How To Outrun A Bear

Chances are, if you are headed out on the trails this summer, there is always the possibility of running into wildlife, in particular Bears! So how do you out run a bear if you see one?

You don’t! The truth is you cannot outrun a bear. Bears can travel up to 40 mph (58 feet per second) and there is no way for you to outrun them.

Truth be told, you probably won’t ever find yourself in a sticky situation with a bear, because usually they want nothing to do with us unless you come between them and their cubs, or just bathed in bacon fat. In situations like that, it’s also probably a good idea not to be wearing your earbuds, listening to your favorite show tunes!

1. Know your bears. There are blacks bears and brown bears in Colorado. A lot of black bears are brown or gold in color. Black bears are herbivores and like seeds, nuts, berries and fruit. This is why if you leave your bird feeders out at night, they come a looking! Only Grizzly bears have been known to dine on human meat and we don’t have grizzlies in Colorado.

2. If you see a bear on trail, don’t make eye contact as they may see that as a sign of aggression. Just yell and back away slowly. Do not run!

3. Some people think to get away from a bear you should climb a tree. DO NOT DO THAT! Bears can climb trees too!

4. If a bear charges you, there is still a good chance it is a bluff charge giving you one last chance to back away. In this case, yell loudly, “get outta here!”

5. As a last resort, use your pepper spray or bear spray. Start spraying when bear is 10 feet away. In a pinch, wasp spray will do as well as it can shoot a long distance.

6. Worst case scenario, if you are attacked, what do you do? In most cases it is not always best to play dead. If it is a black bear, fight with all you have with as many blows to the face as possible. If it’s a grizzly, that is a whole different story, lay face down with your hands over your head and spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you face up. Chances are they will lose interest.

Remember bears were here first. In most case they can also be run off with a water hose. Just be mindful, we are in their territory. And please, whatever you do, don’t feed the bears. Once they get used to humans and are not afraid sometimes the only solution is the euthanize them. These are magnificent creatures and they deserve to live as long a life as possible!

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