Bears are very dangerous creatures, but they aren’t necessarily looking to make you their lunch. There are a number of different ways you can keep bears out of your camp or protect yourself if you happen upon one while hiking through the woods. Coyote Peterson, author of “Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World” offers some tips and tricks for staying safe during a bear encounter. Following a transcript of the video.
Coyote Peterson: Bears! Rawr!
Hi, I’m Coyote Peterson. I’m the host of the Brave Wilderness Channel on YouTube.
Bears are always a tricky subject. Because they’re mammals, and mammals can be very, very unpredictable. And obviously, if you’re out there hiking or camping in bear country, safety in your camp is priority number one.
And oftentimes the way that people run into bears is the bears come to them. So if you’re out there, and you set up a camp, there a lot of things you can do to make sure that the bears are not attracted to you.
What they’re attracted to is the smells. So if you have food, it’s important to keep it double ziplocked up or in Tupperware containers. And then, of course, you can always put all of your food into a single bag and hoist it up into a tree. Keep that pack several feet or yards away from your camp as well, just in case something comes and gets curious.
The bear is looking for the food. Whether it be your peanut butter and jelly or your Snickers bar, it’s not necessarily coming in there looking to make a meal out of you.
There are multiple different things you can do when it comes to encountering a bear. Now if you stumble upon a bear, and that bear does not see you, the best thing to do is slowly back step yourself out of the situation. Do not take out your phone and think, “Ooh! There’s a bear! I’m gonna get a photograph of it!” You see a bear. That bear hasn’t seen you, make sure you safely and quietly get yourself out of the environment and go as far as you can in the opposite direction.
Now if you do encounter a bear, and that bear does see you, more times than not, the bear is more afraid of you than you should be of it. And it will take off on its own.
However, if it makes a threat towards you, make yourself look big. Scream, act crazy, do whatever you can. Whether it’s a black bear, or brown bear, grizzly, anything like that. If you can scare the bear away, it’s gonna be a good day.
If you are attacked, do not try to outrun a bear. I know a lot of people out there will say, “I could … I could outrun a bear!” You can’t outrun a bear. You’re not gonna outrun a bear. Don’t even try.
The thing to do is to curl yourself into the smallest ball that you can, and protect your head and your neck. And just hold on, because it’s probably going to be very painful. But in many instances, bears just want to eliminate the threat. And if you play dead, curled up in a ball, oftentimes the bear will end up leaving and going on.
Give yourself a few minutes, stay there, endure through the pain, and once you know that the animal has moved off into the underbrush, that’s when you quietly get yourself up and you go seek medical attention as quick as possible.