'Bearly ready': Scouts Canada pokes fun at Canadians' lack of camping preparedness

(Scouts Canada)

Scouts Canada is encouraging Canadians to brush up on their outdoor skills after a recent survey found that most residents were "bearly ready" for what's required to survive in the wilderness.

The co-ed youth organization surveyed 1,000 Canadians and found that many respondents rated their own camping skills as poor to potentially dangerous.

About 36.3 per cent of respondents said their camping competency was "OK," while 39 per cent said their skills ranged from "poor" to "dangerous."

Scouts Canada said nearly one-in-four respondents also would not know how to react to encountering a black bear, with 23.2 per cent citing dangeorus responses and 14.9 per cent saying they simply wouldn't know how to react.

Some 8.6 per cent said they'd run from a black bear, 5.6 per cent chose the "Play Metallica on iPhone and live stream" survey response, 5.5 per cent said they'd stare into the bear's eyes to scare them, and 3.2 per cent said they'd "attack first," which Scouts Canada says is "an extremely bad idea."

"We’re having a little fun with this survey, but the real point is that we wanted to understand the gaps that Canadians are facing in their connection with nature and important outdoor skills, and how Scouting meets that need by grounding kids in real-world experiences that prepare them for life," said Siobhan Ward, youth program specialist with Scouts Canada.


The survey conducted by Scouts Canada also found that more than half of respondents said setting up a tent would take them at least 30 minutes, or an unknown amount of time. Roughly 27.7 per cent said it would take them 10 to 25 minutes to set up a tent, while the remaining 11.4 per cent said they could set up a tent within five minutes.

Scouts Canada is also reminding campers that the best way to dry out gear is to wring it out and hang it, since nearly 50 per cent of survey respondents said they didn't know how to properly dry wet gear, while about 15 per cent chose incorrect techniques – like flapping gear out or placing it within three inches of a fire.

"When families and youth in Canada are empowered with skills to enjoy fun outdoor adventures with confidence and safety, they are also set up for success in the world as resilient, capable and well-rounded individuals," said Ward.