I still hope to get a decent view of a grizzly bear on one of my trips. There are lots of tips offered to hikers when they will be in areas where encountering bears is possible. Common suggestions include wearing bright clothing, carrying bells to alert bears to your approach, and using pepper spray if an attack occurs. Stay alert to signs of bear activity — marks on trees, tracks on the ground and bear droppings. You can recognize bear droppings by the remnants of bright cloth and bits of metal and an odor of pepper…. [nyuck nyuck nyuck]
Seriously, being alert is your best defense. While bells are still commonly sold, they are falling out of favor as a way to alert bears to your presence. Clapping your hands or making other loud noises was the most common suggestion I heard on my latest trip. One ranger even told me that he has seen bears following hikers wearing bells and speculated that the noise is too similar to the wind chimes on some of the mountain cabins. The bears have become too familiar with the sound and may even relate it to a source of food. Yikes!
So with all this fresh in my mind I offer thanks to Heather Anne for sharing the following site:
Created by The Oatmeal
I would still prefer my bear encounter [and there will be a bear encounter some day] to exclude any actual physical contact, but just in case this is good information to have. Just like the other advice usually offered to hikers,
You don’t really have to outrun the bear. You just have to outrun your friends….