Spending time in nature has been a popular pastime since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, according to The New York Times, there has been a nearly 90% increase in visits to national parks in the past year. Hiking, backpacking, camping and sightseeing are great activities to get fresh air and exercise while exploring beautiful scenery. But they don't come without dangers.
If you think you're seeing and hearing about more bear attacks and sightings this year than in years past, you're not alone. Nature.com found that the increased interest in outdoor recreational activities has correlated to an increase in bear attacks. So how do you stay safe while exploring nature?
BEAR SAFETY TIPS FOR HIKING OR CAMPING
For starters, remember bears are wild animals. They're not your friends. According to the National Park Service, it's best to keep your distance and show bears mutual respect. That means never approach or feed bears.
Carry bear spray while hiking. Keep bear spray in your tent. And more importantly, know how to use it so that you're confident in the face of an emergency.
Our Guard Alaska bear spray helps protect you and your loved ones while hiking or camping. At MACE®, we take personal safety seriously, and want to make sure you've got the information and the tools you need to stay safe.
BEAR SAFETY TIPS FOR HOME
If a bear is heading to a safe place just leave it alone. If you're worried it's a risk because it's near a populated area, call your state wildlife agency.
Make sure you have no food sources, pet food, birdseed or anything else that would make bears want to hang around your neighborhood. If you live in a location where bear sightings are common, consider keeping bear spray in your home and your car. Having bear spray on hand will empower you to go about your day safely.
BEAR SAFETY TIPS FOR VACATION
Be prepared, Empower yourself. Are you going to an area where you'll be sharing your space with black bears? If you're not sure, do some research first. Spend some time reviewing by state, the population numbers for black bears in the United States.
When it comes to grizzly bears, they are a protected species and can be found in Alaska, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and Idaho. The population of grizzly bears in North American is about 55,000, with 31,000 of those in Alaska. The majority of grizzly bears in the lower states are in Montana and Wyoming.
Take time to review these hiking, camping, and fishing bear safety tips before you head out on vacation.
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