We all know that of the safest places to be in during any survival situation is away from people.
As a general rule of thumb the more people we are around the greater the danger for violent encounters or having your food and other essentials stolen.
Since most of North America is covered by forests that probably means you’ll be either out in the forest or on a mountain. Staying in these kind of environments for long periods of times means that sooner or later you’re going to encounter wild animals.
Bears, coyotes and mountain lions are to avoided but what if you accidentally come across a bear and her cubs or notice a mountain lion stalking you?
In today’s post we’ll cover 3 simple tips to deal with wild animal encounters and survive. We’ll focus no bears as bear attacks are the most common animal attack in the US/Canada.+
Most Dangerous Locations
The higher up North you go the more you’ll have to worry about gigantic bears. If you’re trying to survive in the North Rockies than you’ll definitely need to be on the lookout for bears.
Mountain lions live in the western areas of the US, places like California and Oregon.
How to Identify a Bear
It’s important to be able to identify what kind of animal you’re dealing with and assess the potential risk. There are only two kinds of bears you might meet out in the woods – black bears and brown bears. The later is to be avoided. Another method is getting to know different animal tracks.
Black bears will tend to run away when they encounter humans and rarely attack unless she feels her cubs are threatened. Never put yourself anywhere near bear cubs as your creating a strong possibility of attack.
Brown bears on the other hand will attack without any provocation or warning. They aren’t naturally intimidated by humans and in some areas brown bears and grizzlies scavenge waste products from garbage dumps making them even more bold.
1. Get a Bear Spray
While it might seem pretty useless to spray a giant angry bear with a spray it still works. Think of bear spray as super concentrated mace or pepperspray. The active ingredient is actually Capsaicin.
As bears charge with their head forward bear spray will hit them in the nose first causing them serious discomfort. The best situation is getting the spray to hit the bear’s eyes and mouth.
2. Don’t Run and Stand Your Ground
I’m sure we’ve all heard this one. Standing your ground and not running away is essential to escape a bear attack. Brown bears can sprint very quickly in short duration of up to 5-10 minutes and unless you’re in tiptop shape you won’t be able to run at full sprint for 10 minutes straight.
Avoid running at all costs as it’s a signal for a bear to chase you. Standing your ground and making as much noise as possible is your best choice.
3. Get a Handgun
While it might not seem like the friendliest option. It’s all about survival.
If you’re going to be surviving in brown bear territory anywhere near grizzlies or polar bears you’ll need a pistol. This is not even a consideration.
When it comes to picking a quality gun for bear defense you can’t use a simple Glock or .22. They just don’t have anywhere near the amount of power required. I also don’t recommend hunting rifles as they aren’t convenient to carry around.
Instead I’d go with a pocket .357 pistol like a Ruger 100 or another high powered round. These are six shooters with serious stopping power for any animal attack. They also fit well in any concealed carry.
Survival in the outdoors is hard enough without the threat of large 500 pound animals eating you and your family. The most important lesson to take away from all of this is preparation.
Being prepared is the hallmark of any good prepper and when it comes to the great outdoors the same is true. Bringing the proper supplies, food and weapons is essential if you’re planning on staying in the wood for longer than a few weeks.
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