In the United States, there are four types of bears – black, brown, cinnamon, and polar bears.
These creatures are considered to be apex predators, which means they’re at the top of their food chain.
For this reason, it’s incredibly important to learn how to survive an encounter with one of these beasts in order to avoid certain death or serious injury.
Read on for a step-by-step guide on surviving a bear encounter.
Common mistakes while surviving a bear attack
It’s incredibly easy to make mistakes when it comes to surviving a bear attack. The following are some of them: First, your first reaction should never be to run.
Yes, you read that right. Research has shown that fleeing is actually one of your least effective strategies for survival—especially if you’re dealing with a black bear.
Here’s why: Bears can run faster than us, so they’ll always win a race, plus they’re more likely to pursue us if we try and run away from them.
When faced with an attacking bear (no matter which kind), your best bet is to stand still and play dead.
Make sure that all members of your party stay still and quiet—it only takes one person freaking out for things to go very wrong in a hurry.
Things to consider when bear attacks
1. Size of bear
Make sure you have knowledge on how big of a bear it is, that way you can know what to do when it starts attacking.
There are some people who say that bears attack humans if they get too close to their cubs, but there is no concrete proof for those theories.
If it’s dark out or you are in a forest where there is not much light shining through, sometimes it’s hard to see how big of a bear it actually is, but knowing that beforehand will make sure you stay calm and know exactly what to do when needed.
Staying away from all bears should be your first option if possible because there are instances where attacks happen even though people were trying to avoid them. 4.
Signs of bear activity
Hearing of a bear foraging or growling. -Witnessing fresh bear scat, claw marks on trees, tracks, or other signs of bear activity. -Seeing a bear in any season. If you encounter a bear while hiking, keep your dog close by your side and don’t approach it.
The odds are slim that an animal with acute senses and razor-sharp claws will attack you; but if you do encounter one while hiking, follow these steps to keep yourself safe: Do not run!
Bears are easily startled and will react if they feel threatened.
Stand still with your eyes on the animal at all times; slowly back away without turning your back to it or running as doing so may provoke an attack.
Also Read: How fast do deer run?
Traveling in bear country
Bears are beautiful, awe-inspiring creatures.
Unfortunately, they’re also dangerous and can attack humans. Although bear attacks are rare, it’s important to be prepared for a situation where you come face-to-face with one.
This post covers everything you need to know about surviving a bear encounter.
Whether you live in an area known for black bears or grizzlies, want to hike through a bear country, or hunt for the game; there is helpful information here that could potentially save your life!
The gear you need while Hiking
It may sound cliche, but it’s important to always be prepared while hiking. That means bringing enough food and water to keep you going if you find yourself in a situation that lasts longer than expected.
A first aid kit can also help you out in case of injury or sickness, as well as a compass or GPS to tell you where you are should your hike take an unexpected turn.
But don’t overdo it. Pack light! Just make sure that everything is in your pack (or on your person) before heading off—otherwise, it might not be there when you need it most.
Bear Attack Statistics
While you might picture bears as something that only exists in faraway locales, they’re actually extremely common throughout North America.
According to National Geographic, there are at least 1.4 million black bears in North America—and between 300,000 and 500,000 grizzlies.
Bears generally aren’t interested in humans—in fact, most black bear encounters end with no injury whatsoever—but if a mama bear is startled and her cubs are threatened by your presence, you could face some big trouble!
Therefore it’s important to know how to protect yourself from bear attacks.
Know Your Bears
Most bear encounters are with black bears and grizzlies. Black bears can stand 5 to 6 feet tall and can weigh up to 500 pounds.
Grizzlies, also known as brown bears, usually stand about 7 feet tall and weigh 700 pounds or more on average.
But if you’re in a bear country (and most people living in Alaska and Canada are), you could run into a polar bear or one of three subspecies of brown bear—grizzly, Kodiak, or polar.
Polar bears live only in Arctic regions but wander into northern Canada and Alaska when food is scarce.
They can grow to be 10 feet tall at their shoulders but typically weigh less than 1,000 pounds due to their high-fat diets.
Prevention : The Best Way To Stay Safe
The best way to stay safe is through prevention. Here are some suggestions for avoiding bears altogether: Stay on main roads, avoid hiking alone and carry bear spray.
If you do see a bear, back away slowly while facing it; never turn your back or run (that might trigger a predatory response). Always report any encounters to park rangers.
How to survive a Bear attack
The chances of a bear attacking you are very slim, but it can happen. Here’s what to do if you encounter a bear in its natural habitat.
Don’t run away from an attacking bear; that just alerts it to your presence and makes it more likely to chase you.
Stay still and don’t scream, talk or wave your arms—bears instinctively associate those actions with play behaviors, so they may interpret them as signs of aggression.
Give any bears plenty of room—don’t get between them and their cubs or food sources—and back away slowly at first, until they seem comfortable with your movements.
While bear attacks are rare, it’s important to know what to do if you encounter a bear.
Attacks most often occur when humans surprise a bear at close range (25-75 feet).
If you find yourself face-to-face with a black bear, stay calm and give yourself time to plan your next move.
In most cases, if you’re in an area where bears are used to seeing people, they’ll likely turn and run before anything happens.
But it’s always good to be prepared. So what can you do? According to Leave No Trace, here’s how best to handle any encounter with a black bear
Black bears rarely attack people. In fact, they are so fearful of people that they usually run away as soon as they sense our presence.
The best way to prevent a bear encounter is to avoid hiking or camping near streams and lakes where black bears get their food.
It is also important to store food properly in order to avoid attracting them.
If you do find yourself in an unexpected encounter with a black bear, it is vital that you play dead, which means lying face down on your stomach and covering your neck with your hands.
Above all else, if a black bear attacks—whether you provoke it or not—don’t fight back!