4. Bear Encounters
he Canadian Rockies are home to black and grizzly bears and an encounter with either of these animals can be very dangerous. The best thing to do is to avoid encountering a bear in the first place.
Bears don’t like to be around people, so while you are hiking you should make a lot of noise to let them know you are there so that they can avoid you. Sing, talk, clap, call out and attach bear bells to your clothing, especially around streams, berry patches and dense vegetation. Hike in a group of four or more and don’t let children wander away from the group. Always hike only on the marked trails and paths.
If you spot fresh bear droppings, torn up logs, turned-over rocks or a fresh animal carcass, this is a sign that a bear is in the area and you should leave as soon as possible. Any animal carcasses should be reported to park staff.
5. What is Bear Spray?
When my English boyfriend first arrived in Canada and we went hiking in the Rocky Mountains, he thought bear spray was like bug spray – something that you applied to your own skin to make the bears avoid you. It’s a good thing we explained this misconception before he tried it out! Bear spray is more like mace or pepper spray, it is a small portable spray canister that will sting the eyes of the bear and cause them to have difficulty breathing. As a last resort, it can stop a bear from attacking you and cause them to retreat.