During the summer, many like to take trips out into the wilderness and hike and explore. Hiking is one of the most enjoyable and natural feelings in the world. It puts you in touch with nature, and you often can see places that many may never get a chance to see. Getting away from the city, the business of work, technology, and being in touch with all that nature has to offer can be what many need to let stress out and get away. When out hiking this summer, be cautious, because sometimes unwanted occurrences can occur and your fun relaxing hike, suddenly can turn into a scary and life-threatening moment.

Grizzly Bear Attacks Man East of Idaho

Credit: Anna Tremewan on Unsplash
Credit: Anna Tremewan on Unsplash

Last week a man was hiking alone in the Wyoming mountains when he came across a grizzly bear. Before he could reach and spray his bear spray, the bear had attacked. The man was flown to a hospital in Billings, Montana, where he is being treated for his injuries. Grizzly bear attacks are not common, but they do happen, especially in this part of the country. There has been no update on the man since the attack, and Fish and Game have called the attack a surprise interaction. When hiking, if you come across a bear there are a few things to know.

What to Do If You See a Bear

Grizzly Bear Portrait
JeannetteKatzir, ThinkStock Images

While grizzly bear attacks are not common, it is always best to be prepared and know what to do if you ever come across one. The worst thing you can do is to run. The bear will likely view you as prey or a threat and a chase will likely follow. While running seems like an instinct, another instinct to avoid is to try and climb a tree. In theory, climbing a tree gives you protection and gets you off the ground, but bears can climb and the tree will trap you more than protect you. The best thing you can do, which is easy to say behind a computer, is to stay calm. Talk softly and calmly, instead of yelling and panicking. Try to make yourself look big by putting your arms out, standing on higher ground, or by naturally being a big human if you are one. Slowly take steps away, pick up any children to help calm them, and do not scream or make loud noises. The best thing to do is to not hike alone, as a bigger group gives you more protection and is more likely to scare a bear than an individual.

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As you prepare for your next hike, make sure to pack bear spray and have a plan in your mind if you happen to come across a bear. Best case scenario, you never cross paths with one. It is easy to make a plan when the bear isn't standing in front of you, but mentally knowing what to do can go a long way. Be safe out there and remember that even though it may look cute and cuddly, it does not want to be hugged like a teddy bear. It wants to hug you and eat you. Be smart and have fun as you hike this summer.

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