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#228562 - 07/26/11 01:01 AM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: Susan]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I do not have case information but I do know NOLS has had other incidents and deaths on their courses. The problem comes from taking young people with little to no outdoor experience and putting them on a dangerous mountain or in sea kayaks in rough ocean conditions. I do know they have had fatalities at both those endeavors in the past.
In the case of the bear incident, one or more of the instructors should have been armed and prepared to protect the students. Same way a fishing guide or other outdoor guide in Alaska is armed to protect their clients.
In some ways it reminds me of the case some years ago where the BOSS "survival school" took people out for 2 days at the beginning of it's training without food or WATER and a student had begged and pleaded for water and showed all the signs of being in dire condition, the "instructor" ignored the young man and they allowed him to become unconscious and die. The school has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the clients, period. There is little value to exposing someone to danger for the sake of survival. A survival school should not be pass/fail it should be a place to learn technique and wisdom from experienced instructors so if you are ever in a true survival situation you have a better chance to actually survive.
Even the military, who trains many troops very vigorously, provides water and other necessities to ensure their health and safety.
There are way too many of these so called survival schools that set themselves up based on the Rambo mentality. They run people too hard, they deprive students of essentials so you can learn survival. NO, what you learn is pain, agony and fatigue. There is little survival technique being learned, it is all about endurance, which is another game altogether.
There needs to be more control and licensing to operate this sort of school, especially when minors are involved. Wilderness First Aid Cert is not enough to ensure student safety and oversee proper curriculum.
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#228563 - 07/26/11 01:14 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I recommend watching this video of Lars Monsen, he did a trip from the west coast of Canada to the east coast of Canada, it took over 2 years. He was out spring, summer, fall and winter traveling with just some sled dogs. He had numerous encounters with bears and was successful in running all off except one Polar Bear that attacked him in his camp and he had to kill the bear. He was not charged and the bear's death was ruled necessary. Some of the Inuit were glad to take the dead bear!
Very interesting trip, well worth watching and you see numerous encounters with bears. He had a shotgun with slugs for bear protection and bear protection only. Quite a man, quite a trip. All filmed by himself, like Survivorman does but for over 2 years total time in the bush.
Each video will link to the next episode.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-arbvSst6U&feature=player_embedded
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#228564 - 07/26/11 01:26 AM Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: widget]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1384
Originally Posted By: widget
I do not have case information but I do know NOLS has had other incidents and deaths on their courses. The problem comes from taking young people with little to no outdoor experience and putting them on a dangerous mountain or in sea kayaks in rough ocean conditions. I do know they have had fatalities at both those endeavors in the past.

There needs to be more control and licensing to operate this sort of school, especially when minors are involved. Wilderness First Aid Cert is not enough to ensure student safety and oversee proper curriculum.


Widget:

Every outdoors related sport has injuries and deaths every year and the same goes for high schools that teenagers attend every year.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research Twentieth Annual Report:

From 1982-2002, the total numbers of direct and indirect fatalities among high school athletes were:

Baseball 17
Basketball 88
Cheerleading 21
Cross Country 14
Football 22
Soccer 31
Track & Field 47
Wrestling 16

In 2001, the number of sport-related injuries for each sport are as follows:
Gymnastics 99,722
Basketball 680,307
Baseball 170,902
Softball 118,354
Football 413,620
Soccer 163,003
Volleyball 55,860
Track & Field 15,113
Hockey 63,945

Granted there is a lot more kids in high school then participating in NOLS, however rest assured that this bear attack incident will radically change how NOLS operates in the future and for the good. If I lived in the US, I would not hesitate to send my kid to NOLS if he/she wanted to attend...

_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#228566 - 07/26/11 02:09 AM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: clearwater]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: clearwater
Some if's. How would one us it if:

I'd start by saying no tool is perfect and will guarantee results in every situation.

Originally Posted By: clearwater
If one were attacked in a tent?

Wouldn't this be difficult no matter the tool? You still need to see the attacker before shooting (instead of shooting your buddy whose trying to help get the bear to break its attack!). Both bear spray and firearms would likely prove difficult in this scenario.

Originally Posted By: clearwater
Strong wind in the face?

You're might just be screwed smile. That said, that first study I mentioned seems to indicate performance is not as bad in the wind as commonly thought and that most encounters occur in areas where wind is less of a factor (e.g., dense woods).

