Encountering a bear in the wild can be a frightening experience, and your next move could mean the difference between life and death. That said, do you know what to do if you should happen upon one while hiking? In this video, wilderness expert Coyote Peterson provides some tips.
Most of the time, bears find you; not the other way around. They have an acute sense of smell, so any food you're taking with you can trigger a bear to come looking for you. It's wise to keep yummy-smelling goodies air-tight in containers so that the scents don't permeate the air around you; otherwise, you're just lugging bear bait around.
If you happen to see a bear, but it hasn't seen you, you can try to remove yourself from the situation by "sneaking" away. This method can work, but it's not always successful. If the bear notices you, then Peterson recommends making yourself look big and tough by outstretching your arms and legs and screaming at the top of your lungs to try and frighten the bear away.
If your worst nightmare happens and the bear doesn't leave, you're left with only one option: defending your vital organs. As it makes its way toward you, curl up into the fetal position and cover both your head and neck with your hands. The odds are high that you'll get hurt, but if you play dead in this position, then the bear might get bored and leave on its own. Contact medical help as soon as possible afterward to get yourself checked out.
People have survived bear attacks using these methods before, so try your best to memorize them. Whatever you do, never try to outrun a bear, because you won't get very far...