What to do if you encounter a black bear?
You can enjoy your adventure to the fullest only when you are confident about encountering dangerous animal comfortably while camping or hiking. Whenever you are camping or hiking in the wilderness, you are likely to encounter a bear. So, it’s very important to know how to deal with the situation keeping your head cool and calm because panicking might only make it worse.
So, whenever it happens to face a bear, remain as composed as possible.
Your action will depend on many things- the species of the bear, your surroundings, and your expertise. To deal a bear-encounter comfortably, follow these simple guidelines:
Avoid bear altogether:
Bears usually want to avoid human contact and hence, by avoiding them altogether, you can avert an unpleasant encounter.
To be in the safe zone, avoid moving through bear-habituated area silently and alone. Try to travel in groups with lots of sounds- like talking or singing. And obviously, remain alert all the time.
If you bump into a bear surprisingly, remain calm and keep your bear spray ready.
Try to figure out what type of bear it is. It will help you to deal with it accordingly. First, as a general rule of thumb, follow simple basics like if the bear is at a distance, give as much space as possible. If possible, turn around and leave the way you came. Or, simply walk away giving the bear a wide berth. But never try to approach it or take a photo.
And if the bear is close to you, like in your campground or on the trail, compose yourself and evaluate the situation confidently. Back away slowly, but never try to run. Keep an eye on the bear, most probably, it will flee.
Survive an attack:
If your encounter turns into a stand-off, you need to determine, whether the bear is a black bear or brown one. One thing to keep in mind is that the only color is not the determining factor, as a black bear can be brown colored and vice versa. There are some physical characteristics that will tell you the species of the bear. Black bears are usually smaller and have smaller claws while brown ones are much bigger and have a distinctive lump behind their neck and their claws and paws are also bigger in size.
Black bears are timid in nature, so if you can, try to escape. Or if you don’t see any option to escape, fight back. As the bear gets closer, strike on its nose and face with a rock, a stick or whatever you find. If you don’t get anything near you, use your fists. The bear will flee as it doesn’t tend to be aggressive.
On the contrary, brown bears can be quite aggressive and large in size, it won’t be wise to fight back. Instead, you can lay down on the ground, acting as dead. Put your shoulder over the head and spread your legs so that it can’t turn you over. Leave your backpack on to protect your shoulder and back. Remain as still and motionless as possible. The bear will lose interest in you and walk away.
Use bear spray:
One of the best ways to deal with a bear is using a bear spray. This powerful pepper spray can stop a bear immediately and compel them to back off. But, using this spray needs some precaution and trial. Or else, you might end up exposing yourself to the chemicals. When you need to use the spray, don’t wait for it to come closer. Spray from a distance as it takes some time to show the effect.
Don’t waste your time on aiming its eyes, nose, and face, just spray thoroughly or else, the bear may approach you while correcting the aim.
However, to ensure exciting camping or hiking, get yourself educated on how to deal adverse situation. Bears are a generally calm natured animal but might get aggressive because of assuming you as a threat. Knowing how to deal with such adverse situation can go a long way towards handling it calmly and getting you home hale and hearty.
Once you feel comfortable handling such a situation, your adventure-trips will be more exciting and enjoyable, see more on review night for more about outdoor adventure.
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