As a side note, this was one scenario from my wilderness first aid field day ... the freaked out wilderness photographer who sprayed himself in the face. This is actually what prompted the whole discussion on bear spray effectiveness with the class.

Originally Posted By: clearwater
If it goes off accidentally while driving the car?

If it goes out of date after 2 years?

If the temp dips low and the stuff won't work?

If the temps get hot and it explodes?

Like any potentially dangerous tool you have to treat it with respect and understand its care and maintenance.

I'm sure there are many "what ifs" along these lines that could be used to paint firearms as unsafe or unreliable; I don't think they'd be good reasons not to use a firearm though.

Originally Posted By: clearwater
When a bear is already mauling a friend.

This is an interesting one. I have been told that spraying a bear who is mauling someone will cause it to break the attack, but I haven't been able to find anything that backs up their statement aside from some unsourced anecdotes.

I'd give it a shot though.

Originally Posted By: clearwater
One study alone is not enough.

To be fair, I've referred to (or at least mentioned) three. The other 2 references seemed to cast firearms in a less favourable light though (these were the 2 mentioned in the USFSW fact sheet).

Originally Posted By: clearwater
And both the park service and the national forests in Alaska say bring more than one kind of protection.

I haven't been able to find anything like this on-line, but I would be interested in reading more along these lines. I would like to understand the reasons behind such an approach; given the likelihood of a bear attack is low to start with, I would have thought going with the most effective and easy to carry defence tool would be sufficient.

And really, this is what this issue boils down to for me. I have no problem with people who want to carry firearms as either their primary or secondary defence against bears. I have a problem when people make the accusation that other people or groups are irresponsible for not carrying firearms when firearms have proved not to be the best tool for bear defence in most situations.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#228570 - 07/26/11 05:13 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
I was reading another news account about this incident and noticed the following:

"Gottsegen told Denver's KMGH-TV that the first person to go around a corner yelled that there was a bear and then started running backward. Then Gottsegen said he looked behind him and saw the bear so he started running down the hill. He said the bear tackled him on the way down."

This stood out because earlier today I read this:

"Smith believes one of the primary reasons bear spray works is that it gives users a reason to stand their ground. Running is the worst response to an aggressive bear, he said, "but it's hard not to. Just picture the meanest dog in your neighborhood and multiply his size by ten-it's very hard to keep your feet from running, but bear spray gives you an option. When you stop and plant your feet, that makes them stop.""
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#228580 - 07/26/11 01:07 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Denis]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:

"Gottsegen told Denver's KMGH-TV that the first person to go around a corner yelled that there was a bear and then started running backward. Then Gottsegen said he looked behind him and saw the bear so he started running down the hill. He said the bear tackled him on the way down."


Oh well, looks like they failed the course, so no team leadership mountain survival certificates for these fellows. whistle

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#228583 - 07/26/11 01:43 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: NightHiker]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: southern Cal
It is always fascinating how a single bear attack will generate enormous media attention,as well as commentary here on ETS, while the far more common falling and drowning fatalities go by unnoticed.

I would carry bear spray in bear country. Its record is good..
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#228584 - 07/26/11 01:46 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: NightHiker]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5029
Loc: SOCAL
Given the nature of the initial attack with the teen triggering the bear's prey drive by running, I don't see where either bear spray or a firearm would have been useful.

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#228585 - 07/26/11 02:16 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
The statistics say it is ok to put teens in bear country without any protection because they are statistically ok to be injured. I fully understand now.
The problem with those statistics is they don't account for what caused the 88 basketball deaths. Did they get hit by the ball? Did they fall on the floor and get trampled or did the transport they were riding in become involved in an accident and all aboard were killed?
As usual, statistics are just that, numbers that have little relevance. Bottom line is activities should always be risk managed to provide as much safety as possible. Statistics do not justify negligence.
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#228586 - 07/26/11 02:44 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: NightHiker]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: NightHiker
Originally Posted By: Denis
I'd start by saying no tool is perfect and will guarantee results in every situation.

That's why I think it's a good idea to have more than 1 tool that will do the job, it gives you options and flexiblity.

While I don't have a problem with that choice, I wouldn't consider someone unprepared who only had bear spray while travelling in bear country.

Since bear attacks are relatively infrequent when compared to other backcountry incidences, having only one tool to defend yourself seems quite reasonable. Choosing the tool which has shown itself to be the most effective doesn't strike me as a bad choice.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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