Bear and/or Hiker Safety

Cool Bear Picture Found on the Internet

Cool Bear Picture Found on the Internet

For those unable to outrun their friends and family during a bear attack, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) office based in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, offers these suggestions to avoid encounters with black bears.

Lesson Number One: The Color of Black Bears

Black bears are sometimes brown, so don't be fooled. The USFS says black bears can even appear to be white or "blue glacier" colored.

In other words, if it looks like a bear, it's probably a bear no matter what color it is; especially if you've been eating odd mushrooms, forest berries or sharing "happy brownies" with hikers you don't know too well.

Lesson Number Two: How to Spot a Giant Black Bear at Night

The best way to spot a bear at night is to take a picture of the darkness around your campsite. If you see this reflection, congratulations! You've found a black bear!

Black Bear Lurking in the Woods

Black Bear Lurking in the Woods

Bear Avoidance Tips

  • Never keep food or scented items (such as shampoo) in a tent.
  • Keep a clean camp site by properly disposing of food scraps and garbage.
  • Do not leave food or garbage inside fire rings, grills or around your site.
  • Never leave food or coolers unattended, even in developed picnic areas.
  • If bear-proof containers are not available, store food and garbage inside, high in a tree that is away from camp, or in a car trunk.
  • If a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run. Get into a vehicle or a secure building.
  • If you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back using any object available. Playing dead is not appropriate.

Black bears can become a threat to humans, property and themselves. These encounters usually end poorly for the bear or the hiker.

Walk loudly and carry a big stick.

Click Here for More Black Bear Safety Tips

Click Here for Fun Tips on Camping Near Black Bears

Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, and News

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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