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in: Featured, Manly Skills, Outdoors, Survival, Visual Guides

March 27, 2013 Last updated: April 11, 2020

How to Survive a Bear Attack: An Illustrated Guide

how to survive a bear attack illustrated

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

How to identify a grizzly (brown) bear

Stay prepared

1. Always carry bear spray.

2. If you suspect bears in the area, make noise. Sting, 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. Be prepared to spray bear; ideally at a distance of around 25 feet. Be as non-threating as possible; make yourself smaller, avoid eye contact, etc.

If charged

Don’t run. Lie 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

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.

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Like this illustrated guide? Buy the poster!

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