Questions tagged [bears]

Questions about bears

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32 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
pkaeding's user avatar
  • 858
35 votes
3 answers
4k 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 (...
wyocalboy's user avatar
  • 3,041
22 votes
5 answers
90k 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 ...
user5873's user avatar
  • 239
10 votes
3 answers
7k views

Which gun should I use on the trail to protect myself against bears? [closed]

Choosing a trail gun is proving challenging. What handgun calibres are powerful enough to provide some protection against aggressive bears? I want something manageable enough for a smaller framed ...
Andrew Ogden's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do black, brown/grizzly or polar bears ever prey on humans?

Do bears, as opposed to defending cubs, being startled by humans, or trying to get into food, ever decide to prey on humans? As in stalk, kill and then eat them?
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
24 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
zoul's user avatar
  • 4,983
27 votes
5 answers
7k views

Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

I always see it pointed out, when discussing how to handle/avoid bear encounters, that black bears can climb trees. Granted, but does that matter? Has there ever been a case of a black bear pursuing ...
Russell Steen's user avatar
25 votes
6 answers
41k 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 food,...
Jan Hlavacek's user avatar
  • 2,678
20 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 10.7k
18 votes
3 answers
11k views

Black bears and torch lights

I am hiking in black bear country (no other kinds of bears there). It's dark, I have a whistle hanging around my neck to scare away such a potential bear and I'm using my torch light to be able to see ...
helm's user avatar
  • 1,712
17 votes
3 answers
15k 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 ...
jrdioko's user avatar
  • 3,715
11 votes
3 answers
938 views

Proper food storage against black bears on a LONG (e.g., 14 days) trip, partly in black bear country? (enough bear canisters not practical)

This question is prompted by the replies to Questions about specifics of black bear encounter with mother and yearling cub. That question was about an encounter over 30 years ago, before the era of ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 22.8k
10 votes
7 answers
1k views

how high does a fence need to be to prevent European brown bear to climb it?

An entrepreneur is planning a campsite-hotel in Romania, with a full outdoor gourmet restaurant attached, with an outdoor kitchen. There will be no cabins or other living structures, only tents and ...
lowtoxin's user avatar
  • 484
29 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Lost's user avatar
  • 19k
23 votes
4 answers
11k 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 ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.6k
22 votes
4 answers
69k 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?
wyocalboy's user avatar
  • 3,041
21 votes
3 answers
19k 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 taco....
brh's user avatar
  • 473
18 votes
3 answers
720 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 ...
Patrick's user avatar
  • 722
12 votes
1 answer
543 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 ...
Lost's user avatar
  • 19k
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

US vs central European bear advice

I was just reading through a couple of posts here on outdoors.SE and saw some advice which was a lot more strict than I am used to. For example, in the country where I hike (central europe, brown ...
David Mulder's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k 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, ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27k
9 votes
1 answer
513 views

What precautions should I take when cooking smelly food in an area with bears?

I'm planning an overnight hiking trip and want to try cooking fish. We will be camping at an established backcountry site on the trail, which has a spot for a tent near a fire ring. However, this is ...
user812786's user avatar
  • 1,146
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does camping in polar bear country require someone to keep guard during the night?

Some animals are big and dangerous and, when hungry, may realise that humans contain a pretty decent amount of meat. I've never hiked in such areas, but they do exist. Photo from Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27k
7 votes
2 answers
473 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 ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 22.8k
7 votes
1 answer
868 views

What might being certified as a polar bear guard involve?

I recently talked with a young geologist, some of whose field work is in the Arctic. We mostly talked about the science, but the geologist mentioned being certified (not sure of this word) to act as a ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 22.8k
7 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27k
6 votes
3 answers
28k 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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.3k
5 votes
2 answers
394 views

Is it likely that decimation of its suburban forest habitat would cause a black bear to wander into a busy city if it wouldn't otherwise go there?

I live in the suburban town of Holden, in Central Massachusetts. Many hundreds of acres of mature woodland areas are being torn down nearby to create new roads and housing developments, and it's ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
6k views

What is the minimum caliber of handgun that would stop a grizzly bear? [closed]

I am an animal lover and would only shoot at a bear as an absolute last resort Assume I have done everything possible to avoid contact with a bear, and after encountering one have followed the best ...
Bohemian's user avatar
  • 440
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Is it feasible that a black bear could kill a man with a single swat?

A recent post said: a black bear can kill a man (or a dog) with a single swat of its paw. I suppose anything is possible. But is it realistic? Has it ever happened? Googling 'man killed by ...
James Jenkins's user avatar