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      Husband and wife coming on a trip to Philmont     
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10/14/2019 06:24AM
I am the main "Adult Leader" for a crew going to Philmont. Two of the adults coming are a husband and wife. At Philmont the staff is uber careful about bears, going so far as declaring the ink in the stamps of the 'passport' book a "smellable".

The serious question is: are acts of spousal intimacy an attractant for bears?

As the guy in charge, do I:

A: Say nothing to the couple as the whole bear thing is way overblown.

B: Tell them any residue of said acts should be treated as a "smellable"

C: Forbid any marital relations while on the trail... Just kidding I am not doing "C"

D: Your advice here.

Thanks


 
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mapsguy1955
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10/14/2019 07:11AM
I detect a bit of paranoia here! Ink on passports? If you are worried about that, then DEFINITELY no sex! In fact, I'm not even sure going would be an option!
 
BobDobbs
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10/14/2019 07:50AM
A

You're not in Grizzly/Polar Bear country. These bears want nothing to do with people, except to avoid them.
 
Chieflonewatie
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10/14/2019 08:35AM
If you are that worried about bears, it doesn't sound like you could even enjoy the trip.
 
billconner
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10/14/2019 08:43AM
I would not worry about the bears. Finding tent pads in the assigned site that provide sufficient acoustic privacy will be a bigger challenge.

 
billconner
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10/14/2019 08:49AM
And a whole new perspective on the mile high club.
 
Mocha
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10/14/2019 09:45AM
I'd recommend abstinence. don't tell them NO, just lay out the facts and let them figure it out. How long is the trip? a week? are they going along as chaperones or separate tents or hammocks?
 
Flashback
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10/14/2019 11:28AM
Been there; did a 100 miler with a group of scouts I worked with as an instructor for 3 years. They were well trained, well prepared.
They kept a spotless camp, they did not bring along any "extra treats", and they did not carry one morsel of food into their tent at night. If they carried a canteen into their tent at night, it contained no flavored drink mix.

In short, they did not do anything to attract bears, nor did the adults who accompanied the scouts. That being said, bears visited our camp nearly every morning and every night. One actually did a 360 degree walk around my tent one night.

If a bear was heard or seen in camp any time of day, someone blew the whistle that everyone carried all the time. That was the bear signal; and everyone started blowing their whistle, beating on pots & pans, clapping hands, and hollering at the top of their lungs. Every bears "hit the road" every time. Nobody was allowed to "try to get closer" to any bear to try & get a great photo if they had a camera.

The first thing that popped into my mind when I read the original post was that the husband and wife were going on the trip to accompany their "sonny boy", and deal with "sonny boy's issues/needs". I don't view that scenario as a positive one. Do they even know the scout leaders expectations ???

As to the sex issue, and anything associated with it (residue/noise/etc). If the husband/wife team can't abstain for a week; they lack self control, and the scouting staff should address that issue "prior" to the trip. I view the whole issue as something that shouldn't have to be dealt with. Other "problems" may arise due to their participation? Do they have any backpacking/camping experience? Any other special "needs" either real or perceived? Just going out for a outdoor frolic?

The scouts I worked with did four 3 days backpacking trips (one in each season) prior to our trip to Philmont. Each had also been trained in backpacking, and camping skills, and food prep. All were certified in first aid, basic water safety and cpr, and trained in rescue and evacuation. At Philmont they handled their own food prep, they did all the navigating, they acted as the leaders of the group(including the adults), they resolved issues that arose.

The adults were basically there as "back up", along for the ride so to speak.
We were seldom consulted; we followed their lead. We gave advice; we did not resolve issues. They handled it extremely well.

Mommy & daddy may need to stay at home... Just my opinion. I'm certain others will vary.

Yes, I "do" know that their are many women who are highly skilled backpackers, and can leave a lot men in their dust. I know, because I attended a 21 day National Outdoor Leadership school's outdoor leadership course with some of them, in the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming. Whether women can backpack is "not" the issue.

BOB
 
10/14/2019 12:02PM
A, however seeing as you're going on an official Scouting trip/trek C should be assumed.

Have a wonderful trek, when are you going?
 
10/14/2019 12:04PM
You are assuming, of course, that they are going to have lots of sex in the woods. Not sure that is a safe assumption. I'd be more concerned about putting them in the same canoe.
 
10/14/2019 12:04PM
Chieflonewatie: "If you are that worried about bears it doesn't sound like you could even enjoy the trip."

If you've never been to Philmont, then you don't understand the level of hype rangers & backcountry staff apply to "smellables."

One night, we had to bag and hang a kid's hiking boots because he puked up his dinner all over his toes after a day on the trail.
 
billconner
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10/14/2019 02:26PM
"If you've never been to Philmont, then you don't understand the level of hype rangers & backcountry staff apply to "smellables."

Amen and +1 to that.

My general advice would be never more than two adults on a Philmont trek - and in a perfect world, one just 18 and one in 20's. They don't need old folks (who statistically are the biggest health risk anyways) but I went at 61. I'm also in favor of no parents of Scouts on the treks, which I was not.

