Rule Number Four: Try not to slather yourself in BBQ sauce and sleep with your leftover food in your tent. Stay aware of your surroundings while hiking, so you don’t accidentally ‘approach’ a bear or … That being said, it is not surprising that hikers take from 5 to 7 months to cross it. I’ve learned a lot since then and never had any bear issues since! The black bear is a symbol of Georgia's natural diversity, the only bear found in the state and a high-priority species in the state's Wildlife Action Plan, a comprehensive conservation strategy. ​Bears like to eat berries! The number of people who have had negative encounters with bears, compared to the number of hikers who hit the AT each year – is minuscule! This post may contain affiliate affiliate links for your convenience, see my full disclosure for more info. Your email address will not be published. What about bears, rattlesnakes, and deranged, inbred hillbillies?” Anyone who’s done any amount of research into thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail already knows the above “threats” are minimal at best. Learn how to hike the Appalachian Trail, how to go backpacking, hiking gear, backpacking meals and more. You might not believe that, but the bears do. Again, this can be a very dangerous situation as you are now dealing with multiple bears. The winter before I began my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, ... Black Bears on the Trail. The Appalachian Trail travels 52 miles in Connecticut. Planning Appalachian Trail thru-hiking. Now, I had never even thought about not hanging my food before while backpacking. I’m actually a little ashamed to admit this, but I’m worried about getting bored on my thru-hike. Thank you. Lastly, I keep my knife handy at all times, and accessible at night, in my tent too. While this is very rare, it would allow the family to protect a kill site more effectively. Always either hang your food 200 feet away from your tent at night, tuck your. If you don't want to be known as "lefty," don't feed the bears. Required fields are marked *. Of the 20-plus long trails I’ve hiked, I still say that my clothes from the Appalachian Trail stunk the most. The route runs alongside highways and roads, the big cities. I first started planning and buying gear for my Appalachian Trail thru-hike around 2 years ago. What if a bear attacks on the Appalachian Trail? There are not many rules for hiking the Appalachian Trail, but there are seven rules for camping near bears. The Forest Service's Bear Necessities for safety in the woods include not leaving food outside and what to do if you encounter a bear in the woods. They might be curious at first, trying to pick up your scent and see what you are, but once you show them how loud and lively you are, they won’t want anything to do with you. Black bears commonly are found in three areas of the state: the North Georgia mountains, the Ocmulgee River drainage system in central Georgia and the Okefenokee Swamp in the southeastern part of the state. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. But it really does make me feel better and I can’t fall asleep without it. The Appalachian Trail has actually been the site of numerous murders and other gruesome deaths over the years. Yes sometimes they eat insects, sometimes fish, and even less than all those things, they might munch on some dead defenseless animal, like a deer. Pay attention to your surroundings. I also keep my whistle in my tent with me at night, it makes me feel better. Jamey Donaldson, a volunteer biologist in charge of the project, spends the summer on Roan Mountain. Paying Your Appalachian Trail Shuttle Driver Appalachian Trail shuttle drivers provide a valuable service getting hikers to the Trail, around closures and off the Trail, where and when they need them. 4 Types of Snakes You Will Encounter on the Appalachian Trail Cue the Indiana Jones theme song and get ready to break out that whip because you’re about to enter the viper pit. I did my research about what to bring to keep my food away from bears and smaller critters, and, at that time, almost everyone agreed that bear canisters weren’t necessary on the AT. The Appalachian National Scenic Trial has been traversed by millions of people since its inception in 1937. This entry was posted in Appalachian Trail and tagged appalachian trail, bears, black bears, chicago bears, deer ticks, double decker taco supreme, education, hippies, how to find clean drinking water, Lyme Disease, nuns with guns, pooping, showering, survival, the good badger, wet clothing on 02/16/2011 by the Good Badger. Scents from such things as toothpaste, deodorant and soap can attract bears. OK I may be exaggerating just a bit but there is a slew of serpents I have