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How to Survive a Bear Attack: An Illustrated Guide

How to identify a grizzly (brown) bear: short round ears, should hump, 6.5 ft long, 400-800 lbs, found in Europe, Asia, Canada, and US Pacific Northwest.  Stay Prepared. 1. Always carry bear spray. 2. If you suspect bears in the area, make noise. Sing, talk to yourself, etc. 3. Never leave food on trail. Always pick up all trash, even organic.  Encountering a Grizzly. Walk away slowly. Don’t run. Retrieve bear spray; ideally at a distance of around 25 feet. Be as non-threatening as possible; make your smaller, avoid eye contact, etc.  If Charged. Don’t run. Lay on ground and play dead; protect head and stomach. Wait 10-20 minutes after bear leaves to get up.  How to identify a black bear: taller ears, no shoulder hump, 5 ft long, 100-300 lbs. Black bears aren’t always black; they are often brown or cinnamon colored. Common throughout North America and East Asia.  Stay Prepared. Follow the same steps as above. An additional precaution is to add bells to your pack.  Encountering a Black Bear. Don’t run; stand your ground and make yourself look as big as possible. Shout, wave your arms, create a commotion. Never try to climb a tree.  If Charged. If charged, fight back. Aim especially for the nose or other sensitive area. Use rocks/sticks if available. Let the bear be the first to run.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak [1]