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Backpacker Magazine – January 2012

Backpacker Bible: See More Wildlife

Get closer to the mystery of life: Put yourself spine-tingling distance from the fanged and clawed and horned.

by: The Backpacker Editors

PAGE 1 2
A Grizz (istockphoto.com)
A Grizz (istockphoto.com)

Backpacker Bible
See all 10 skills every backpacker should know
Thou Shalt Not: Surprise a grizzly.
If you encounter a bear that hasn’t noticed you, stand tall and talk in a loud, calm voice. Reach for your pepper spray, not your camera.

» Stop at vantage points overlooking (and downwind of) meadows, watering holes, and travel corridors, like game trails.

» Keep a safe distance. If the animal pays more attention to you than anything else, you’re too close.

» Target overcast days, when many animals are most active, and windless weather, since your scent won’t travel.

» Keep binoculars and camera handy. Rooting for them in your pack will scare animals off.

» Practice “scatter vision.” Keep your eyes moving without letting them settle on one focal point. This improves your ability to spot motion—or just a part of an animal, like a tail or antler—over a wide area.

» Observe prey animals for signs.
If all the elk in a herd suddenly look in one direction, be on alert for a glimpse of their predator.

» Sit quietly and watch at dawn and dusk, when many animals are most active. Station yourself near water holes and in transition zones, like the edges of forests and meadows.

» Ask local land managers where wildlife is congregating. Learn which plants animals are foraging for, and where they grow.

» Sneak up ridges. Before cresting a hill, slow down, get quiet, and peek over the edge.


PAGE 1 2

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Martha
Aug 17, 2012

it's pretty interesting! I've never needed this advice, but who knows where i can find myself in a couple of years ! i absolutely adore nature

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Trey
Jul 20, 2012

Don't forget to look near water, especially flowing streams through forested areas. Me and a friend were hiking the woods near Crater Lake, Oregon. Sat down to eat lunch by a stream and came face to face with a gigantic mule deer. Pretty exhilirating.

AZ Hiker
May 21, 2012

Never run from any animal you don't want chasing you! And don't forget to read Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon). Learn essential hiking skills and how to navigate your way with and without a map or compass. A fast, easy read that could maybe save your life but definitely will make your hike more enjoyable and safe!

Daniel Bender
Mar 29, 2012

It's only a simple instruction which is important of course but actually when you see a bear people forget about any instructions and do something wrong..run away for instance.
<a href="http://audioeditorfree.com/">how to edit a song</a> | Dan

applesauce15
Mar 06, 2012

He is talking about different ways to reduce your chances of a) provoking an animal to defend itself from a perceived attack (i.e. a skunk or snake) and b) startling wildlife while on the trail, which will either significantly reduce the amount of wildlife you see while hiking. The goal is to enjoy seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, without spooking them or present yourself in a threatening manor.

Applesauce15
Mar 06, 2012

He's talking about different ways to better your chances of a) not startling wildlife who may try and defend itself if startled (i.e. A skunk) and b) getting opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural state without spooking them or driving them away long before you ever see them.

Morjhan
Feb 05, 2012

"» Breathe through your nose (unless you’re congested or moving fast, and need more air).
» Stalk wildlife early or late, when the ground is wet with dew, or after a rain; moisture softens leaves and twigs so they’re less noisy underfoot.
» Step slowly, knees bent, rolling forward from heel to toe. Slip large wool socks over your boots to muffle footsteps.
» Wear close-fitting clothes that won’t rub and swish. Make sure nothing is loose and hanging, even the ends of shoe laces.
» Avoid strong-scented lotions, sunscreen, and bug repellent.
» Mimic the way small animals move, in short, irregular bursts, not in a steady pattern.
» Practice walking quietly at home, around your pets. If you can sneak up on a dog or cat, you’re doing well."

What the hell are you talking about?

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