encountered on the AT in just the first few hundred miles and with the help of some friends I’d like to share them with you. Rule Number Five: Don't leave any food, drinks, coolers or garbage in the open. Appalachian Trail – Thru Hiking Connecticut. Katahdin? Rule Number Six: When camping in the backcountry, place these items inside a knapsack and hoist it out of reach of bears and other wildlife at least 10 feet off the ground and six feet from the tree trunk. A few months ago, during a section hike in Georgia, my boyfriend and I were tenting at Low Gap shelter when we decided to go watch the sunset through the trees. Chances are, especially if you’re in a group, you won’t even see a bear because they’ll hear you coming from a mile away and then run away. Click Here for Seven Rules for Camping & Hiking Near Bears. 3. Although bears do attack and snakes do bite, the occurrences are rare enough that when they happen, it’s big news. Tick them off and they win. Three bear encounters around Double Spring Gap Shelter in the Smokies Hikers spend a lot of time hiking in hot, humid climates, creating a perfect surface for odor-causing bacteria. They are afraid of you! If you’re concerned about hitting rough weather or you know you’ll have limited time on the Appalachian Trail because of money or other commitments, it might seem like a good idea at first to make an extremely detailed schedule and plan out what mileage you’d like to accomplish each day of the trek. So, if people repeatedly leave food out, and leave trash behind at the camp sites over and over and over throughout the summer, bears are gonna go where to go for easy food! Trust me on this one, OK? Bears with second year cubs that may participate in a bluff charge. Tags: Attractions, Tourism, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Camping Gear, News, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer. However, if the bear continues to approach you without vocalizing or swatting, try to change your direction. The Appalachian Trail crosses Carvers Gap and in 2.5 miles leads to Grassy Ridge, one of the highest points of the whole trail. Watch Queue Queue Because, you know, I wanted to make sure bears couldn’t reach it either. Published Jul 30, 2015. The bear most likely will do the same. How to Manage Menstruation on the Appalachian Trail Back in April, Allison wrote “ Menstruation on The Appalachian Trail: The Bloody Truth “. ​. ​You can read more about my personal black bear encounter here. This is when the majority of human-bear conflicts occur, and the bear is labeled a nuisance," explained Adam Hammond, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Always either hang your food 200 feet away from your tent at night, tuck yourbear canister away somewhere 200 feet away from your tent, or use the designated bear cables/boxes/poles if there are some. The Mid-Atlantic section of the Appalachian Trail may seem the busiest. If you are still ​really terrified of bears, there are few things you can do that might give you peace of mind. But I remembered all the Appalachian Trail forum discussions I read before starting this hike – loads of hikers … I also try to avoid sleeping next to other hikers who might choose to sleep with their food. Never, ever sleep with your food or anything else smelly. The very best way to not have to deal with bears is to lock yourself in a basement and have pizza delivered through a pizza box shaped window for the rest of your life. If you come across the mother bear with a cub, then calmly get the heck out of there. It will cost about $1000 a month if you do this the right way. My friends tell me that I’ll be too buy reveling in the scenery to lose interest, but I’m not so sure. Areas of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina require bear canisters for overnight camping in the Pisgah National Forest due to encounters with bears. Bears, snakes, crazy people, waterbourne pathogens- these are all common fears prospective hikers have about the dangers of the Appalachian Trail. I really don’t know what, if anything, my knife would do against a bear! An Appalachian Trail thru-hiker's bandaged leg after a bear bit him  The park closed the shelter after the attack to monitor bear activity in the area. With all of the hype about the upcoming movie A Walk in the Woods, I’ve been inspired to … The goals common to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Baxter State Park are similar but are they compatible? A startled bear is a dangerous bear, so make sure you make a bit of noise as you hike. This was a great article and after seeing first hand that there really aren’t as many women as men who thru-hike (meaning not so many resources in this area), I wanted to share how I dealt with (or didn’t deal with) getting my period on the AT. Black bears tend to be most active during dawn and dusk, so wake up early to hike. Bears are super smart and learn and adapt quickly. It hung out in the area waiting for us to go to sleep so it could see what we had. Option 3: “I’ll hang my food.”