(Colleen ) You’ve heard the phrase happy campers?
Well, the saying definitely holds true for this group,
even after 7 days out in the wilderness. (Young camper) We built a fire and we built
a dam. (Colleen) And these youngsters just got back
from an overnight where they had to hike a couple miles to their
site. What exactly is the appeal of camping in the
backcountry? (Jim Kobak) One of the things that makes backcountry
camping unique is that you’re out there.It’s a great
way to get people in an environment where everything is new
to them, and really kind of pushes their limit so to
speak in terms of not having a shower around, or not having
a bathroom around. (Colleen) No shower, no bathroom, but somehow
licensed New York State guide Jim Kobak convinced us
that camping out in the backwoods was an experience not to
be missed. (Colleen) We’ll fight over that later.
(Colleen ) Joined by a couple of brave members of our crew,
we pack up the tents, sleeping bags and extra clothes,
leave our cars behind for a night out in the backcountry
(Jim) We’ll let them know how many we have. And we’re in for a night.
(Colleen ) We’re in for the night, we’re going for the long haul.
(Colleen ) A few hundred yards into our hike it becomes clear
why you should only carry in what you really need.
These packs can get heavy. (Jim) Come on Tim, let’s go.
Don’t sit there you’ll cramp up. (Colleen ) Come on we’re almost there.
(Tim) Hey, l know a quicker way up the mountain. (Jim ) What’s that?
(Tim) Walk faster! (Tim) Are you able to camp anywhere?
(Jim)Actually, you’re not. We’re going to camp at a designated site,
a site that’s been put aside for wilderness camping.
Most wilderness areas you can camp 150 feet from either
trail or stream or road. But in the high peaks, you have
to camp at a designated site. (Colleen) And after a mile or so of hiking
we found one, just on the edge of beautiful ”Copperas Pond.”
(Jim) Look at this, gorgeous. What do you think about spending the night
here? (Colleen) This looks amazing.
(Tim ) I could think of worse spots. (Colleen) This looks great.
(Jim) We’re awfully close to the water, but l know this is
okay because we’ve got the disk over there telling us this is a
designated site. So this is a perfect place for us to set up
and enjoy the evening. (Colleen) Sounds good. I love the spot.
(Colleen ) A perfect setting for a night in the woods…
and a perfect location for minimum impact camping.
(Jim) Actually you can tell that the site’s been used,
there’s a big fire ring and there’s nice, pretty worn
out areas, which, it’s going to sound surprising, but in minimal impact,minimum impact, you’re
going to want to use a site that’s been heavily
used over a pristine site. So what we really need to
do now that we’re here, we have to set up, this is
going to be our home for tonight. So we’re going to have
a cooking area. (Colleen ) Kitchen.
(Jim) A kitchen…and we want to keep that separate from our
sleeping area, and that’s more to just keep the odors
of the food and stuff away from where we’re sleeping,
so in case we do get any visitors…they don’t visit us.
(Colleen) l want to sleep over there. (Jim) l think we’ll put one of our tents,
put a tent over there, we’ll set up a kitchen over here,
and then the big thing I have to do is find a place
to hang the bear bag. (Colleen ) The bear bag is to hang food away
from potential unwanted visitors.Black bears are
bold animals and will stop at nothing to get at your food.
So while some of the crew sets up camp, and while we still
have some daylight, Jim heads to an area a bit away
from our campsite to do a classic bear hang. lt’s a method used to hang food out of a bear’s
reach. (Jim) The secret to a good bear bag is a Ziploc
bag, a nice rock and some nice blackrope because
bears can’t see it. That’s the key.
(Colleen ) Of course, it helps to have an arm
like Roger Clemens, too. Jim throws a line about 30 feet
long over a branch in the tree.lt should be well out of
a bear’s reach–at least 15 feet in the air. Then he throws another rope over a branch
on a tree about 10 feet away. (Jim ) Ready to hoist?
(Colleen ) Ready to hoist. After tying the ropes together to a clip,
it’s time to send the bag up and out of the bear’s reach.
(Colleen ) Very clever,I like that Jim. (Jim) Alright, let’s go start cooking.
l think on the menu I’ve got a bunch of different things,
I’ve got some burritos, l’ve got some soup, l’ve got some,
ahh some couscous, and taco burger combo. So we’ll try a bunch of different things.
What I’ll do, I’ll set up the stove and get that going.
I am going to need some water, we’ll, we’ll use our lake right here for our little
pot. (Tim ) So it doesn’t matter that it’s not
filtered? (Jim ) Nope, we’ll make sure it’s at a nice
rolling boil. (Colleen) You can get one of these white gas
stoves at your local hardware store,and it has enough
gas in it to cook a weekend’s worth of meals for a party
of 5. (Chris Costas) Hello! How are you guys doing?
(Colleen ) About midway through dinner, we get a visit from
New York State forest ranger Chris Costas– part of his job is to make campers aware of
the potential dangers of black bears in wilderness areas.
(Chris) ln some areas the bear hang’s not really working
anymore because the bears have gotten smart to them–
Unfortunately in areas where the bears have grown up
with that typical bear hang,they’ve learned how to get
at that food, so even the best bear hangs aren’t working.
(Colleen) The recommended solution is to use bear
resistant canisters like this one. lt’s the ideal method
for storing food, toiletries and any items with a scent.
(Chris) What’s neat about it is the bear just can’t get
a grip on it. lt’s got a realsmooth surface with no edges
to it really, so the bear can’t get his teeth on it.
Can maybe pick it up but can’t really hold it too well.
So what you do with this is you fill it with your food and
then you stash it about 100 feet from your campsite is good.
(Colleen) Mmm…that looks good! (Colleen ) Better informed about how to store
our food, we’re able to eat witha little less worry.
And it tastes great. Camping in the backcountry doesn’t
necessarily mean you can’t go gourmet. The whole experience
is all the better because we came prepared. (Jim) Backcountry camping is different than
car camping because you’ve got to do a lot more preparation.
You’ve got to prepare alot more personal gear; you’ve got to prepare the food correctly.
You’ve got to be a lot more cognizant of wild animals
and bears and things like that.You have to know where
you’re going. You have to make sure you know all the regulations.
And you have to be prepared to be away from everything, while
when you’re car camping, you’ve got your car right there.
(Colleen ) After storing leftover food and waste in our
bear hang, it’s time for some real camping. A roaring fire, which I had no help in building,
takes us through the evening. It’s the perfect end
to a perfect backwoods camping experience.