Warmer temperatures mean that the Earth is waking up after winter’s deep sleep. Deciduous trees are breaking dormancy with fresh displays of foliage and flowers, and the outdoors are brimming with blooming vegetation. Bears are emerging from hibernation and prowling for sustenance. Although the majority of those who enjoy outdoor recreation never have a bear encounter, it’s nonetheless wise to be prepared whenever you’re in the wilderness.
A bear attack is rare. In fact, a tragic fall is much more likely to happen then a bear attack. In the last ten years, there have been only 25-30 reported cases of people being fatally attacked by a bear in North America. Bear attacks almost always occur due to defensive reasons like defending cubs or protecting food.
One of the most important things to realize when developing a bear defense strategy is that although the majority of bears are predictable, there is always about a 5% wild card with bear behavior. Also, even though bear populations are most concentrated in rural parts of the American West, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, there have nonetheless been sightings in all states except for Hawaii. Making a habit of carrying bear protection spray as part of your camping, picnicking, and hiking bear safety strategy minimizes chances of actual bear attacks during periods of outdoor recreation. Below is a slideshow regarding bear safety tips designed to keep you and your companions as safe as possible while spending time in the great outdoors.
While out in nature, remember that nature is WILD. There are no cages, bars, or ravines that will protect you from wildlife. Do yourself a favor and always be alert, pack smart, and educate yourself on animal attacks. Pack a bear bell and bear spray, keep food and fragranced hygiene products in bear-proof containers, and follow the bear safety tips listed.
To read a previous post I wrote about protecting yourself from bears, click here.
The wild is an amazing place to live in and explore. Be sure to pack smart and hike safe.
source: sabrered.com, thealaskalife.com, wikipedia.org
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