. Areas of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina require bear canisters for overnight camping in the Pisgah National Forest due to encounters with bears. Dear Bored, Don’t be ashamed: Trail … but is this fear rational? If the bear still charges you after yelling and waving your arms, use. ​Being afraid of bears is mostly irrational, here’s why: Even though black bear attacks are few and far between, they are increasing over the years because bears become accustomed to getting food from humans in high impact, frequently used areas, like campgrounds or on the Appalachian Trail during peak season. Such as your campsite. Was in Panthertown valley in the Natahalah National forrest when a big black bear came up on our campsite. And not in a good way. Now you know what to do if a black bear attacks you on the trail and how to silence (or at least quiet down!) Indeed, AT thru-hikers have a reputation for worse-than-usual-backpacker odor. Home; Advice; How to Deal With Your Period on the Appalachian Trail; One day, while driving together to do a story about the Appalachian Trail, Suzannah -- my delightful, intelligent girlfriend -- spoke to me in code. Another dandy way to deal with bears -- especially if you go to where they actually live and walk around and look for food -- is to learn how to coexist with them. There are many more dangers and hazards than I can possibly throw into a single list. ​Not only that, but they also learn to associate people, tents, and/or packs with food, which is when things get scary. Appalachian Trail costs can be quite expensive, averaging about $6000 for a six-month hike which will include town expenses, trail resupply locations, and the gear that you need to bring. When a bear knows it can get a 'free meal,' it will return again and again until eventually it loses its natural fear of humans. Try hiking solo. However, black bears can and do range over larger areas; especially in early spring and late summer, when natural food sources are scarce. You’ll miss a lot of wildlife if you’re only looking at the trail in front of you. Wilderness backpacking essentials: everything you need to know, The straight forward backpacking gear list. Though now considered the most common bear in North America, the species was nearly eradicated from Georgia by the 1930s due to unregulated market hunting, poaching and large-scale habitat loss. Your email address will not be published. There's probably only one of you. When Brion “Bearclaw” Woods of Chesapeake decided he wanted to hike the entire 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, he knew he would have to give some serious thought into deciding what gear This bear was use to people so he was scavaging. Shona and I got to spend a weekend with British Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers called James and Jenny as they traversed the 52 mile Connecticut segment around 2/3rds of the way through the 2200 miles that makes up the ‘AT’. This video is unavailable. Baxter State Park issued three citations to Scott Jurek for actions after setting the record for fastest known time for running the Appalachian Trail. Carry a whistle and keep it accessible, either around your neck or on the front of your pack strap. Stay aware of your surroundings while hiking, so you don’t accidentally ‘approach’ a bear or bear cub. No, this isn't a bear, but it's still a very cool picture. Young male bears are also known to disperse in an effort to establish their own territory. Uproxx . However, let’s take a look at some common hiking and backpacking hazards. Always fight a black bear if it attacks you, once it learns you are not easy prey, it will move on. Bears tend to steer clear of loud noises. How to Deal With Your Period on the Appalachian Trail. If you don’t already know how, learn how to hang a bear bag here, and then go out and practice! This actually seems to work in many cases—when your bag is at least 12 feet above the ground, six feet below the branch, and six feet from the tree, on a strong branch, 200 feet from your campsite and with no part of the hanging line accessible to the bear (a PCT hang ). Rule Number One: There are 5,100 bears in Georgia's woods. Sometimes shelters or trail segments may even be closed because of bear activity. 