This is the part that makes me more nervous than anything else in this trip. I don’t like bears and chances are pretty high that I will have a bear encounter of some sort, this is bear country after all and everybody has a story of some sort.
Know how to take all appropriate precautions at camp, how to look for bear presence, how to react when you encounter a bear and how to read bear behavior, pretty much all I can do to prepare, still don’t want it to happen. Have my bear bangers and looking into bear spray, heard you can’t use them in Ontario, will have to check.
I have this picture in my head of being woken up on some remote island by a bear who swam out looking for berries and found my skinny ass sleeping and looking awful tasty.
And no, fact that there have been only about 3 bear deaths in Ontario since the turn of the century doesn’t provide much comfort. At least we don’t have Grizzlies.
They don’t scare me much, I’ve come across many in Georgian Bay, yah of course, hearing that rattle can be unsettling but they don’t pose much of a problem as long as you pay attention and just let them move on their merry way. Going to be a lot of camping on rocks and getting out on rocky shorelines, need to be careful and pay attention is all.
My only concern would be getting medical attention quickly in the unlikely event I get injected, there are many serious problems (including death) that can occur from a bite from one of these guys, especially if you get a full dose of venom. They are known for dry bites without injecting venom which is why people assume they are harmless, not the case and you are in trouble if you don’t get to a place that can treat it properly.
On a related note, wake up Ontario Government, they stopped funding hospitals to store Anti-Venom and as a result hospitals are at an all time critical low. Parry Sound which treats more snake bites than anywhere in Ontario ran out this august and had to quickly get some from Peterborough Zoo to treat a patient, leaving only 5 vials at the zoo. requires at least 12 to treat a snakebite and usually more. At a cost of 20-80k for treatment.