spark discussion. Anthony also will likely not have the event open to the media so that all participants feel comfortable speaking openly. “People don’t have answers,” said Anthony, the New York Knicks’ forward. “Everybody is searching for answers. People are searching for what to do and how to do it. We’re not going to find answers overnight. It’s not going to happen. But I’m following through with the message I have out there and continuing that conversation.”Anthony started his end of the conversation earlier this month.On July 7, Anthony wrote an Instagram post that called other athletes to “go to your local officers, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change.” Nearly a week later, Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James each gave statements on stage of the ESPY Awards in Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live. “We cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America,” Anthony said then. “The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plague so many of us. The system is broken. The problems are not new. The violence is not new. And the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high.” LAS VEGAS – As the leader of the U.S. men’s Olympic team, Carmelo Anthony plans to hold a meeting. His message will involve something more serious and important than outlining what it will take to secure his third gold medal out of a record four appearances.Amid shootings involving both black men and law enforcement in recent weeks, Anthony plans to host a forum on Monday in Los Angeles to address those issues. “You have to keep the conversation going,” Anthony said before practice on Thursday at UNLV. “If you don’t, then you just become another tragedy that happens that everybody forgot about. I don’t think this time we want to deal with that.”Anthony has not finalized all details, including time, location and if any of his U.S. Olympic teammates will participate in the forum. But with Team USA also scheduled to practice on Monday at the Clippers facility in Playa Vista, Anthony wants to have the event open for local politicians, police officers, community leaders, teachers and local citizens.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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