As you know it’s spring time, and bears are just coming out of hibernation and they are hungry, hungry, HUNGRY! ln southern Ontario, it’s not uncommon to witness bears among us at our campsites, especially if you are not bear proof. Most people are just not educated enough to even beware of things that can and may occur when out in the woods, but lets face it, we live in Canada!

Most bear sightings and attacks that have occurred in Ontario are subject to messy campsites and that is why it is so important to have the necessities needed in order to stay tidy.

Make sure you are always aware of bear signs when entering a new Neck of the Woods and have an idea of the geological regions of bears in your area. Be sure to check with your parks lobby if there are any active bears on site. And always KEEP A MAP!

Cleaning Necessities

  • dish soap
  • sponge and cloths
  • non scented body washing products
  • water bottles for cleaning dishes

Once you have checked off your cleaning supply list, it is important to have the proper food necessities. Everything should be tightly put away.

Food Necessities

  • storage containers
  • tightly/bear proof
  • lots of tupperware
  • ziplock bags

However, if you are in backcountry, you will want to keep your food on a line 50 meters from your campsite and 4 meters above ground.

Always make sure everything is put away and tightly sealed right after indulging, including DOG FOOD! Clean your picnic tables and be sure to not let any crumbs and excess food on the ground. NO EXCUSES!

Hiking Necessities

The best way to stay away from bears is to let them know you are coming.

Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Bears usually scare quite easily, but on the other hand, coming across a mamma bear and her cubs could be a dangerous situation. If you encounter this type of bear you should first assess the situation without any sudden movement. If no sign of mamma bear, then continue back to your campsite. If you do however see a mamma bear, this can quickly turn into a defensive attack and the bear may charge at you, but this is usually just a scare tactic. This is why bear bells are so important as they keep the bears away before you even have a chance of encountering them.

What to Bring With You While Hiking

  • bear bells ( keep bears at a distance)
  • bear spray (use if bear comes close)
  • bear horn (use if bear doesn’ t turn away)

Preditory bears are male bears that have usually tasted human flesh before and if a bear has consumed a person they must be killed on spot in order to protect the people. This type of bear usually stocks its prey and are usually not seen untill it’s too late. However, if you do encounter a preditory bear you must get rid of any food you may have on you and be as loud as you can be. Screaming, yelling and using stick and stones to puncture the bear in its eyes or face are good tactics to fend off the bear. Carrying a knife for protection is a good idea. Using your bear spray is important at this time but will not keep the bear away, but at a distance. Do not turn your back to the bear and try to make your way back to the campsite. Most attacks occur in the night and early moring which is why it is so important to clear your campsite of any garbage before you sleep. Any sightings or encounters should be reported to the Park Lobby so they can take action and people can beware.

Be Safe and more importantly Have Fun!