Seven Rules for Meeting a Bear Camping in the Woods
Although it’s unlikely you’ll meet a bear camping in the woods, you might actually meet a bear while YOU are camping in the woods. Should that happen, follow these seven simple rules: Rule Number One: There are 5,100 bears in Georgia’s woods. There’s probably only one of you. Tick them off and they win. Rule Number Two: No matter how many Spiderman, Dirty Harry or Terminator movies you have watched, bears are more likely to eat you than you are to eat them. You might not believe that, but the bears do. Trust me on this one, OK? Rule Number Three: Just as there are two levels of lion tamers — Skilled and Dead — there are only two likely outcomes if you try to feed a bear by hand. If you don’t want to be known as “Lefty,” don’t feed the bears. Rule Number Four: Try not to slather yourself in BBQ sauce and sleep with your leftover food in your tent. Bears will think you’re a sandwich with condiments. Rule Number Five: Don’t leave any food, drinks, coolers or garbage in the open. Scents from such things as toothpaste, deodorant and soap can attract bears. And not in a good way. Rule Number Six: When camping in the backcountry, place these items inside a knapsack and hoist it out of reach of bears and other wildlife at least 10 feet off the ground and six feet from the tree trunk. No, you don’t have to sleep in a tree. Consider using rope or vines, Tarzan. Rule Number Seven: If you are confronted by a giant angry bear, it’s better to flee for your life than to entertain him or her with your best Yogi or Boo-Boo impersonation. Remember, you do not have to outrun the bear — only your slowest companion.