Bears in the woods


Black bears on Vancouver Island are a blacker colour and slightly larger than black bears on the mainland. Long been separated from other species of black bear in British Columbia. It is thought that the black bear reinhabited Vancouver island as the glaciers retreated. Skeletons found in caves on the island indicated that the bears have been on the island for 10.000 years and were bigger than the bears today. The isolation on the island most likely led to the size different from bears on the mainland. The black bear is the smallest of the bears in Canada with both the grizzly and polar bear being bigger.


Encountering a bear while on a hike can be an emotional experience, always remain calm and don’t make any quick or threatening moves. You don’t want to look like prey or challenging the bear. Any animal can have a bad day and you could get attacked, be it a cat, dog, or bear. Hikers must remember to keep there cool and respect for the bear. If there is a distance between you and the bear, for example, a bear cross your path in the distance, give the bear time to move on before you make some noise as you proceed cautiously. If the bear has climbed a tree, retreat and make a large circle around the area of the bear or hike a different trail.


The bear bell is in question as to its effectiveness in alerting bears to your or your pets present in the area. The bear may not make the connection that the bell noise means beware. When the pet is off leash and meets up with a bear, the pet can lead the bear right to you which could be dangerous for you.  This is a reason that pet are asked to be on a leash in parks.

Back Pack Carrier

The Osprey Poco AG Child Carrier has come with me on many hikes. My daughter is a year and a half and she loves the outdoors. We first bought the pack when she grew out of the soft front carrier. This Pack is adjustable and with a good six inches of adjustment, My daughter has also fit in the pack this whole time. My wife, Donna, and I have a wide range of fitting the backpack and we easily take turns wearing the pack on our hikes. I am 6’1″ tall and find this backpack fits me well. The weight contours nicely to my body and it feels snug. The pack moves well with me when I go uphill, downhill, bending and crawling. She is strapped in, so there is no worry about her falling out. she really seems to enjoy riding in the pack. I have noticed her giggling as Donna brings the pack up to her shoulders and she is strapped in. The storage carries quite a lot, even though Osprey has manufactured the Osprey Poco AG Plus which has a larger compartment at the bottom. I have had no difficulty carrying what I need on a hike with this pack. Donna has taken this pack on a multi-day hike and instead of worrying about fitting everything into the backpack, she ended up wearing another pack on her front.

Who do you not want to meet in the woods? Bears, Cougars, Sasquatch? How about the Tick?!

The western Black Leg tick on Vancouver Island has eight legs, the female colours are red and black while the male is black and smaller.

This tick hangs out on low lying grass and other vegetation mostly in the open canopy of the woods. The tick waits for a host to walk near, then grabs on to the host. Vancouver Island has ticks out in the wood most of the year with January to February and May to July as the main tick seasons. This can vary depending on the weather and possibly the animal population. There is also talk that climate change affects ticks environment for the better.

It is a good idea to perform a tick check on yourself or have another person do the check as they can check you over more effectively. Putting hiking clothes in the dryer after a hike for around 20 minutes on high heat should kill any tick on your clothes by drying the tick out as tick prefer warm moist environment. The washing machine won’t kill them.

It is recommended to wear light colour clothing to make tick detection easier, tucking pants into socks and long sleeves shirts along with a hat. There is information out there that have tested the light versus dark clothing:

Most tick removal advice tells you to use narrow ended tweezers to grasp the tick horizontally across the skin as close to the mouth as possible and pull straight up. The tick tools such as Tick Twister tell you to slide the tool slot around the tick, pull up slightly and twist to remove the tick. I have successfully used the Tick Twister many times to remove ticks from humans and dogs. The Coghlan tick tool works as well but loses its strength to grip ticks after a season of removing ticks.

After the tick is removed it can be disposed of or kept in a ziplock in the freezer in case the tick needs to be tested for disease. Clean the wound site with warm soapy water or rubbing alcohol. Watch the site for any further complications such as swelling, infection in the form of a bullseye and flu-like symptoms.

Keeping to the hiking trails will help minimize tick exposure and keep the surrounding woods intact to be view and enjoy by all hikers.

CTV reports that Consumer Reports found products that contain 15 to 30 percent deet, 20 percent Picardin or 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus were effective at repelling ticks.












Tires: you need to get to the trail head

Kumho Tires – Road Venture AT51 –

The Road Venture AT51’s roll very nice on the blacktop, stop well, are good on wet surfaces and work well on snow and ice.

These tires are good on logging roads, the traction is not so aggressive that you dig down into a hole when trying to move.

They are not mud tires and slide around in the greasy stuff.

Overall the AT51’s are a very good All Terrain tire.


Hiking Boots

These hiking boots are Vasque Talus Trek Ultra Dry.

They are the non gortex hiking boot version which seem to have a narrower fit.

There was no break in time, just put them on and go hiking.

They have hiked in downpours, mud, and snow.

These hiking boots are holding there own so far.

The tread on these hikers have very good traction on a variety of wet and dry terrain.

It is an adjustment to get used to the hiking boots speed lacing.



Hiking poles

Bryce Copeland - Go Outdoors Adventure


With the lower priced poles $ 30 and under the spinlock types seem to fail after a few years. Oddly it seems only one section of the locking system fails on a pole. I find the if the pole is equipped with a shock system it becomes a distraction when using this poles going up hills.