How to be "Bear Wise" - Part 2

In our previous post, “How to be ‘Bear Wise’ - Part 1”, we offered six tips on how to live in concert with our neighbors, the black bear. If you missed that post, please check it out and hopefully learn something new.

In this blog, we offer a few tips on how to enjoy our bountiful and beautiful great outdoors while being “bear wise”, keeping safe from and sharing the space with bears. We are, in fact, visiting their home, not the other way around.

Western NC has well sought after hiking, mountain biking and camping - the Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville areas specifically. It’s very uncommon for bears to attack humans and rarely become aggressive…unless you mess with cubs. However, it’s best & smart to avoid bears at all times.

Hiking & Walking

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times

  • Try not to hike alone - take a friend or go in a group

  • Always keep children in sight

  • When in thick brush, make noise like clapping hands or talking loudly. Consider wearing a bear bell

  • Carry bear spray…just in case

Camping & Cooking

  • Do not store food in tents and always cook about 100 yards away from campsite

  • Clean cooking items and site thoroughly

  • Do not sleep in the same clothes you wore when cooking

  • Store food, trash, lotions, toothpaste, and deodorant in your vehicle or bear-resistant container. Alternatively, store these in the air suspended on bear lines 100 yards from campsite

Man’s Best Friend - Fido!

  • Always keep Fido leashed when hiking/walking and at campsites

  • Do not let your dog chase or interact with bears to prevent any aggravation

  • If you encounter a bear with your dog, back away slowly and leave the area as calmly as possible

A Tip from Roost Home Watch 

If you encounter a bear, remember, DO NOT RUN as hard as that may be. This may trigger the bear’s predatory response. Instead, talk loudly, not shouting, wave your arms slowly making yourself look bigger. Back away slowly from the bear in the opposite direction continuing to talk and waving your arms. Don’t make eye contact.


Informed by BearWise.org. Photo by the Laurel of Asheville .