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10 Tips For Surviving a Bear Encounter

07 Jun

Malaysian_Sun_Bear Camping and wilderness seem to go hand in hand.  It just doesn’t have the same appeal when you think about camping in the parking lot at your local Wal-mart.

Enjoying the wilderness also means taking on the potential risks that come with it.  There are any number of dangers in the wild – from poison ivy to wild animals and everything in between.

Bears definitely fall into that category.  They are beautiful creatures to observe, but they deserve a great deal of respect and caution.  We’re going to look at some tips for surviving a bear encounter while camping.

Cute and cuddly looking, bears have a very deceiving appearance.  They are dangerous predators that can seriously injure a human being in the blink of an eye.  There are a number of bear species that you may encounter, and the following tips could save your life if you happen to run into a one of them on your travels.

  1. Stand still.  Sudden movements could cause a bear to pursue you.
  2. Face the animal, but don’t stare.  Staring gives the animal the impression that you are challenging it.
  3. Make noise. Try using a real deep voice if you don’t have any type of noise maker with you.  Shouting is often enough to scare a bear away.  If you are noisy while you are hiking, it will reduce the risk of sneaking up on a bear.
  4. Try to appear as large as possible.  If the bear thinks you are bigger than it is, it may become scared of you.
  5. If you see a bear, keep your distance.  Never try to get closer to the animal, that is just inviting trouble.
  6. If you spot a bear and he doesn’t spot you, slowly and quietly back away and create a distance from the bear.
  7. Never turn your back to a bear.  This can cause the bear’s natural predatory instincts to kick in and attack you.
  8. Never get between a cub and it’s mother.  If you see a cub, the mother is not usually far away.
  9. If it’s legal in your area, carry a can of pepper spray when visiting bear country.
  10. If a bear is chasing you, throw something onto the ground.  Sometimes the bear will become distracted by what you dropped.  Loosing a backpack is worth saving your life.

Remember that bears aren’t usually out looking for you.  Most often a bear will be out and about in search of food.  Unfortunately, where there are humans, there is usually food.  Camp sites are a great place for  a bear to find a meal.

On the flip side, it is good to note that, statistically speaking, you are more likely to be in a car accident than encounter a bear.  It does happen though, and being prepared could mean the difference between life and death.

Bears are amazing creatures, but they come with plenty of risks.  Remember, these are just tips and will not cover every situation.  All you can do is try to be as prepared as possible.  Stay safe!

Share you bear encounter tips with us in the comments.

 

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