Bear Encounters in the Woods

Fall is the perfect time to hike and camp, especially along the Appalachian Trail.

It's easy to forget that we are tromping around on land that lions, tigers and bears believe is theirs. As when we visit our other neighbors -- especially less civilized relatives on major holidays -- we are expected to bring food and share it.

Bears can be especially perky these days. That's why the U.S. Forest Service is encouraging campers and visitors to the national forests in North Carolina to practice black bear safety when wandering in the woods.

The warning comes on the heels of six bear encounters on the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest over the past two weeks. The incidents occurred in the Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam, and Shining Rock Wilderness areas just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. In these cases the bears took food from camp sites. While no injuries were reported, visitor's tents and packs were damaged.

While black bear attacks on people are rare, such attacks have sometimes resulted in human fatalities.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to prevent bear interactions by practicing the following safety tips:

  • Do not store food in tents.
  • Properly store food by hanging it in a tree or in hard-sided secure container.
  • Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills or other areas of your campsite.
  • Do not leave food unattended.

Meeting bears in the wild lessens the likelihood that "you-know-who" will EVER go into the woods with you again, so we encourage you to click on the helpful link below. Thank you.

Click Here for Seven Rules for Camping & Hiking Near Bears

Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail, and Hiking

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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Published Oct 17, 2012.