A day out in the woods can be an enjoyable time. Whether you are out for a hike or have decided to spend a weekend or week camping, getting out to Mother Nature can make for an incredibly enjoyable time.

However, there are major dangers that are present in the wild. One of the biggest you should be concerned about is a bear. Even if you are still close to residential areas, it is not uncommon for a person to come across a bear. You may be on a trail or camped out for the night when one of these large brown, black, or other types of bears comes out of nowhere. You may only have seconds to react, so knowing what to do to fend off and survive a bear attack is essential.

They Are More Afraid of You

This is one of those sayings you have probably heard before. That you should not be afraid of animals because they are more afraid of you. The truth is that that is reality. Bears are actually quite afraid of human beings, and don’t want to attack them. That does not mean that they won’t. If they are hungry or feel scared in some way, their reaction will be to attack.

What this tells you is that your first inclination is to do as little as possible to be intimidating to the bear. Should you come across one, your first reaction should be to stop, stand still for a moment, and then slowly begin to back yourself away. Let the bear know that you are not a threat to it, and you may find that it will turn and go away, or at least not follow you.

Know Your Bear

Knowing a little about bears can also help you in a situation like this. Brown and black bears are far less likely to attack people. These are relatively tame animals. Not domesticated, but are a lot less hostile and aggressive.

That is not true of polar bears. These animals can be quite aggressive, and if you come across one of them you better be prepared to take action to fend off that animal before you are seriously injured.

Avoid a Bear

Of course, the most important thing to keep in mind for your survival is to avoid a bear altogether. This starts by being smart about how you hike or camp. Don’t leave trash or food around. This will only attract the bear.

Be careful of what you spill on yourself. If you have spilled an aromatic food on your clothing and are out for a walk or are asleep for the night, that smell may attract the bear. Make sure that you thoroughly wash clothes that you have spilled food on, and set up camp in areas where you are less likely to encounter a bear.

Don’t Panic

It is true that bears sense fear. If you become terrified and start to run, you are likely to find that the bear is going to attack you. This is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. They become agitated and more aggressive when they sense fear and potential prey. This is why it is essential that you take a moment, stop, and gather yourself before taking any action at all.