Backpacking is fun. You want to do it in all places, and it won't be a surprise if you arrange one in a bear country, after all the animals enjoy the polar regions which happen to be the best hiking places. The presence of a bear should not be a reason to dump the idea! You need to know some facts and have some preparation, and all
Are you planning a trip to a bear country? Of course, but first, learn these insightful tips that will make your stay to be memorable. After all, no one wishes to have ugly bear encounters. So, stay comfortable, and be ready for the insights that will help you handle the bear encounter.
Preparations for backpacking in a bear country
Some regions have bear regulations, and it will be a milestone if you check it from the area to help you carry the right gear. You may need to take bear canisters if the region allows.
You should find out if the camping area has bear poles or metal lockers in the backcountry sites. This knowledge has a role when you are determining the right gear that will work best for you. It may be necessary to carry the bear sprays when you are in bear country, but some parks will not allow bear sprays.
Avoiding bears while hiking
You are in a bear park, and you should always be on the lookout for bears. It won't be a surprise, because already you have the information. Check the traces like the fresh tracks, torn-up logs, fresh claws, torn up marks on trees, scats and tracks. Your park will help you find out the type of bears you expect to meet in the park. When bears are not manageable, the management will often close the park, and you should stay out of these areas.
Have prior knowledge about your bear country
When backpacking in an area, you should have information about the area. You should learn about the possible habitats that may harbour bears. Bear will prefer comfortable places that will accord them safe rest, food and better sleep. Bushy areas are favourable, and you should be on the lookout for bears in such places. Some features can hide a bear such as tall bushes, pulleys and boulder fields.
Bears often feed and sleep, and you may encounter one while you are hiking. They may not notice you when they are feeding. Be mindful of places close to flowering plants, berries, water sources and other areas that may harbour bears.
Group hiking is better
Group hiking implies better vigilance. You won't encounter surprise encounters with bears because at least one of you can notice a passing bear. Bears can also run away in instances where they see a crowd because it is frightening to them. You also improve safety when you are two or three. The bear attack is dangerous, and you won't wish to risk your life with such unfriendly encounters. Walk with friends, talk, sing or even try anything that will effectively announce your presence in the park.
Talk while hiking
The intention here is to stay safe from any bear surprise attack, and you should be thinking of announcing your presence before you surprise the bear. It won't be good if you surprise a bear because the bear will act negatively for safety. You may talk with partners or even sing occasionally or even clap your hands as you approach a bushy area. Be mindful when it is windy or rainy because these conditions make sit hard for bears to notice you. It will be best if you announce your presence earlier. You can carry the bear bells around in your backpack to help them move away as you close near.
Surprising a bear may be dangerous
You don’t want to cause any reaction to a bear. When you see a bear approaching, it will be wise to calmly move away from the scene before the bear notices you. Getting close to the bear may frighten it and causes it to attack you due to fright. Bears are harmless when they are not provoked. Walk as far as possible as you approach a bear, and it will be best if they won't notice you.
Avoid hiking at dawn, dusk, and night
A bear will be hunting during the dawn, dusk and night. You don’t have to be hiking all the time. Hike in hours that may not be favourable for bears to hunt. Try a daytime hike and avoid night hikes.
Watch out for sows (adult mother bears) with cubs
You may find a cub or even a pair of cubs while you are out hiking. Whenever you find the cubs, the sow will be nearby. You should run away as fast as possible. Sows will fiercely defend their cubs, and you don’t want to be a reason for such an ugly scene. The sow might get aggressive, and you should always be ready to defend yourself in instances of a sow attack.
To conclude, safety should always be your priority when you are hiking in the park. Always be prepared to handle bear attacks. It may be a good idea to cancel the journey when the bears are uncontrollable. The best control mechanism that you can carry when you are in a bear country is a bear spray because it contains red peppers that will affect the eyes of the bear. You can only use the bear sprays to rebuff the attacking bear because it will affect their eyes, but it may affect your eyesight too, and you should think of goggles when walking along the bear trails.