How To Survive A Bear Attack
In this video from VideoJug, Outdoor Survival Expert Dale Collett gives us some worthy advice on what to do and what not to do when you are confronted by a bear.
Bears actively avoid people. The only time they will attack is if they feel threatened, defending territory, they are feeding off a dead animal carcass or they have cubs. The best way you can avoid a bear attack is by making noise when you are walking through dense woodland.
The bear needs to know that you are coming and most often, it will just get out of the way. So, you can make noise by singing as you walk along, calling out occasionally. Some people even wear bells called bear bells.
That would probably, most of the time, make the bears disappear. But if you happen to stumble upon a bear with cubs, a bear that is feeding or a bear that is particularly aggressive such as grizzly bears, because grizzly bears would sometimes just attack if they feel like it, they are quite vicious whereas black bears are slightly more sober, though I wouldn't trust either of them. If you are confronted by any one of these bears, the first thing you do is stop.
Never run. If you run, the bear will think you are prey and it will chase you down. Bears can hit 25-35 miles per hour really, really quickly, far quicker than you and, of course, they can climb as well.
So, they can go anywhere you can. When you have stopped, break eye contact with the bear. Do not stare at the bear in the eyes.
It will take this as a sign of aggression. I was reading in a book just recently that there has been no record ever of a bear attacking a group of six or more. So, groups is definitely better, which is why you should never go into the wilderness alone, especially in bear territory.
So as you are walking away, the bear should, nine times out of ten, just ignore you, turn or walk away as well, wanting nothing to do with you. But, of course, sometimes this doesn't work. If the bear does charge at you, initially stand your ground.
Often, charges from bears are a bluff. They can be as scared of us as we are of them. They may even charge at you a few times.
Just keep walking away, talking to the bear, keeping your eye contact off the bear and don't run. If the worse does happen and the bear does attack you, keep your rag sack on, fall to the ground, play dead, curl up in the foetal position, you would want to protect the back of your neck and your head and curl as much as possible to keep your vulnerable parts safe. He may bite you, he may scratch you and this is where the difference is between black bears and grizzly bears: if it is a black bear, then you need to become familiar with both species when you are travelling in a place where bears exist.
Black bears have short claws, then you need to fight back. If he is really having a go at you and really starting to bug you, then you need to fight back. Hit them with knives, sticks, rocks, whatever you can.
Scream. Make lots of noise. The bear should hopefully be startled and leave away.
If it's a grizzly bear, don't do this. Just continue playing dead and hope for the best. One of the things you can do to protect yourself as well is carry bear spray with you.
It's available, not in the UK, not in many countries in Europe, but where bears are a problem, in North America, you will be able to buy bear spray. It's a pepper spray made from capsicum. If you spray it at a bears face when the bear is really close, it can deter its attack.
What you can do is climb a tree. Bears can climb trees but they are more reluctant to. But it's got to be a sturdy tree, at least 15 inches in diameter.
Any smaller trees, bears will actually push them over. It can even chew through them to get at you. The best thing for you to do is to play dead.
If the bear is on top of you, do nothing unless it's a black bear when you want to fight back. Grizzly bear - don't fight back. The best thing to do is to avoid it in the first place.
And that is how to survive a bear attack. .