Encounters between humans and bears are quite rare, as bears are very cautious and shy animals. However, when people offer them food or make sudden movements, they are taking bears out of their comfort zone and they can become aggressive.
Below, you can read a guide on what to do when you have a close encounter with a bear.
In Case You Go Camping
When you’re in an area where bears live, try not to carry too much stuff. Keep your food properly stored and sealed as much as possible to avoid attracting bears with the smell. Once you’re ready to leave, leave the garbage in the correct spot, as there are special bear-proof trash containers.
Clean all your cooking utensils thoroughly. Wash the grill, the tables you’ve used, and even the clothes wore while cooking. Wash everything immediately or put them away. Before you go to sleep or when you leave, make sure you lock everything up tightly. That way you’ll avoid any bears coming in.
If you see any bear tracks or droppings anywhere, get out of there. If you see a bear, make loud noises to make it go away. You can use pots, horns, or yell. Don’t run.
In Case You Go Hiking
Bears will always notice your presence before you do, as their big nose, sense of smell, and instinct are more powerful than yours. Keep it together and don’t walk alone, and if you bring dogs, keep them close to you.
Be more careful during sunrise and sunset. If you meet a bear, remember not to feed it. Under no circumstances should you go near a bear, even if it’s a little one.
In case the bear doesn’t leave, remember not to turn your back or run away. Keep talking to it and move your head and hands to make it go away. If the bear stomps, huffs, or pops its jaws, it’s trying to tell you that it needs space. Keep facing him and walk away slowly.
If the bear comes within 40 feet, spray it with bear spray. Do not turn your back on the bear, even if it’s attacking. Fight with everything you have at hand. Always keep a safe distance from the bear even if you take pictures. Although these encounters are usually extremely rare, following these tips will allow you to react accordingly in case it happens.