SAFETY TIPS FOR HIKING IN BEAR COUNTRY
• Talk or make noise to avoid surprising a bear, especially near rushing water where it may not hear you.
• Stay alert. Don’t hike with earbuds in.
• Keep an eye on the trail ahead.
• If you’re riding a mountain bike, pay attention. You sure don’t want to startle a bear.
• Keep children near.
• Dogs may help detect bears, but they can also quickly escalate the situation that neither side wants, so keep them on a leash.
• If you encounter a bear, avoid eye contact and remain still and calm, or slowly begin walking backward.
• Raise your arms (to appear larger) and talk gently while backing away to safety.
• Don’t throw your pack at the bear – that provides a “reward” that teaches the bear to approach people for food.
• Never try to pet or feed a bear or get close for a picture – that is how most injuries occur.
• Hike in groups during daylight and on established trails.
• Learn proper camping techniques to avoid problems.
• Avoid standing between a female bear and her cubs. If you find yourself in this situation, slowly and calmly walk backwards.
For more information, pick up the brochure Hiking and Camping in Bear Country, at the Welcome Center, Hudson Library, or Town Hall.
B.E.A.R. (Bear Education and Resources) is a task force of MountainTrue, a nonprofit organization. To volunteer, donate or receive more information, call 828-526-9227.