Bears: How to Avoid Them

Home & Family, Outdoors
on February 9, 2012

A peaceful night camping in the great outdoors or a refreshingly, vigorous hike can turn chaotic in an instant if a bear is involved. According to Discovery News, deadly encounters with these animals are on the rise, as humans have taken over much of the natural territory of bears. Knowing how to avoid them is the best strategy for staying safe and getting the most out of your outdoor experience.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the safety and survival of nature lovers is dependent on staying as far away from bears as possible. Here are five critical tips.

Proactivity. Give the local parks department a call or check its website for the latest in regional bear activity. Any research you can do ahead of the trip will ensure a safe, fun, smooth running excursion.

Hang 'em high. Suspend food from a tree limb in sealed storage containers about 100 feet up. You’ll need to bring a really long rope. Use bear-proof storage containers from specialty outdoor and sports shops. Don’t bring bear attractants. Food is the main reason for bear attacks, so avoid bringing food that smells strongly. Opt for dry foods that are completely sealed in storage bags.

Togetherness. Groups should stay together. Do not hike or wander off on your own. Bears are less likely to attack groups of three or more. Be loud, as it alerts any bears in the area that you are there. If you do not surprise them, they will tend to avoid you.

Watch out. Keep a lookout for any signs that a bear has been around. Know what bear tracks, bear scat, and bear claw digging and scratching look like. Advanced knowledge of these indicators could save your life.

Anti-bear spray. If you can’t avoid a bear populated area, bring bear spray and practice using it. You don’t want to be learning how to operate the spray canister when a bear is nearby.