Advice from the RMSP 2011 FB Page from Montana Native Kinsey Chamberlin:
"In Montana you get all kinds of weather!! The joke here is if you don't like the weather, wait 10 min. This summer you can expect an average of 80F. So you'll want to pack mostly warm weather clothes, but we will be spending a lot of time outdoors in the evening (sunsets here are amazing in the mountains) so you'll want to pack for cooler nights. If you plan on staying for the whole course, until the end of October, I would pack for some cold days (not long underwear days, but cold.) I will be packing for all weather: rain, cold mountain hikes, and of course lots of shorts! I find the best way to fair weather changes here is to layer clothing and always keep a sweater and pants nearby! As far as clothes go that is the best I can tell you, however more important to surviving here in the summer is what you carry, not what you wear. In short don't forget your bug spray or your bear mace! I hear our first lecture will be about bears, which is really important here, especially spending so much time outdoors. I for one worry about bears more than anything. I get really into my camera and forget to look around, however my dog is a valuable alarm system and has saved my butt a couple of times. I hope that helps with your questions. See ya soon!"
Dorothy I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!
Did she say 'bear mace'? First of all, I'm pretty sure you can't buy 'bear mace' in Moundsville West Virginia and I certainly don't have a can of that just laying around! Second of all, and probably most important, why am I going to need bear mace!!? I had no idea that there may be a possibility that I could potentially be close enough to a bear in the wild where bear mace would be my weapon of choice! Call me crazy, but it never occurred to me (until now that is) that I would need a survival guide for the wilderness of Montana. I'm not exactly sure what you would classify me as, I'm not a girly girl, but I'm not Miss Outdoor's either! Guess I'll find out when I get there!
More advice from the RMSP 2011 FB Page, this time from Leah Manzari:
"Just use common sense - be aware of your surroundings, make noise, hike in groups of 3 or more, carry bear spray at all times - and you should have nothing to worry about with the bears!"
[My thoughts: that seems reassuring, thanks Leah, but then she continues...]
"But, every year, people do have deadly encounters up here. If you want to get your pants scared off, look for a copy of Night of the Grizzly."
[um no thanks...]