How many bears live and prowl in the vicinity of Lake Allatoona? More than the number of people who think pink hair, eyeball piercings and who refuse to wear deodorant in order to save the environment (but not friendships) combined.
Let me break this to you gently: bears live in the woods.
Don’t be surprised if you see a few or a flock when you go to their place for the weekend.
The US Forest Service in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest says there was a recent pantry raid by a hungry bear going for food hanging from a tree. Probably thought it was a piñata.
Final score: Bear – one. Food in the Tree – zero.
There were no injuries reported and no damage that couldn’t be rectified with some hot water and a few squirts of Kaboom!
Our pals at the Pisgah Forest encourage you to avoid bear interactions by taking the following steps:
• Do not store food in tents.
• Properly store food by hanging it in a tree or in another secure container 150 feet away from camp. (Hint: That’s half the length of a football field.)
• Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills or other areas of your campsite.
• Do not leave food unattended.
Never invite strange bears into your campsite for a dinner.
The meal might end up being you.
More Fear the Bear Stuff from the Forest Service
- Avoid camping and hiking alone in the backcountry.
- Make noise to avoid surprising a bear.
- Never tick off bears by making too much noise. (Just kidding!)
- Never approach a bear or other wild animal — including thru-hikers with bizarre Trail Names.
- Do not hike in the dark.
- Carry EPA registered bear pepper spray.
- Keep a clean campsite by properly disposing of food scraps and garbage.
- Do not leave food or garbage inside fire rings, grills or around your site.
- Never leave food or coolers unattended, even in developed picnic areas.
- If bear-proof containers are not available, store food and garbage inside a hardtop vehicle or trailer.
- Do not break into other people’s hardtop vehicles or trailers to store your food.
- Never store food inside of a tent.
- Never drip honey on the feet or forehead of annoying people at your campsite, even if they “deserve it.”
- Wipe tabletops clean before vacating a camp or picnic site.
- If a bear is observed nearby, pack up your food and trash immediately and vacate the area ASAP.
- If necessary, attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts, by banging pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it.
- If a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run. Get into a vehicle or a secure building.
- Remember to carry a vehicle or secure building in your backpack for emergencies.
- Never run away from a bear — back away slowly and make lots of noise, like teenagers asked to do their homework.
- If you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back using any object available. Act aggressively and intimidate the bear by yelling and waving your arms. Playing dead is not as clever as you think. You’ll just be easier to catch.
If I told you that black bears come in different colors … like white … you wouldn’t believe me. Right? Click on the link.