Questions about bears, either black, polar, or brown (possibly also: panda)

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26
votes
6answers
2k views

What precautions should I take to protect myself and my camp from bears?

Most of my prior hiking experience has been in areas that are not home to bears, so what precautions should I take to protect my camp (and myself as I am hiking) from bears. I am aware of a couple of ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

If I cross paths with a bear, what should I do?

If I'm out hiking, and I come around a corner and stumble upon a bear, what's the best course of action to take to minimize the chance the bear will act aggressively? Do different types of bear ...
28
votes
5answers
11k views

Does hiking with a dog in bear country increase or decrease your risk of a bear encounter?

I've heard various rumors that dogs might help keep bears away, or might be a bear attractant. Is there anything more concrete than anecdotal evidence to go on? From the companionship end, they are a ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How safe is sleeping in bear country?

We have recently hiked in Slovakian mountains where bears live. I’m not too concerned about the bears during the day, as we make enough noise to avoid an encounter. But I am not sure about sleeping ...
13
votes
4answers
644 views

Bear bags vs Bear canisters: which is better?

Most people I know and myself store food in bear bags. However, I have heard that some parks have banned bear bags and require canisters. I've also heard there is a bear in New York that has figured ...
18
votes
4answers
9k views

Will a tent provide some protection from bears?

When camping in a bear country, will a tent provide an additional protection from bears, as opposed to just sleeping outside or in a hammock? Provided I take the usual precautions of keeping any ...
16
votes
5answers
9k views

What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

Even if I was to follow the advice of letting bears know I am in the area, keeping my cooking and anything that smells at least 100m from my camp & downwind, etc, suppose a bear finds my tent and ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How to store a backpack while sleeping?

During a recent backpacking trip, we hung the bear bag and got ready to set in for the night and I realized I wasn't sure what I should do with my backpack. Technically the backpack was carrying the ...
16
votes
4answers
14k views

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense?

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense? Will I face fines and jail time if I do?
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Is bear spray effective against other animals?

Is bear spray (pepper spray specially formulated to be effective against bear attacks) effective against other animals, especially mountain lions or wolves? Or is there something in it specifically ...
9
votes
1answer
220 views

Are bears more attracted to menstruating females?

People have speculated that women hiking in bear country during their menstrual cycle might increase their chances of a bear encounter. Is this true? What can be done to minimize risk? Related ...
25
votes
5answers
1k views

Do bear-safe rules still apply in the winter?

I understand, and practice, bear-safe rules like hanging (or canister-ing) during summer months, but what about in the winter when bears are (theoretically) hibernating, and the shorter / colder days ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

Bears are mostly attracted by smell of food. That is why we are supposed to keep the food items in airtight and sealed packs or preferably finish up all the food (cooking and consuming) far away from ...
14
votes
3answers
330 views

What are the critical dimensions to a safe bear-bag?

Many outdoor areas that have bears have bear bag-lines setup for hikers. In situations where the bear-bag line is not there or it is full, what dimensions should I keep in mind to protect my goodies ...
8
votes
3answers
836 views

Do I need to hang a bear cache?

I am considering to get Garcia Machine Backpacker's Cache. According to MEC user reviews, this is the only cache approved in the Adirondack Mountains. Canadian parks, and other places as well, ...
8
votes
1answer
676 views

What are the proper precautions/protocols for storing food while car camping in an area with bears?

Anyone with experience in bear-populated areas, what's the best way to store food when your on the move with a car? Are some foods better than others? Wondering specifically about black bears in ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

Questions about specifics of black bear encounter with mother and yearling cub

I hope the bear experts on the site can shed light on several aspects of a black bear encounter my husband and I had some years ago in the Sierra. It was mid-May, about 9500 feet, well above timber ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Trail gun for protection against bears

Choosing a trail gun is proving more challenging than I would like. What handgun calibres are powerful enough to provide some protection against aggressive bears? I want something manageable ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How effective are pen launcher bear bangers compared to bearspray?

So pen launcher bear bangers have apparently been around for quite a while, the training video for Truflare looks like something from out of the 90's, but they don't appear to be very popular, and I ...