Going on a Hike – Make Sure You Have Bear Protection

By Doug Williams
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Going on a Hike – Make Sure You Have Bear Protection

Doug Williams
 
 
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Hiking is an incredibly fun activity that so many people all over the world like to do. People enjoy it for different reasons; to remove themselves from the daily strains and stresses of life, or just to relax and let go.

One of the best ways to feel at ease, while having a great workout, is to get yourself into nature, and an even better way to feel great is to hike. While being with nature and out in the wilderness can certainly be an amazing experience, there are some aspects of it which mean you need to be cautious.

Mostly because of the unknown wildlife that is present in the wilderness. A big source of stress for many who enjoy hiking is the presence of bears. The thing with bears is that there are ways in which you can be safer: things that you can do to prepare so that you limit your chances of any bear encounters.

 

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Some of the best strategies for avoiding coming into contact with a bear may seem overly simplistic, but those who know best do recommend this: make a lot of noise and travel with a big group while hiking in the wilderness.

In addition, it is also imperative that you have an awareness of what is going on around you, be sure you know where you are, and know what kind of wildlife and natural habitats you’re entering into.

Be aware of warning signs of a bear’s presence and know what to look for. If you see things such as holes, visible tracks, or overturned rocks or logs, those can be very telling signs that a bear is nearby or was nearby earlier.

Most bears do not want to be around any sort of human being so it is not something you should worry about too much. However, there are certain precautions that can be taken so that you can lessen any worry you have about potentially meeting a bear in the wilderness.

In most cases, when a bear and a human interact, it happens as the result of the human surprising the bear or the bear feeling as though its cubs have been attacked, and so it goes into defensive mode.

 

In the highly unlikely case that a bear is aggressive toward you, bear spray is a great thing to have with you. There are some recent reports that have shed light on the fact that bear spray can be significantly more effective than a bullet in diverting a charging bear and in staving off any impending bear attacks against a human being.

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It is essential that you get the right kind, and that it will work as it should to stave off the bear. There are certain features of any bear spray that should not be overlooked.

The minimum amount you purchase should be 7.9 ounces. Spray range is something that is also incredibly important; the spray needs to reach the bear before it gets too close to you. Get the bear spray that has a minimum spray range of at least fifteen feet.

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It is also imperative that you are aware of when the bear spray the expiry date on your spray so that you do not end up bringing one that has expired only to find out too late that it is not nearly as effective as you need it to be.

Once you get your bear spray, it is also extremely important to read the instructions so that you can definitely use it as it is intended to be used.

The bear spray should not be kept inside a backpack, as it need to be on hand should the need for it arises suddenly. It will be of no use nestled in your backpack and out of reach.

Most people choose to holster the bear spray or attach it to a strap so that it can be easily reached and deploy in the case of an emergency.

Just as with a gun or many other sprays, it is very important that the safety clip is always on when the spray is not in use. It should only be removed if the spray needs to be used against an actual bear.

It is also very important to note that bear spray is not something that should ever be sprayed on any camping gear such as a tent or sleeping bag, as it can cause a lot of discomfort for human beings if it is released too close to them.

The thought of encountering a bear while in the wilderness can certainly be overwhelming, but having bear spray on hand with a knowledge of how to use it, as well as tips on how to avoid a bear encounter to begin with, go a long way in alleviating any fears that one may have prior to hiking in areas populated by bears.

 
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