Escape room

How to Escape from a Bear Attack?

There's a great bear attack scene in the movie called "The Revenant". Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, an American frontiersman, fur trapper, trader, hunter, and explorer. In September of 1823, whilst out ahead of his party, he stumbled across a mother Grizzly bear and her cubs...

There's a great bear attack scene in the movie called "The Revenant". Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, an American frontiersman, fur trapper, trader, hunter, and explorer. In September of 1823, whilst out ahead of his party, he stumbled across a mother Grizzly bear and her cubs. The bear charged him and proceeded to bite and maul him. The scene is shot in close up and it's a harrowing watch. Eventually his cries bought other members of the group to his aid. They killed the bear, but Glass was very badly wounded. In the movie Glass kills the bear for the purposes of artistic license, and though DiCaprio went on to win the Oscar, you can't help but think that the stuntman who played the bear dresses up in a blue CGI friendly suit, Glenn Ennis, should also have received some sort of award.

The take away here is that meeting a bear in the wild can go south very quickly. If you're hiking through the US or the Russian wilderness, you never know what's lurking behind that bush or tree. If it's a mother Black, Brown or Grizzly bear, then expect to be receiving the post hoc Oscar for best and most realistic horror make-up. So there are really two points of interest for us to look into. One is prevention. And the other is escaping once the attack has begun. But let's start with a look at the different types of bear you might encounter.

Types Of Bears

American Black Bear (Ursus americanus). This is the most common species of bear in North America. And it's also the smallest. The vast majority of bear attacks involve American black bears, but this is because of their higher numbers. In reality, the fact is that these bears avoid humans. They will more often than not make a mock-attack instead of taking real risks.

Brown Bear (Ursus arctos). This larger species can be found throughout Eurasia as well as Canada and the United States. There are four brown bear subspecies in the continent.

Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). Yes, that part of it's name does mean "horrible".This subspecies of the brown bear is found throughout Alaska, Canada and the Rocky Mountains in the US. They are pretty aggressive, and it's estimated that 70% of Grizzly bear attacks on humans are caused by female Grizzlies protecting their cubs.

Kodiak or Alaskan Bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). This is the largest subspecies of the brown bear, and it is darker than most grizzlies. They will try their hardest to avoid humans, but can attack when they are feeling threatened or are attracted by food.

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus). This bear is the largest terrestrial carnivore, and they live in the Arctic. On the whole you have no reason to be going there. Polar bears rarely attack people because they hardly ever encounter humans. But just in case you fancy your chances playing tag with a Polar Bear, keep in mind that they're the most dangerous of all bear species because of their predatory habits and massive strength.

How To Keep Them Away

When you're actually moving from place to place on foot, then it's recommended that you make some noise as you go along. So whistling, singing (Celine Dion will scare away anything with functioning ears) and even yelling at intervals. Because they are essentially shy creatures, this lets them know that you're coming, so it gives them time to get out of your way. By the way, this method of making noise works for all bears except Polar bears, who are attracted to noise. When you decide to stop for the night and set up camp, there are somethings that'll keep your campsite relatively bear free. 

Food And Fire

For a start, you should never leave any type of food outside. Bears have a cracking sense of smell and will home in on the odors as they have voracious appetites. You'll be needing to use airtight containers. Also string any edible stuff up on a rope suspended between two points as it'll make it more difficult for the bear to get hold of. Keeping a fire going is an important preventive measure. One point that we should make, is that bear cubs really are impossibly cute and curious. They are fearless and will approach you. Their sweet little faces looking up to you with tiny shining eyes. In the sweetest and cutest voice it'll ask if you remember it.

They Are Not For Cuddles

And yes, you'll be transported back to your childhood, clutching your own teddy bear whist snuggling under the warm blankets before going to sleep. The difference being that there'll be no sweet dreams following. Just a long, drawn out nightmare of a painful and very bloody death at the paws and jaws of mummy bear who's lurking a few feet behind. So, if a baby bear starts to come close, you must fight the desire to pet it. It's not your friend. What you should do is to scare it away. Shouting, banging on things and gesticulating wildly can all do the trick. It's really important that the bear cub makes a retreat.

This Might Hurt

Now if you happen to come face to face with an adult bear, depending on who's more startled, you'll have to beat a slow retreat. A lot of the information you'll find on the internet will tell you to face the bear and show no fear. Yeah right! Maybe your shaking limbs and the hot pee running down the inside of your legs will put off your potential attacker. One certainty is the general consensus is that you should never run. Apparently a bear can outrun you. Just so you know, as it's the last thing you'll see. Brown Bears charge straight at you, whereas Black Bears like to do the zig-zag thing to prolong your anticipation of dying. 

Boss Level Fight

Having a can of bear spray or pepper spray can help. Just make sure you check the wind direction before letting off a huge blast. But for this to really work, the bear will need to be within cuddling range. Which might already be a bit too close. There's a school of thought that swears by laying on the ground and playing dead, using your hands to cover the back of your neck. It has been known to work on occasions. But would you want to be one of those occasions when it didn't work? The macho approach suggest that you should punch the bear, aiming for the nose or the stomach. This is beyond dumb and you're more than likely already heading towards being the main course on the menu de jour.

How To Really Escape A Bear

Remember that the best method of escaping from a charging and deadly bear, is simply to trip up your friend as you're both running away. You'll be able to make your escape, and your friend will feel the satisfaction of taking one for the team. After all, that's what friends are for.

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