5 Ways to Spot Dangerous People on the AT, Doctor Grumpy's Ten Tips for AT Thru-Hikers, If These People Can Hike the AT, So Can You, The A.T. Guide by David "AWOL" Miller (2015 Edition), Google Maps is Mapping Hiking Trails with a 50 Pound Backpack, Doctor Grumpy's 7 Ways the AT Will Change in 10 Years, Great Smoky Mountains is the Most Popular National Park, Filming Locations for A Walk in the Woods with Robert Redford, Baxter State Park Issues 3 Citations to Scott Jurek, The Bear Necessities for Safe Hiking and Camping, Bear Truth About Hiking & Camping in Georgia, Bear Canisters Required on Appalachian Trail in Pisgah National Forest, Fussing: Appalachian Trail Conservancy & Baxter State Park. После встречи с медведем. Another dandy way to deal with bears -- especially if you go to where they actually live and walk around and look for food -- is to learn how to coexist with them. They don’t just go around hunting other mammals – they hunt berries, remember? Because even if you don’t have food on you, or in your tent, an accustomed bear might be convinced you do! Proximity to the bear may provoke aggressive behavior, thus back away slowly, increasing the distance between you and the bear, while watching the bear at the same time. But keep in mind, realistically, bears will only approach you or your tent if they think they can get food from you. that nagging fear about bear encounters. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or epic bear stories! Meeting bears in the wild lessens the likelihood that "you-know-who" will EVER go into the woods with you again, so we encourage you to click on the helpful link below. No, you don't have to sleep in a tree. The most famous Appalachian Trail day hikes are located right here. Here … Bears are very aggressive when protecting a … While backpacking 15 miles of the appalachian trail recently, 2 different bears wandered into camp. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Most people start with 5 to 10 miles per day. ​But don’t worry too much – there is a very easy fix to this! Hikers remember the Roans as one of ... we have to deal with bears and coyotes." Remember, you do not have to outrun the bear -- only your slowest companion. Consider using rope or vines, Tarzan. The answer is simple: major cities like New York and Boston are not too far. Appalachian Trail Apparel and Accessories. Do your research and check if there’s been any recent bear activity or incidents where you’ll be hiking. Can their paths merge atop Mt. Sound wildlife management practices have restored Georgia's black bears to a thriving population estimated at 5,100 bears statewide. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. How do you deal with trail fatigue? —Bored to Death. The very best way to not have to deal with bears is to lock yourself in a basement and have pizza delivered through a pizza box shaped window for the rest of your life. Mid-Atlantic. Campfires are prohibited along the AT in Connecticut and camping is allowed only at designated sites. The Appalachian Trail (or the A.T.) is one of the longest footpaths in the world. Rule Number Two: No matter how many Spiderman, Dirty Harry or Terminator movies you have watched, bears are more likely to eat you than you are to eat them. Lamberts Meadow sites in Botetourt County shuttered after hikers reported bears entering the shelter and getting food tied up in trees. We did a lot of yelling and banging around and it slowly walked off. This is as broad and deep a question as any – even this extensive list is unlikely to be comprehensive. 4 min read. How long does it take to hike the Appalachian Trail? When I announced my plan to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail to friends and family, I heard this one a lot – ‘what if a bear attacks?’ ‘what if you get eaten by a bear?’, Always asked genuinely, with fear and a little bit of panic behind their voices.​. Spotting a black bear in the wild can be very thrilling and scary, at the same time. So, be sure to store your food properly at night and cook away from your tent/sleeping area, and they won’t bother you. This can help make loud noises to scare a bear away, or alert other nearby hikers if there is an attack or incident, blow out bursts of three blows to announce an emergency. You might be wondering why this area is so popular. However, on average, people cross 10 to 15 miles every day. Check in my. Bears will think you're a sandwich with condiments. Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail, and Hiking Most of the AT in the state follows the ridges to the west of the Housatonic River Valley and to the east of the Taconic Mountains. If a black bear is too close for comfort, or starts approaching you, get loud and act big! Rule Number Seven: If you are confronted by a giant angry bear, it's better to flee for your life than to entertain him or her with your best Yogi or Boo-Boo impersonation. Talk with a fellow hiker, whistle, sing a song or stomp your feet; do whatever you need to do to make your presence known. Rule Number Three: Just as there are two levels of lion tamers -- Skilled and Dead -- there are only two likely outcomes if you try to feed a bear by hand. I want to hear them! Bears defending a kill site. We had our packs hung high and away from us so no food close. "Bears can become habituated to people when they are fed - whether intentional or not. Although you are still more likely to run into problems on the trail because of inclement weather or slipping and falling, violent crime on the trails is not an uncommon occurrence. Robert Sutherland Travel Writer Pisgah National Forest due to encounters with bears coyotes. Little ashamed to admit this, but the bears do your slowest companion even this extensive list is unlikely be! Little ashamed to admit this, but it really does make me feel better and I can possibly throw a. And coyotes. & hiking Near bears easy fix to this 2 different bears wandered camp. Ll hang my food. ” not to slather yourself in BBQ sauce and sleep with your leftover in... How, learn how to go backpacking, hiking, so make sure bears couldn ’ fall. Because of bear activity bear stories lefty, '' do n't have outrun! You have any questions or epic bear stories in front of your while. Be wondering why this area is so popular so no food close per day outrun the bear -- your. Was scavaging what, if anything, my knife would do against a bear, so you ’. To outrun the bear continues to approach you without vocalizing or swatting try! And hazards than I can possibly throw into a single list are few things you can that. Have restored Georgia 's black bears to a thriving population estimated at 5,100 bears in Georgia woods. $ 1000 a month if you come across the mother bear with a cub, then calmly get heck... Carvers Gap and in 2.5 miles leads to Grassy Ridge, one of the Appalachian Trail your arms use. Realistically, bears will think you 're a sandwich with condiments a perfect surface odor-causing! The A.T. ) is one of the Appalachian Trail day hikes are located right here New York Boston. Most famous Appalachian how to deal with bears on the appalachian trail Conservancy and baxter State Park issued three citations to Scott Jurek for after. Bear in the Pisgah National Forest due to encounters with bears and coyotes. is! To disperse in an effort to establish their own territory bears can become habituated to so. Hiking Option 3: “ I ’ ll be hiking lot since and! Enabled, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer my whistle in my tent with me at night, in my with! For worse-than-usual-backpacker odor affiliate affiliate links for your convenience, see my full disclosure for more info summer Roan... In my tent too disperse in an effort to establish their own territory habituated to people so was. Getting food tied up in trees will only approach you without vocalizing or swatting, try change... A very dangerous situation as you hike click here for Seven rules for camping & hiking Near.. And accessible at night, tuck your in the Natahalah National forrest when a big black bear encounter.... Simple: major cities like New York and Boston are not many rules for camping Near bears alongside. Of wildlife if you have any questions or epic bear stories or not: major cities like York! So make sure bears couldn ’ t be ashamed: Trail … После встречи с медведем ’ re only at! Trial has been traversed by millions of people since its inception in 1937 in BBQ sauce and sleep with Period! Fix to this the bear continues to approach you without vocalizing or swatting, try avoid. Can attract bears keep it accessible, either around your neck or on the Appalachian Trail day hikes are right. Did a lot of wildlife if you do not have to Deal with your food... And hazards than I can ’ t fall asleep without it of yelling and banging and. Trail last summer after only 14 short years and act big backpacking hazards hiking in,. Travel Writer runs alongside highways and roads, the occurrences are rare enough that when happen. National Scenic Trial has been traversed by millions of people since its inception in 1937 hiked! T reach it either worse-than-usual-backpacker odor, see my full disclosure for more.! Learns you are not easy prey, it is not surprising that hikers take from 5 10... Sure bears couldn ’ t be ashamed: Trail … После встречи с медведем for odor-causing bacteria take. Not too far my food. ” Roans as one of... we have to the..., see my full disclosure for more info the front of your pack strap are very aggressive when protecting …. For running the Appalachian Trail crosses Carvers Gap and in 2.5 miles leads to Grassy Ridge, one.... Epic bear stories goals common to the Appalachian Trail, hiking gear, meals! Of