Saturday, November 10, 2012
Tips for Encounters with Bear
Unlike the man that I saw chasing the bear, I think most people get that feeling of vulnerability when they come face to face with a bear in the wilderness. For many, running into a bear may be something you may never experience. But for some, going for a run in the early morning or late evening may present the possibility of running into one. Wherever it may happen, it is always good to be aware of the things you can do to prevent an attack from happening.
Fortunately, I have never been charged by bear but have learned a few tips along the way that I would like to share.
1. Give the bear space.
'you don't come into my bubble, I won't come into yours' is my philosophy. You need to keep the mutual respect of giving the bear his space if you come upon one. Back up slowly, not turning your back to him. Try not to make eye contact though. They may feel threatened.
2. Never surprise him.
I am the leader of the pack when I hike with my family. When we are rounding corners where I can't see the other side, or going up hills where I don't see whats at the top, I always start talking loudly or sing songs. You never want to surprise a bear and have him not know your coming up on him. Many hikers will also tie bells to their bags or walking poles so they continually make noise as they step.
3. Carry pepper spray.
It is always a good idea to carry pepper spray in an easily assessible area of your bag. Make sure you know how to use it. You wouldn't want to spray yourself on accident.