The unexpected is part of nature. If you’re out hiking, you probably don’t expect to come across a bear but if it happens, what would you do? Keeping your cool and being extremely cautious are essential in this situation, but there’s more to it.
Tips to Manage a Bear Encounter
Bears are incredibly intimidating animals which happen to be not so great at identifying their personal space. If they feel threatened or consider you are within their defensive perimeter, they could react aggressively and attack, although most encounters rarely end up in this situation.
If you go on an outdoor trip, whether you are hiking or camping, if you come across a bear, all that matters is how you react. If you’re not sure what to do when a bear is near, here are some tips for you:
Avoid Solo Outdoor Activities
Especially when hiking, backpacking or camping, you should always bring someone along. It is understandable that you might want this time to be all for yourself, but immersed in the outdoors all on your own, greatly increases the risk factor.
It can be hard, but try to stay calm, as much as possible. Getting worked up and allowing your nerves to get the best of you will only cloud your judgment, which is the opposite of what you need at a time like that.
Avoid Abrupt Movements
Whatever you do, don’t run. Any fast movements will trigger the bear. If you encounter a bear in front of you, back away slowly, ideally in the direction you were coming from but never give your back to the bear. Keep your eyes on it so you can see its reactions. If you must talk, use a soft voice to avoid disturbing the bear.
Stay Away from Cubs
Baby bears are not pets. They might be cute but they’re not cuddly. Plus, behind every cub, there is a very alert and potentially aggressive mother bear.
Avoid Eye Contact
Don’t look at the bear in the eyes, as this seems confrontational to them.
If Attacked, Play Dead
If the worse were to happen and you are attacked by a bear, always play dead instead of fighting back. This increases the chances of the bear losing interest and eventually leave you alone.
Always study the area you plan on visiting on your next hike or camping trip. If you ever encounter a bear you have to be very strategic and careful.