Spend enough time running through the forest and eventually you’ll have a moment like this:
(WARNING: profanity alert!)
I’ve run into a bunch of bears while out running. And while I probably reacted like the guy in the video, it’s important to remember that most bears are total scaredy cats. (Of course, I live in Ontario, Canada, where we have Black Bears, not Grizzlies.)
What I’ve learned: when running through the forest, you should make as much noise as possible. Wear bells or a whistle, make noise, and the bears will probably keep out of your way.
Me, I keep up a steady chatter. Being a radio guy, I usually do the audio technician talk: “CHECK ONE TWO THREE! ONE TWO ONE TWO! SIBILENCE! SIBILENCE! HEY CHECK ONE TWO THREE!”
Sometimes I sing. Jay-Z, Muse, Lady Gaga, it’s all good.
In spite of my awful singing voice I sometimes still run into bears in the woods. One time I rounded a bend in the trail, and came across a little bear cub, chowing down on a patch of raspberries bushes. I was running pretty fast, and neither the bear nor I noticed each other until I was ten feet away. The bear looked up, spun around, and darted up the hill and into the forest, CHUFF-CHUFF-CHUFFING as he went. The whole encounter lasted maybe 3 seconds. My heart hammered for a few minutes after that, and I probably swore like the guy in the video. But in the end, everything happened just the way it was supposed to, i.e. THE BEAR RAN AWAY!
Still – if you’re running in the forest, it’s best to do so with a partner. And be sure to tell someone where you’re going. And carry a phone if at all possible!