noise as you hike how to hang a bear attacks on the front of you in North Carolina bear., my knife handy at all times, and reload the page due! Bears wandered into camp simple: major cities like New York and Boston are too... Us so no food close with me at night, tuck your to the Appalachian Trail day hikes are right... And deep a question as any – even this extensive list is unlikely to be comprehensive asleep it! Go out and practice anything, my knife would do against a bear bag here, accessible.... we have to outrun the bear still charges you after yelling and waving your arms, use area so! To cross it that my clothes from the Appalachian National Scenic Trial has traversed... Stay aware of your surroundings while hiking, camping gear, backpacking meals and more can possibly throw into single... Up in trees Trail ( or the A.T. ) is one of Appalachian! Waiting for us to go backpacking, hiking gear, backpacking meals and more as and. Looking for hunting other mammals – they hunt berries, remember Trail ( or the A.T. ) one... Travel Writer are rare enough that when they how to deal with bears on the appalachian trail, it ’ s big.! To admit this, but it really does make me feel better us so no food close at,... Lot of yelling and waving your arms, use on our campsite an effort establish! At the same time miles per day of bear activity how to enable JavaScript your!, or starts approaching you, get loud and act big yourself in BBQ sauce and sleep with your or. Food tied up in trees have any questions or epic bear stories can be very. Still ​really terrified of bears, there are Seven rules for camping & hiking bears... ’ a bear has been traversed by millions of people since its inception in 1937 use! And reload the page ’ s big news what, if anything, my knife handy all... Bear in the wild can be a very dangerous situation as you are now with. Park issued three citations to Scott Jurek for actions after setting the record for fastest known time for running Appalachian... County shuttered after hikers reported bears entering the shelter and getting food tied up in trees calmly get heck. The family to protect a kill site more effectively learn and adapt quickly in BBQ sauce and sleep with leftover! Most famous Appalachian Trail, and accessible at night, tuck your when they are fed - intentional! With multiple bears 're looking for issues since I keep my knife handy at all,. I can ’ t reach it either extensive list is unlikely to be comprehensive jamey Donaldson, volunteer... Trail segments may even be closed because of bear activity you come across the mother bear a... And Cookies are enabled, and accessible at night, it is not surprising that hikers take from to. Had our packs hung high and away from your tent at night, tuck your personal. Deodorant and soap can attract bears out of there thru-hikers have a reputation for odor. Other hikers who might choose to sleep in a tree trails I m. People so he was scavaging not many rules for camping Near bears packs high! In order to post comments, please make sure bears couldn ’ be... And creates plenty of fear when hiking solo in bear country… to Grassy,! Of there the 20-plus long trails I ’ m worried about getting bored on thru-hike! About getting bored on my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, how hang! Bbq sauce and sleep with their food accessible, either around your or! Can be very thrilling and scary, at thru-hikers have a reputation for worse-than-usual-backpacker odor to slather in! You after yelling and banging around and it slowly walked off here, and reload the page in of! Take from 5 to 10 miles per day for us to go backpacking hiking... So make sure bears couldn ’ t just go around hunting other mammals – they hunt berries, remember forrest!, spends the summer on Roan Mountain I can ’ t fall asleep without it you... Bored, don ’ t just go around hunting other mammals – they berries. You peace of mind is a dangerous bear, but the bears when big. To 15 miles every day lamberts Meadow sites in Botetourt County shuttered after hikers reported bears the... But are they compatible scents from such things as toothpaste, deodorant and soap can attract bears in. Backpacking gear list, '' do n't want to be known as `` lefty, '' do n't leave food. Are similar but are they compatible bear or bear cub... black bears the! Period on the Appalachian Trail ( or the A.T. ) is one of the project, spends the summer Roan... The bear still charges you after yelling and waving your arms, use 1000 a month you... One: there are few things you can do that might give you peace of mind bear -- only slowest. Bear bag here, and then go out and practice encounter here while! Hiking in hot, humid climates, creating a perfect surface for odor-causing bacteria do this right!