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During our hikes, we encountered many bears on our trails. And we are still here :-)

Knowing what to do, and not to do is crucial when you are in the outdoors. Especially if you are in bear country and don't want a bear to be on top of you…

A polar bear reacts different than a brown (grizzly) bear or a black bear when it encounters a human. On the following pages we tell you how to deal with them if you come across one. We also tell you about a clean camp, cooking, odors etc.

The tips are based on our knowledge as wilderness guides and experiences during expeditions and trekking in remote wilderness areas like Scandinavia (Europe), Alaska, Canada, Continental USA and the Arctic (Spitsbergen – Svalbard).

General rules about bear behavior, making camp and personal hygiene in bear country

This chapter applies to all bears. So read this one first.

What do you need to do to prevent a bear coming into your tent? Or how do you have to react when there is a bear right in front of you? This chapter gives you all the basic rules. However, a grizzly bear reacts different in certain circumstances than a black bear. And a polar bear is a complete different story . So read the other chapters too.


Grizzly Bear sitting in the water at Katmai National Park


To prepare us for a number of expeditions in Alaska we were trained by rangers of Katmai National Park. The greatest concentration of Grizzly bears in the world live there and we have spent a long time right in the middle of them. ​Every day we saw at least 10 and slept among them in our tiny little tent.

Want to now more about Grizzly's and how to deal with them? Then check out the Grizzly Bears page.

Black Bear in Sequoia National Park USA


Black bears live roughly from Canada to the southern parts of the United States. There are even black bears in the southern California deserts. Encountering one in a remote area is pretty slim, they are more shy and usually go out of your way. However you might see them in the National parks where they are more used to people. Want to now more about how to deal with Black bears? Then check out this page.

Polar Bear Lying On Snow Close Up in Spitsbergen, Svalbard the Arctic


A polar bear can kill and maybe eat you. But you are not it's normal food source and it therefore usually avoids you. It is very curious and when hungry, a polar bear may come towards you. Although rare, it might want to eat you. Not many people hike in the high Arctic regions with Polar bears around. But if you want to, please get a good training from a wilderness guide or an Inuit and hike in a group. In our Polar bear section we will tell you how to setup camp and how to deal with them in the wild. But you also need to carry a rifle and a (flare) gun, and know how to use it.

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