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Bear Down!

When a person goes hiking or camping out in the obscure wilderness, many things come to mind. Whether it is roasting a weenie and a marshmallow on a stick over an open fire or getting so far away from civilization that you can actually see the stars without any light pollution whatsoever.

But a man from the sandy beaches of San Diego unfortunately passed away last week when he came across a common sight in the Alaskan wilderness: a bear. An image of the northern woodlands, the bear mauled the man not for food, but out of fear. However, people need to be prepared for spur-of-the-moment animal attacks, just in case they do happen. Here are some tips from the United States Forest Service on how you can scare away a bear if one approaches you in its native habitat.

Image Credit: Octavarius.com

– Store food and garbage securely. When camping in the woods, many animals are searching for their native food whether it be berries, tree sap or other small creatures; however, human food is quite a rare delicacy for some animals. When you camp in the woods, store your food and garbage in a backpack or bag that blocks odors. Tie a rope to that bag and then throw it into a tall tree (about 30 feet tall) and then tie the other end of the rope to the tree to keep it secure.

– Yell, clap or bang pots to scare a bear away. When a bear comes near you or any creature, they expect it be to be scared because it is a predator. In order to get the bear away, the best thing to do is to be loud and crazy which will scare the bear. Use camping supplies like a whistle or pots and pans to assist you because sometimes, your voice is not enough.

– If you feel threatened, don’t run, but back away slowly. Even though bears are afraid of loud noises, they capitalize on running for their prey. In order to protect one’s self, always face the bear and breathe normally. Back away slowly like nothing’s happened and remain calm, cool and collected.

by Scott Sincoff

  • Aug 28th, 2012 at 11:12 | #1

    “be loud and crazy” – that I can do but whether I’d remember if I was confronted by a bear I don’t know, I’m more likely to squeal like a mouse!

  • Kirea
    Aug 28th, 2012 at 18:17 | #2

    Never yell or act agressive around a grizzly though… they’ll call your bluff. A different set of rules applies to them.

  • dubois gilles
    Aug 31st, 2012 at 12:03 | #3

    Remember that even grizzly can go up a tree, up to 12 feets high (or more ?); if he has branches to help him climb.

  • Joel
    Aug 31st, 2012 at 14:41 | #4

    Even with a grizzly hold your ground. If you have a pistol a round in the air may scare it away. Sometimes they will bluff charge you, hold your ground! If it isn’t a bluff charge wait till the last second. Put the pistol under the chin and fire! You won’t feel a thing!

  • Aug 31st, 2012 at 15:59 | #5

    Good resource for “what do to” from the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project: http://bearinfo.org/grizzlies/bear-safety/

    How to react to an attack is not about grizzly vs. black bear – it’s about aggressive vs. defensive attack.

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    May 2nd, 2013 at 11:37 | #6

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