Your Boundary Waters Information Source - BoundaryWatersCanoeArea.com

Home    -   BWCA Bulletin Board   -   Boundary Waters Chat   -   Email
  Permits | Maps | Outfitters | Lodging | Request Information  
BoundaryWatersCanoeArea.com

Featured Links

Hiking Books

Hiking Entry Points

Hiking Discussion

BWCA News

Packing Light

BWCA Photos

Quetico Provincial

 
BWCA Search

   Search BWCA.cc or the web        powered by FreeFind
 
  BWCA Web search
 

BWCA Weather

BWCA Weather for Ely, Grand Marais, and the Gunflint Trail

 
Bear Attack
By Steven Gillman

I opened my eyes and held my breath. Was I dreaming? The bear growled again. I wasn't dreaming. He shuffled around in the pine needles, a few feet away. Only the thin nylon wall of my tent separated us. I waited for the bear to attack.

I breathed slowly, trying not to make a sound. There was nothing to be done, nowhere to run, and not another person within ten miles. I could die in a few seconds, I realized. I could be torn apart.

Grizzlies had already killed two people in Montana this year, and mauled several others. That's what the ranger told me when I entered Yellowstone that morning. A mild winter had left too few dead animals for the bears to feed on, so they were hungry and dangerous.

The pamphlet, the one with "WARNING" written in red over a silhouette of a bear on the cover, was in my backpack. I mentally reviewed it. My food was in a tree fifty yards away, I wasn't wearing cologne or deodorant, and I wasn't moving. I should be okay.

The bear grunted and pawed the ground. Then nothing. I strained to hear something, anything, but the sounds of the river covered any smaller sounds. Had the bear left? I couldn't be sure. I looked at my watch without moving my head. I could barely make out the glow-in-the-dark hands. It was four a.m. I was starting to sweat. Does sweat attract bears, I wondered.  (related article)

How To Prevent Bear Attacks

The good news was that the bear eventually left. I think he was just upset because I had set up my tent in the middle of the path along the river, where he probably walked nightly. Don't do that, if you want to avoid being in stories like this. Here are some other ways to avoid a bear attack.

- Talk quietly or just don't talk at all. The time for loud noises was before you encountered the bear. Try to detour around the bear if you can.

- Don't run! Try to back away slowly, but stop if this agitates the bear.

- Assume a non-threatening posture. This could mean turning sideways, or bending at the knees to appear smaller.

- Don't look straight at the bear. Bears may interpret direct eye contact as threatening.

- Drop something, like a water bottle or hat, to distract the bear. Don't drop food, however, or he may come to you looking for more. Leave your backpack on for protection in case of an attack.

- If you have bear repellent (pepper spray) get it ready. If the bear attacks, use it!

- If the bear makes contact, fall to the ground on your stomach, or assume a fetal position to protect your chest and abdomen. Lace your fingers together over the back of your neck. Don't move until you the bear has left.

The above is good advice only if the bear attack is a "bluff" attack, or a surprised bear. This is the most common type of bear encounter. However, if the bear is stalking you, you need to take entirely different actions. That, however, is a topic for another article. (related article)

Copyright Steve Gillman. Learn how to tell the difference between a "bluff attack" and a predatory bear attack in the ebook "Ultralight Backpacking Secrets (And Wilderness Survival Tips)" Get it FREE, as well as photos, gear recommendations, and a new wilderness survival section, at: The Ultralight Backpacking Site: http://www.The-Ultralight-Site.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Gillman

More about Black Bears

Black Bears - What Backpackers Need to Know

Like this article?  You may also enjoy:  Do Walking Sticks Conserve Energy? by Steve Gillman, Ultralight vs Traditional Backpacking by Steve Gillman, and Breakfast Recipes by Steve Gillman

 
   
 

Your Resort Could Be Here

Bluefin Bay

Solbakken means: 'Sunny Hillside' in Norwegian

Solbakken

North Shore Lodging

Caribou Highlands

Shoredge Circle Image

Shoredge Resort

h o m e

Cliff Dweller

 
 
Permits | Maps | Outfitters | Lodging | Classifieds | Information Request
Copyright 2014 E Warren Communications    Home    -   Bulletin Board   -   Chat   -   Email   -  Advertising