I have to wonder if it's really necessary to discuss, should they be going at all? It probably isn't necessary, but then I tend to think and expect the best of people (and their motives), not the worst. And it seemed to me there would be lots of opportunities during the 10-12 days to wander off somewhere anyways.
 
fraxinus
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10/14/2019 04:50PM
well there's this perspective - ask a bear

On the other hand - if the horizontal cha cha brings a bear into your tent, what a way to go, huh? Kind of akin to that old line of being shot by a jealous husband at 99. - d:^)
 
LindenTree
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10/14/2019 06:10PM
BobDobbs: You're not in Grizzly/Polar Bear country. These bears want nothing to do with people, except to avoid them."
Yep,
The three years I spent in Alaska, my wife and I never engaged in any extracurricular activities of this sort. We chose bear free areas in the L-48 due to this fear. :-)

We quickly burned through our frequent flyer miles, and I now know why we do not have any kids.

I choose A.

Seems a little tough "ink on stamps". Leather shoes with rubber soles and nylon tents would also be an attractant in this case, IMHO.
 
missmolly
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10/14/2019 06:56PM
Above all, regarding smells, no one should fart.
 
lundojam
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10/14/2019 08:44PM

You are overthinking it. Don't ask, don't tell. I do hope you get to see a bear, though.
 
10/14/2019 09:33PM
OneMatch: "You are assuming, of course, that they are going to have lots of sex in the woods. Not sure that is a safe assumption. I'd be more concerned about putting them in the same canoe."
I thought for sure you’d say to work em til they were too tired to start a fire!
 
10/14/2019 10:11PM
nctry: "OneMatch: "You are assuming, of course, that they are going to have lots of sex in the woods. Not sure that is a safe assumption. I'd be more concerned about putting them in the same canoe."
I thought for sure you’d say to work em til they were too tired to start a fire!"

LOL!
 
Savage Voyageur
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10/14/2019 10:40PM
Let the adults figure it out on their own.
 
KarlBAndersen1
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10/15/2019 06:56AM
Will someone please explain to me why humans sexual excretions are equated with a a bear attractant?
I mean - I've howled at the moon a few times but no wild critters ever showed up.
A jealous boy friend once, but no wild critters.
 
bwcadan
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10/15/2019 08:58AM
Young men dominate these trips. I would be more concerned with the boys taking leave of camp and returning with the afore mentioned odors. Over time, this seems not to be an issue so bears attracted seem to have stayed away. At least little news reported about any problem. Have fun.
 
SaganagaJoe
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10/15/2019 10:16AM
This thread is a strange brew.

????
 
cmanimal
 
10/15/2019 10:32AM
I've been to Philmont a few times and they do drive home the smellables with good reason. When you have ~13k teens through the property in a 3 month window every summer you need to oversell the issue to get a close to desired result i.e. preventing the habituated bear, especially as the trek gets into day 9 and beyond. As a testament to that we didn't see any bears on our last two treks

The bears are very smart, on my first trip a bear walked into out camp mid-afternoon shorty after we arrived and were setting up camp. The bear went over to an open pack pulled out the prepacked breakfast bag for the following day, tore open the bag, took the can of bacon and headed back to the woods.

As far as the leaders go, I suspect that by the end of the day the desire for sleep will over come all other desires.

General Philmont items from my trips and what I've seen from others
Train, train, train and then train some more.
As leaders its not just the ability to put in the miles everyday no matter what the weather, but being fresh and alert enough to deal with and even more important spot emergencies at their early stages. The adults that looked hammered at noon were probably the greatest risk to a trek.
be prepared to walk extra miles due to navigation errors.
Allow navigation errors to happen.
The 25 lb pack is a myth, expect 60 or more, and train that way.
With the BSA 2 deep policy I recommend 3 adults, as we have gone 1 adult down for part of the trip in the past. If you are doing a co-ed trip than 4 adults ( 2 each gender) so the trek can continue. Which also address the couple issue as no one wants to carry 3 tents for 4 adults.
Be in you Philmont boots by the end of march, and set the expectation for them to be worn for all outing and hikes.
Meet as a full group and hike multiple days a week, building up to full pack weight by mid-may, and carry that daily until your final shakedown prior to departure.
quarantine all packs after final shakedown so nothing can get unpacked and forgotten.
Did I mention training. Whitewater state park is a good training ground, as well as wild river and Afton state parks (permanent orienteering course). we did a few 3 night outings hiking the perimeter of the property trails (or subset based on the park), once Friday, twice each sat and sun, and again Monday, with a full camp setup and tear down everyday.
Good rain gear
solid set of base layers, and stocking cap. Day 5/6 we were around baldly in a cold rain, having rained the previous 4 days as well, and working to prevent hypothermia at the beginning of Aug.
Attend all of the programs, sing alongs, hootenanny's etc. they are part of what makes Philmont unique.

