Safety Tips for Going into Bear Country
by BaseMap Staff
Using the BaseMap App as a Tool
To access this information, open the BaseMap app and click on the Layers tab. Under the “Land” category, select the Federal Land Food Storage Restrictions layer and the app will overlay areas with these restrictions or recommendations.
A simple click on the red, highlighted area will bring up the chosen area’s rules for storing food while in camp, in vehicles and even in buildings such as a cabin. This includes what items must be stored, what type of storage container to use, garbage disposal protocols, vehicle storage and even seasonal changes to the regulations. The info displayed also contains links to park websites and the regulations and safety pages.
Know What to do if a Bear Encounter Does Occur
Black bears are known to be less aggressive than grizzly bears and can many times be scared off by waving your arms to make yourself look larger while making noise. If you have bear spray, have it in hand with the safety clip removed. Slowly move away while facing sideways so you can see the bear and avoid tripping. Do not turn and run, as this could trigger its predatory instinct to chase. If the bear charges or gets closer than 30-40 feet, spray short bursts towards the bear’s face. If this does not turn the bear away and it attacks, fight back with anything available, focusing on the muzzle and face.
Brown or grizzly bears are much larger, and humans are no match in a fight. Most experts agree that the best response is to lie on your belly to protect internal organs and cover your neck with you hands to protect arteries. Do not fight back. Many times, a grizzly attack is defensive and may back off if you play dead to remove the perceived threat. If the bear continues its attack, it is probably looking to make a meal of you. In this case, fight back with anything you can, once again, concentrating on the muzzle and face.
Being prepared with critical knowledge of the best food storage practices and practicing safe travel is one of the best ways to prevent a bear encounter. With the help of the innovative BaseMap app, outdoor adventures can be a safe and enjoyable experience.