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The Bear Necessities of Bear Safety (part 1)

Take a hike in Colorado’s bear country

Sometimes you need to tie up your raft and hit solid ground. Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Colorado. Like rafting, everyone can do it. But just like rafting, we need to go over a few safety tips before we leave the Colorado rivers and head deep into bear country.

DVK safety tips to hiking in bear country, Colorado

Spotting a brown bear scratching it’s back would be incredible for you. For the bear, it could be very frightening and intimidating. Be aware of bear signs and make sure you don’t frighten or threaten them forcing them to attack. Photo credit: NPS / K. Jalone

When hiking in Colorado, chances are that the native black or brown bears will smell you coming a mile away and be long gone before you ever realize they were there. However, this is the time of year – late summer to early fall –  bears start to stock up for the winter and they roam the land for up to 20 hours a day looking for food.

Bears are more aware of your than you are of them but it won’t hurt for you to know a little about the bear and it’s nature and behavior before you go hiking in Colorado. Knowledge is power, and in nature, knowledge also mean safety. Keep these tips in mind next time you head into the wild, it will help you avoid bears all together.

  • Be alert! Keep your eye out for shredded logs and bear tracks. If it’s windy and there’s a lot of rustling of leaves and trees, clapping or shouting every once in a while will alert potential bears to your presence and allow for them to scurry off safely before they feel threatened and have to defend themselves
  • Avoid areas filled with berries, oak brush or natural bear food sources.
  • If you’re hiking with a dog, keep your dog on a leash. Your dog may pick up the scent of a bear and go running after it. This could either result in serious injury to your dog, or your dog could inadvertently bring an angry bear charging back towards you and your fellow hikers.
  • Keep all food in airtight containers
  • Don’t feed the bears. If you’re lucky enough to spot a bear at a safe distance, enjoy the special sight and do not under any circumstances try to lure the bear closer with food. Hopefully, the bear doesn’t spot you, but if it does, you are too close and should retreat slowly and calmly.

Next time we’ll go over what you should do if you get too close to a bear… or a bear gets too close to you.

Dvorak’s Expeditions – Est. 1969

Family Owned & Operated

Bill & Jaci Dvorak