#28: How to Survive a Bear Attack

G is for Grizzly:  Featured Post Card for the A to Z Challenge.

Today’s post card serves as a frustrating reminder of one of the two remaining states in the US I haven’t yet visited. I’ve been to all 48 continental states, but not to Alaska or Hawaii. Plans are in the work to remedy that over the next few years, but for now, it’s a gaping omission in my travel experience!

image (3)

I was going to write this post as G for Grizzly, until I realized the back of the postcard called them Brown Bears. But after a little more research, I realized Grizzly Bears are just one subspecies of Brown Bear!

image (2)My Uncle Henry sent us this post card from his first visit to Alaska. Eventually, he would move there with his family for several years, but when he sent this card, it was his first visit. I can’t even write about my own experience in Alaska because I HAVEN’T BEEN THERE YET… It frustrates me, in case you couldn’t tell!

But I wanted to take this opportunity to share this awesome infographic for any fellow nature enthusiasts. I found it over on the site The Art of Manliness, which is a great website. While it caters more toward the male demographic (hence its name) for fashion and chivalry advice, the tips offered for things like public speaking, how to network effectively, or how to survive a bear attack are awesome and useful for anyone.

This info would have come in handy about 13 years ago, when we were on our cross-country vacation. Late one night as we were driving through Yellowstone National Park, I had to stop to use the bathroom. We pulled into a quiet campsight along the road, where all the campers were in their tents for the night. I got out of the van, went into the wooden outhouse, and pulled the door closed.

A split second later, I heard a large CRACK and rustling coming from the woods past the outhouse, and my dad started yelling “GET IN THE VAN! GET IN THE VAN!” I hightailed it out of the flimsy wooden shack and sprinted to the mini van about 10 feet away. My dad was a few steps ahead of me, so he had the door open already and propelled me into the van, slamming the door shut before I had even righted myself in the vehicle. He was in the van and driving away before I had a chance to fully process what happened.

While I’ll never know for sure if there was a bear in the woods or not, I’m permanently paranoid about running into a bear in the wild now. The information in this guide has me a little more at ease – though now I want to get some bear spray for when we go hiking, just in case!


Source: artofmanliness.com ; Illustration by Ted Slampyak


I’m participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge this year! Over the month of April, I’ll be featuring my post cards for all 26 letters of the alphabet. So get ready to see more of my massive post card collection!



Categories: A to Z Challenge, Alaska, How To, Post Cards

Tags: , , , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. When I lived in Alaska, I was told by the locals that brown, grizzly, and kodiak bears are the same species with regional differences. Grizzlies, the smallest of the three, live inland and the lower 48. Browns are coastal and eat salmon so are larger. Kodiaks are isolated to the island and have interbred so much they are unique.

    I hope you get to see AK soon, its beautiful

  2. I’m still “traumatized” by that episode and I was in the car the whole time! -mom

  3. I am so impressed that you have been to 48 states! Wow! I definitely need to get my but in gear and go on a road trip or something. Alaska is also on my list. I think it look so beautiful and I will keep these bear attack tips in mind when I travel.

    • Road trips are a great idea. It’s tough to visit all the states nowadays, since everyone flies. But when we were young, 4 plane tickets were too expensive, so we got where we were going by car instead. We saw much more of the country that way than we would have if we flew everywhere.

  4. I used to be involved in competitive tracking (had the first dog from north of the Alaska Range–a Sheltie–to earn his TD) and laid a lot of tracks. We always had to be careful to make lots of noise when laying tracks. We fly everywhere up here in Alaska (and I’ll have lived here for 50 years in a couple of months.)

    • Good to know the advice is effective! I always feel like making a lot of noise in the wilderness is disturbing the peaceful setting, but I’d rather disturb the peace than accidentally run into a bear!

  5. I so fancy an Alaska trip. We’ve been watching a lot about the ice road and it looks incredible even at it’s worst.

  6. I hope I never need to know that, but I’m glad I do. 🙂 Alaska is on my list of to-see places as well.

  7. i went hiking with some friends and on our hike we ended up splitting up. they wanted to take a shortcut back, and they ended up seeing a black bear! good thing black bears are more afraid of humans as long as you make a lot of noise. i hear if you run into a grizzly, you’re pretty much dead.

    That is awesome that you’ve been to all 48 states! i wanted to do the 50 states photography project (http://www.50statesproject.net/) all by myself and i have quite a few states left. i hope you get to make it to alaska soon! i’ve watched several documentaries, and it looks amazing!

    • Funny thing is, there’s a documentary about Yellowstone wildlife featuring bears (but also bison, wolves, etc) on my local PBS station now! I would not want to run into any bear, especially these grizzlies.

      I thought I saw a reference on your site to the 50 states project but I wasn’t sure what it was. Thanks for the link! It sounds like a fun project.


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