Bear Call

What should you do if you're in a tent, and you hear a bear outside?

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What should you do if you’re in a tent, and you hear a bear outside?

Submitted by – J.M., Milbrook, ON


Any bear nosing around your tent is looking for food, but it’s unlikely the bruin considers you as dinner. Bears seldom enter tents that smell of nothing more interesting than a human. Still, you should not lie quietly. Make noise, the kind the bear would not associate with a meal. Tell the bear in no uncertain words and tone that you wish for him (or her) to withdraw from camp. Bang pots or trekking poles together–anything loud and mechanical that doesn’t sound like a wet fish flopping on a rock. On very rare occasions, a bear might be predatory towards humans. Any bear trying to enter your tent should be very aggressively fought off. Go for the nose and eyes, kick and gouge (and screaming might help). Many predatory bears have been driven off, sometimes killed, by an aggressive counter-attack.

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