Bear safety tips for B.C. hikers and campers
It’s finally summer in Vancouver and you’re contemplating your first foray into the back country this season. But in the wake of two serious bear attacks in BC in less than a week, you might be wondering whether you’ll happen across one of these burly beasts on your summer-time strolls, and what you can do to protect yourself.
Here are a few resources that may help.
The Bear Safety section of the Parks BC website stresses the phrase “a fed bear is a dead bear,” and has plenty of important information on how best to avoid bear encounters.
For a more detailed look at grizzly bears and black bears, the University of Alberta published an in depth bear safety guide for their field personnel.
The guide includes information on distinguishing black bears, grizzly bears, curious bears, defensive bears, aggressive bears and problem bears, and how to deal with all of them.
The U of A guide also includes options for bear deterrents. It lists noisemakers (such as bear-bangers, screamers, whistlers and flares), chemical sprays and even firearms.
The Get Bear Smart Society has several bear deterrent suggestions for both personal and property protection.
Even a Super Soaker squirt gun, they say, can scare a black bear away from your yard.
Alternatively, you could just go all the way and fashion yourself a full bear-proof suit, like Ontario inventor Troy Hurtubise did: