What to Do When You Encounter Wildlife While Hiking

Coming into contact with wildlife is almost inevitable when hiking in remote places, but when one sees a potentially dangerous animal, there are certain steps to follow to keep safe. The hiker should remember to never approach or feed wildlife for the safety of everyone. The following list are some of the situations to avoid whenever possible to prevent a wildlife related accident.

-Not being loud enough while in the woods

-Getting too close to a mother bear with cubs

-Surprising an animal or getting to close

-Getting between n animals and its food source, especially dead carcasses

-Hiking in the dark

-Going off the designated trail


Tips for a Safe Hike

When hiking with children, they should be close by and within sight. Hikers should let someone know where they’re hiking and an approximate return time . It’s important to make sounds constantly, especially when what’s ahead can’t be seen clearly. A hiker should always talk, shout and take loud steps while walking.

Be Aware of the Surroundings

A Hiker should look for signs of bears in the area, including droppings, scratch marks on trees and logs and paw prints. If a carcass is seen or smelled, it’s important to head the other direction and report the dead animal to the nearest ranger station.

What Hiker Should and Shouldn’t Pack

When packing snacks for a hike, dry snacks are best as they don’t have a strong smell. Sweet smells and even the smells of some deodorants and perfumes may attract a bear’s curiosity, so it’s best to wear unscented products and take unscented bug repellent and sunscreen. Pack as lightly as possible so that the pack and gear doesn’t have to be left behind. One should not take pets on hikes as the scent and sound of a smaller animal can attract forest predators.


Other Important Information

Bikers and runners should focus on their surroundings to be sure the area is safe as the quick movements and nearly inaudible sounds of hiking or biking can alarm near by wildlife. Groups should always remain together for safety. When a camp is set up, it should always remain clean and everything should be removed upon leaving the area.Camp should be set up in designated camping areas and it’s important to always have a flashlight near by.

Animals traveling through campgrounds are wild and should not be approached. Food should be picked up and placed in an area where it cannot be reached by wildlife. All food and debris with food should be removed once the area is vacated. Most importantly, the ranger stations are there for assistance and it’s important that the local rangers are notified in the case of a nearby predator or a sick or injured animal.