Questions about bears

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23
votes
5answers
620 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
704 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
358 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
367 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
645 views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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?
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
176 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
972 views

Should I be worried about bears when sleeping in a hammock?

I'm going on a multi day backpacking trip and I am planning on taking only a backpacking hammock instead of a tent. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine he jokingly referred to me as a bear ...
9
votes
1answer
400 views

Can bears smell empty beer bottles?

Sometimes I camp with people who pass out drinking beer and don't bother to clean up their trash before they go to bed. Since we are in black bear country, I was wondering if empty beer bottles can ...
9
votes
1answer
99 views

Are there significant behaviour differences among bear species to adopt different safety rules?

Living the north-east part of America, my chances of encountering a grizzly bear is very low. I have greater chances of meeting a black bear. If I got the chance of meeting a grizzly, should I change ...
8
votes
3answers
398 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
117 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
544 views

Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?

In Svalbard, the arctic archipelago administrated by Norway, anyone leaving Longyearbyen is required to carry a rifle for their own safey. For grizzly bears, Wikivoyage recommends that Bear repellent ...
8
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
535 views

Does having sex in the back-country attract bears or other critters?

As stated in the title: is there any evidence that the hormones etc that the body produces during intercourse increases one's likelihood of encountering a bear in the back-country?
7
votes
2answers
222 views

Could smoking pipe tobacco or a cigar attract bears and/or other wildlife?

Bears and other wildlife are attracted to unusual scents, especially anything that could potentially be mistaken as food, such as often-sweet-smelling, aromatic pipe tobacco or cigars. However, you're ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

How safe is sleeping in a 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
113 views

What to do when a black bear got a hold of an open bear can?

When an adult black bear without cubs in sight got a hold of an open bear-can, is it advisable to try to scare him/her away (with noise, or by approaching him/her as a group?) I am asking both for ...
5
votes
2answers
126 views

Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

Having known that 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
101 views

Where to store non-food related trash in bear territory?

I know I am supposed to put food-related trash inside my bear canister. Should I also put used female hygiene products and ziplock bags holding used toilet paper inside my bear canister over night? ...
5
votes
1answer
54 views

Is a mother bear more defensive during early summer compared to late summer and autumn?

According to the Wikipedia page on Grizzly Bears, Mothers defending their cubs are the most prone to attacking, being responsible for 70% of fatal injuries to humans. Is there any seasonal ...
4
votes
3answers
637 views

Should food be in a bear bag/canister even when I'm hiking?

I've read that in the western US, backpackers need bear canisters or bear bags, for bears or for other animals. For example, a post comparing different methods is here. I must admit I'm a bit ...