Bear safety tips for B.C. hikers and campers

Grizzly bear in a Flickr photo by Chi King

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.

Mountain Equipment Co-op, who sells bear spray and other deterrents, has a bear spray fact sheet and tips for a bear-free campsite.

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:

See video

More in Outdoors

Amazing photos of September in Vancouver

Take a look back at September captured through the lenses of our VO Flickr Pool contributors.
Markers on the ski run at Kicking Horse Mountain resort in Golden (2009)

Several injured in avalanche near area where fatal slide happened Saturday

GOLDEN, B.C. — An avalanche seriously hurt two people and sent several others to hospital near a British Columbia community, not far from where a snowmobiler died in another slide this weekend. RCMP...

Avalanche warning issued for southeastern B.C., as dangerous conditions develop

VANCOUVER — Avalanche Canada has issued an immediate warning as potentially deadly snow conditions develop on slopes across parts of eastern and southeastern British Columbia. The warning is in...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.