Seeing wildlife in their natural habitat is a truly special experience and the majority of interactions with bears don’t involve any aggression on the bears part. In most cases, a bear will act curious, will completely ignore you, or will simply run away.
Actual attacks are surprisingly rare. But as trail runners, our speed puts us at an increased risk for sudden encounters with bears which can provoke a defensive reaction, and the large amount of time that many of us spend in the backcountry and particularly in grizzly habitat also puts us at an increased risk.
So in this post, I’ll discuss how we can avoid potentially dangerous conflicts with bears, how to tell the difference between black bears and grizzlies, a subspecies of the brown bear, and what to do in the rare case of an attack. Most of what I’ll be recommending is based on advice from Parks Canada as well as the authoritative book by Stephen Herrero which I’d highly recommend reading for yourself.