Ah, Canada… a beautiful country full of pretty mountainscapes, the bluest lakes your Insta account has ever seen – and an absolutely terrifying population of bears. Well, that’s according to our head of copy, Alice, who was so nervous about hiking in bear country this month, she spent every spare moment leading up to her trip searching ‘bear attacks’ on Google. Excitement much? But our brave traveller recently returned from the Land of Maple in one piece, with a tally of eight bear sightings and more than a few pieces of bear merch in her luggage. Perhaps she’s a convert…
On a scale of one to 10, how nervous were you about the bears?
Eleven. I am scared of dogs off leashes, so put me in the bush with a bunch of wild bears and I was pretty sure things were not going to end well. I read so many articles about what to do if you come across a bear on the hiking trails and the bottom line was: DO NOT RUN OR SQUEAL. That is my natural reaction to everything. That’s when I figured I was doomed.
So, did you have any run-ins?
Let’s just say my first ‘encounter’ was unexpected. I was visiting a friend in Clearwater (that’s proper country Canada, FYI) and her boyfriend was driving us around to see if we could spot a black bear by the side of the road. Before he could finish saying it was the perfect time to see them, a bear ran out into the car and was knocked out cold. Apparently this ‘never happens’, my friend told me. Thankfully, the bear was okay – but that run-in was all the evidence I needed that the Canadian bears were clearly going rogue and they now had a possible vendetta against me. I dialled my attentiveness up to 100 and, in the end, I racked up seven more bear sightings – all from the comfort of my car, with the window up. Thank. Goodness.
They are kinda cute, no?
I will admit that when viewed from a safe distance (and with a can of emergency bear spray in your backpack), they are very beautiful animals. And seeing them roaming around their natural habitat was 👌. My heart may have softened toward them, but my nerves did not. (Especially after seeing a Facebook video of a bear letting itself into someone’s car, super casual.) I won’t be RSVPing ‘yes’ to a teddy bear’s picnic anytime soon…
Now, we have to ask, does a bear shit in the woods?
A lady never tells.
Want your own bear encounter? These guys are risk free and won’t involve a 19-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean…