How to Avoid a Bear Attack: Dealing with Bears in the Wild
Bear Attacks: While they don’t happen often; when they do, they can be quite horrific.
Awareness is the first step in Surviving a Bear Attack
The best way to survive a bear attack is to never put yourself in a situation where you are likely to be attacked. When traveling through bear country, that means keeping your distance and being aware that you are in their surroundings; so tread lightly.
- Always keep your distance: It may sound like common sense, but most people are attacked because they fail to give the bear room.
- Never seek out a Bear: Unless you’re hunting them, there really isn’t a good reason to seek them out. Every year people are killed because they thought it would be cool to get that picture of a wild bear. These are wild animals; go take your selfie somewhere else!
What to do if you come upon a Bear in the Wild
If you travel through bear country, there’s a good chance you may eventually come upon a bear.
- When hiking through bear country, you want to make noise. Making noise while hiking, will help make sure you don’t accidentally sneak up on a bear. Make noise, sing, talk loudly, or wear a bell when hiking.
- If you spot a bear, and the bear is unaware of you, back away slowly and quietly. Once you’re out of the bears line of sight get the hell out of there!
- If you see a bear when hiking and it notices you, shouting is usually enough to scare it away. If shouting fails to scare it off, back away slowly. NEVER turn your back to a bear; doing so will kick in it’s natural predator instinct. Bears run faster than 30 mph; You will not be able to outrun it.
- Never come in between a cub and it’s a mother. This is a recipe for disaster.
Safety Precautions when Traveling Though Bear Country
- Bears have an awesome sense of smell! When camping, use bear resistant containers and make sure you store your food away from camp. Never leave food inside your tent, doing so could attract an unwanted visitor when you’re most vulnerable.
- Carrying bear spray is always a good idea when walking through bear country.
- Wearing a pack, even when day hiking, can provide some extra space between you and the bear. (Keep in mind, I said space NOT PROTECTION). If the bear starts coming towards you, throw the bag onto the ground. Often times the bear will become distracted long enough to allow you to slowly back away and escape.
- Check with the area Ranger Station for current bear sightings, locations, and any tips that they have.
- Bears are Wild Animals, they are unpredictable. Even the best tips may fail when it comes to dealing with a wild animal. In Bear Country, carrying a high-power handgun on your side is something I think everyone should do.