Bells really put off bears
Rules of conduct in the realm of bears
Safety rules for the hike
As a rule, the park rangers provide information about necessary precautionary measures and correct rules of conduct. If you are planning a hike, you can often register with the rangers, leave your name and home address and indicate the route of the planned tour. Just in case, of course.
The top priority is to avoid any contact with bears. In particular, feeding the animals is strictly forbidden. You should also do without a photo "arm in arm with the bear". Extreme caution should be exercised if fresh traces, such as excrement or footprints, are discovered.
A good measure to avoid encountering a bear is to go hiking (and camping) in a group. This is because many people make more noises, which usually prevent the bears from approaching.
Singing, whistling, and loudly chatting are also good ways to warn the bear and avoid unexpected encounters. Some bear connoisseurs swear by a (bear) bell that, when attached to their luggage, regularly creates noise when hiking.
Camping in bear sanctuary
Bears have a very good sense of smell. That's why campsites that smell of food and other things are a kind of delicatessen for the omnivores. To reduce the spread of odors, the campsite must be kept very clean. Food, rubbish and other items of equipment are best kept in airtight containers or in tamper-evident containers, which are often provided by the rangers.
The luggage should be attached to a tree at least 50 meters from the campsite (at least four meters above the ground and about one meter from the tree trunk). It is also important to pitch the tent far away (at least 50 meters) from the cooking area.
The preparation of strongly fragrant meals should be avoided if possible. Rubbish must not be buried under any circumstances, as the bears can smell it and dig it up again. Perfumes, soaps and deodorants are also tempting for the fine bear nose.
Eye to eye with the bear
Usually bears approach a campsite out of curiosity and flee as soon as they see people. But not every bear can be deterred, for example older bears or so-called "problem bears" who have got used to being close to humans. Shouting or waving your arms can help drive them away.
Bear repellants (pepper spray, noise makers like pipes) are also recommended by rangers. If the bear does not budge or if it even becomes aggressive, it is important to keep calm. In no case should you run away quickly (the bear always wins!), But walk slowly backwards and speak loudly.
Great care should be taken when encountering mothers bears, as the females perceive anyone who approaches their cubs as a threat. Since black and grizzly bears differ in their behavior, it is not unimportant to know who you are actually dealing with: If a black bear attacks, you should shout and defend yourself, for example with sticks and stones. Since the black bear is good at climbing, it is not advisable to escape up a tree.
Grizzly bears are more dangerous than their relatives. Resistance only makes these bears more aggressive. The best chance of survival is to play dead and lie face down on the floor.
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