In the end all trips have been a lot of fun, and the Scouts grow a lot if we can prepare them and then stay out of their way.
To that end when we got to camp the adults set our tents and gear, and then sat down to have a cup of coffee while the Scouts set the rest of the camp. We told the crew leader we would help if requested. Usually around day 6 they would start asking us for an extra set of hands for the rain fly or bear bag.
One last note the CCS 15x15 fly and trekking poles worked great for a crew of 12. Larger and lighter than the one available at Philmont. Pragis has some in their end of year used gear sale, its where we picked ours up, as I know every $ is hard to come by for Unit expenditures.

I do get long winded............
 
10/18/2019 10:39PM
A
 
TechnoScout
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10/19/2019 04:27PM
drnatus: "I am the main "Adult Leader" for a crew going to Philmont. Two of the adults coming are a husband and wife. At Philmont the staff is uber careful about bears, going so far as declaring the ink in the stamps of the 'passport' book a "smellable".

The serious question is: are acts of spousal intimacy an attractant for bears?

As the guy in charge, do I:

A: Say nothing to the couple as the whole bear thing is way overblown.
B: Tell them any residue of said acts should be treated as a "smellable"
C: Forbid any marital relations while on the trail... Just kidding I am not doing "C"
D: Your advice here.
Thanks
"


I am in the camp with Flashback (Bob).
I have done Philmont twice. It is no place for mommy and daddy to go for wilderness boinking. Give me a frigging break. I say they stay home!
As far as bears go...Philmont treats this as SERIOUS business. You should treat it accordingly.

If you are going to Philmont, your total focus should be teaching the boys about managing a wilderness experience and not poking your wife...sorry...that is just insane.
 
10/19/2019 05:49PM
It’s not like it would smell like a bear’s natural food or anything.
 
andym
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10/19/2019 06:20PM
They are adults who have offered to spend their time helping the scouts. By going they are showing that the wilderness can be a shared experience for a couple and family. I think that is a great lesson for the kids. I would just focus on that.
 
10/20/2019 03:52AM
I wouldn’t want my kids going with a couple that can’t restrain themselves for a week in the woods. They should stay home! Chaperones are on duty 24/7 in my book.
 
billconner
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10/20/2019 05:35AM
Why do many assume this couple will copulate like rabbits? Or that they even have a son or daughter on the trek? Tried and convicted in absentia.
 
Zwater
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10/20/2019 12:13PM
billconner: "Why do many assume this couple will copulate like rabbits? Or that they even have a son or daughter on the trek? Tried and convicted in absentia."
+1
Everyone just relax. Geez...
 
TechnoScout
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10/20/2019 03:20PM
billconner: "Why do many assume this couple will copulate like rabbits? Or that they even have a son or daughter on the trek? Tried and convicted in absentia."

Bill:
"D: Your advice here."

He asked...I gave.
 
10/20/2019 06:23PM
A Wilderness Ranger once told me that sex in the BWCA was usually intense. I asked her why and she replied “mosquitos ”. Not understanding I replied mosquitos? Yes she said. Because of mosquitos most of the time the sex is in tents.
 
Savage Voyageur
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10/20/2019 06:59PM
Zulu: "A Wilderness Ranger once told me that sex in the BWCA was usually intense. I asked her why and she replied “mosquitos ”. Not understanding I replied mosquitos? Yes she said. Because of mosquitos most of the time the sex is in tents."


Hahahahaha
 
Ohiopikeman
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10/20/2019 07:57PM
I'm in the "A" camp:

A: Say nothing to the couple as the whole bear thing is way overblown.

Philmont goes above and beyond with respect to bear safety and what is considered a bear attractant. The example that had me scratching my head was duct tape; we had a small roll for miscellaneous repairs and this had to be hung every night. Before the days of Kevlar canoes, pretty much every aluminum rental in the BWCA had a couple of strips of duct tape stuck up by the bow paddler for emergency leak repairs to the canoes.... never heard about the bears eating up any of the canoes.

I've done one trek to Philmont and we had four adults including myself; each adult had a scout in the trek and two of the adults were husband and wife. We had zero issues with parents interfering with the scouts and I would say that each of our kids very much enjoyed having their folks along on the trek. Watching the sun rise on the Tooth of Time with your son is one heck of a good memory.

After hiking in the mountains 10~15 miles per day with a 45~60 lb pack and not showering for nine days, I'm guessing that acts of spousal intimacy will not be high of the list of things to do before getting some shut-eye.






 
billconner
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10/21/2019 06:05AM
If sex were a bear attractant, I suspect bears would be much more habituated to the staff tent areas.
 
mutz
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10/21/2019 01:00PM
TechnoScout: "billconner: "Why do many assume this couple will copulate like rabbits? Or that they even have a son or daughter on the trek? Tried and convicted in absentia."
Bill:
"D: Your advice here."

He asked...I gave."

Wondered that myself.
 
mjmkjun
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10/21/2019 03:47PM
humm.....is honey being used in the said act?
 
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