Kings Canyon National Park, CA

If you're wandering the woods of California, you know there are bears everywhere. Especially in Kings and Sequoia National Park. There is absolutely nothing surprising about seeing little(big?) fuzzy brown critters romping through your campground and showing up on rocks next door to your fishing hole.

I'm one of those people that errs on the side of safety. I come equipped with bear spray and even a bear whistle on all my adventures. People make fun of my whistle but I like it and it's fun! Plus, it comes with a compass which is pretty awesome too.

Bear safety is a real thing! If you encounter a bear in the wild you want to do the following:

1. Avoid close encounters: if you see a bear, blow your whistle and make some noise! If a bear is within 45 feet of you and approaching, use your bear spray to deter them from your path. The ideal is to just turn the other way to not have to do any of this, but should you need to use these safety measures you probably ought to take a detour.
2. Keep your distance: do NOT turn your back or run! They will see this as a threat and are more likely to attack. It really is a bad idea to run from a bear, you guys. Try to back away slowly and remain calm. It sounds impossible. I'll let you know how it goes if/when it happens to me!
3. Stand tall, even if the bear charges you: hold your ground and try to appear as large as possible and avoid direct eye contact as that is interpreted by bears as a challenge!
4. Do NOT feed the bears: human food is like crack/drugs to bears. The second they taste high calorie packed human food, they will no longer want to hunt the natural things they usually eat that are low in calories like berries and pinecones (imagine how many berries a bear has to eat to feel full!) It also makes them more aggressive so be sure to keep your food in the bear boxes provided at most areas where bears are very common. You can also get a citation for leaving food out where bears can get them, so "be bear aware!"
5. If attacked, FIGHT BACK: this is one of those things you just better hope your whistle does the job for you!

Bears can be beary scary but they are beautiful creatures that have been around a long time and really are the boss of the outdoors! You don't wanna mess with them, but you also want to respect them and let the bears be. We hope that these quick tips on bear safety can resonate in the back of your mind somewhere to recall at the chance you encounter a bear in the wild and feel threatened. Knowledge is good. In the meantime, "be bear aware!"
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  1. Kylie, your photos are TO DIE FOR!!!!!!!! Teach me your ways! Peace


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