You're tired from a long day of hiking and snoozing soundly in your tent. Then all of a sudden something bites your leg through your tent. It's a bear. What next?
Bear attacks along the Appalachian Trail (AT) are uncommon. In the last 10 years, there have only been nine, but that didn't help one AT hiker recently. A hungry bear tried to have his leg for supper.
The hiker was able to scare away the bear and didn't suffer major injuries. After scaring away the bear, the hiker and others nearby all gathered for the rest of the night in the Spence Field Backcountry Shelter until morning came. The bear returned at some point in the night and tore into two tents.
While the hikers at this shelter site had followed all safety precautions, bear interaction is still a possibility and did happen. Bears have been waking from their hibernation and there is little of their normal food available. The berries have not yet begun to grow and the crop of acorns are scarce.
The National Park Service has closed the shelter and is on the lookout for the bear. Even though their food source is low, it is still odd for bears to attack.
When venturing into the great outdoors this year, be sure to plan and prepare for these interactions. Remember, don't get between a female bear and her cubs. Also, though they may look like fluffy pets, they are wild animals.
The one thing not to do is let these incidents keep you from going experiencing nature.