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Hiker's Hell!

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Hiker's Hell!

Post by ulhiker on Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:22 pm

Here's a website definitely worth reading. Tells about those who were both fortunate and unfortunate while doing what we love doing so much. It will definitely make you pay a little more attention while out in the wild.

http://www.hikerhell.blogspot.com/

Be careful out there,
UL
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Re: Hiker's Hell!

Post by snowsurfer1973 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:56 pm

Two things I spotted reading these articles. One, I have experienced first hand Joshua Tree on my 30 day desert backpacking and rock climbing trip on Outward bound. The dreaded Yucca bush is obviously no lie. They truly are like little daggers. Just brushing up against them will scrape you up pretty nicely. It was the jumping choya bush that is the true devil of Joshua Tree. These consist of poisonous little bulbs that pop off and stick into you with the're barbed spikes. It is when you pull them off that the true pain begins. They secrete poison into you that keeps you in pain for quite a while.
Two, don't EVER play dead for a black bear. Any bear expert will tell you that. If she spoke to it calmly and backed away slowly the confrontation may never have happened. Living in prime black bear country most of my life has taught me this. If she really did know what she was doing she would not have played dead. That just makes the bear think he has an easy lunch. Remember black bears are lazy scavengers and would rather not work for there food.
Three, an expereinced climber, especially instructor, kissed his ass goodbye when he decided to go alone. No matter how good of a climber you are, mistakes always happen and if they happen with no one around, well we all heard the outcome of that story.
good stories with good points to learn from.
That is a great link UL, glad you found it.
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Re: Hiker's Hell!

Post by Jay on Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:22 pm

I agree that she probably didn't need to play dead for this particular bear encounter, but if you get charged by a bear (particularly one who is protecting a cub and not just looking for food) playing dead is a last resort that can save your life. They will often batter you around and they may even bite you, but they are less likely to kill you when you appear to be less of a threat.

When there's nothing else you can do, I tend to agree that playing dead as a last resort can save your life.

I'm not trying to start a big discussion here, but it's been pretty well documented that folks have been spared death by playing dead as a last resort. If you're charged by a bear, there's only so much you can do.
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Re: Hiker's Hell!

Post by snowsurfer1973 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:00 pm

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Bear attacks: play dead for a grizzly, fight back against a black bear?


Nope. Fight back against a predatory bear. It doesn't matter if it's a black bear or a grizzly bear. Let's say you're camping in the tundra of Denali National Park where the only species of bear you're likely to meet is a grizzly. A bear comes into your tent at night, and grabs you while you're in your sleeping bag. Play dead for a grizzly? No way. If a bear comes into your tent at night, you assume it's in a predatory mode and fight back bear any means available. If you play dead, you will be dead. You're just making it easy for the bear to have a midnight snack--you.

On rare occasions, both black bears and grizzly bears decide to prey on people. Contrary to popular belief, they won't "warn you" before striking. They're going to be in stealth mode and make a quiet, deliberate, approach. Always fight back against a predatory bear.

Play dead against a defensive bear. The classic scenario for a defensive bear is when you suddenly encroach on the personal space of a female grizzly with cubs, and she launches a defensive charge. Stand still. If you don't have bear spray or a firearm, or if your self-defense tool fails, stand still and wait for the bear to make contact, then play dead. Typically, the bear will work you over for less than a minute and then leave--if you manage to stay still so the bear no longer regards you as a threat. The longer you fight, the more severe your injuries will be.

If you suddenly encroach on the personal space of a female black bear with cubs, she's most likely to run away. If she charges and you hold still, it's unlikely she will make contact. Occasionally though, female black bears with cubs that have been startled by a nearby person have charged and made contact with with the intruder. This is a defensive charge. Play dead, just as you would with a grizzly in the same situation.

Play dead for a defensive bear. Fight back against a predatory bear.

This was an article written by Dave Smith who is a ranger who has lived in bear country in Alaska for along time. It should answer any questions about bear attacks and what to do. He has studied bears his whole life and is as knowlegable on the subject as anybody. It is a good subject to talk about to give awareness to those unaware. There is alot of controversy surrounding the subject, I know many who will say never play dead for a black bear because even if it is in defense mode and you play dead it will then look at you as an easy later meal. Many will say if you play dead you will end up having to fight from being the meal anyway. Examples have occured to prove both sides. it just proves that bears like most wild animals are very unpredictable and you never no what they will do. Playing dead may help in some cases with one bear, but may give the next bear an easier target. That is why it is best to know how to avoid the confrontaition and hope you never have to make the decision to fight or play dead.
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Re: Hiker's Hell!

Post by Jay on Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:13 pm

I agree with this. And I've heard the "never play dead for a black bears" argument before, and I guess the real point is, like everything else in the wilderness: don't rule anything out. Think on your feet and improvise where necessary.

I hope I don't have to be in the situation at all!
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Re: Hiker's Hell!

Post by snowsurfer1973 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:06 am

True that Jay, true that. Statistically in the past hundred years there has only been 50 something fatallities by bears in the lower 48. That is pretty good odds. I have seen bears in the wild a few times myself but only for a breif moment as they haul ass away into the woods. Always know the area you are hiking in. For me in September I have contacted the ranger station in the are I will be to ask about any "problem" bears, they informed there has been no incidents with problem bears at all, but that time of year they have had a full season to get used to hikers being around and are a little more persistent in seeking out the food they smell. This tells me to cook my meals well away from where we plan to sleep at night, and also to keep are food cannisters away also. That way the bears will be looking in that area for a while. Important to wash yourself thoroghly(I think I spelled that wrong)to get the odor of food off your skin, since that can draw them to you too.If possible I like to have a fire going at camp as long as possible in prime bear country since this will keep them away into the night. Following these methods won't ensure that you won't have a close encounter at camp but it will greatly reduce the risk, and that is all you can do. Almost every encounter of bears that ends cup negative, the person or people were breaking one or all of the prevention methods.
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Hiker's Hell!

Post by jamesjohn on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:26 am

It's so interesting to read this.

Thanks Dude!

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