A Brief Guide to Keeping Your Cool While Three Grizzly Bears Follow You Home

Courtesy of a very calm man and his iPhone

August 2, 2017 9:00 am

According to Hunter S. Thompson, you never turn your back on a drug. “Especially when it’s waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye.”

Same holds true of grizzly bears, as evidenced by this video in which a hiker is confronted by two cubs and a mama bear:

The hiker, Geoffery Glassner, had just pitched his tent at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park in Alaska, and no sooner had he set foot on the hike, he found himself staring down the trail at a family of kodiaks. From there, the guy puts on an aboslute clinic in calmly and coolly dealing with the presence of a bear.

Rule no. 1: Don’t bolt

Rather than turn and run — precisely what you shouldn’t do — Glassner whips out his phone and starts recording as he calmly walks backward, facing the bears and talking to his camera as he goes. Had he bolted, he could’ve been perceived as prey.

Rule no. 2: Speak up

That the bears keep pace with Glassner is pretty unsettling — and remarkable — to watch. But his constant talking makes them aware of his presence and renders him less of a threat. 

Rule no. 3: Stay on your feet

Glassner makes multiple references to the fact that he needs to be careful not to stumble while walking backwards. Know how you’re told to “make yourself big” in the presence of a bear? Same principle here. On the ground, you look far more vulnerable/appetizing.

Eventually, the bears lose interest and take a different trail. Which was lucky. But Glassner was also calm and smart, and that made all the difference.

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