sadly sensible/necessary, they have "proper" wilderness over there which people treat as not much. (great outdoors heritage etc etc)
A few years ago in the north west territories, some kids were out camping. In the morning, whilst frying bacon, they saw a grizzly. They ran into their tent (with the bacon) and zipped up the door. result: 1 bear birthday present all wrapped up, 1 dead, 1 seriously crippled for life
If S&W are to be believed one of these is a wise investment should you find yourself getting personal with a bear. As long as you do not have to fish it out of the Tupperware box and read the book first. Oh yes and keep the last round for yourself of course.
Went to Alaska a few years ago on an exped - the local bear expert said that the bells idea was bollocks. We did carry around bear mace, thought - one of the others on the exped got a faceful on a "trial run" whilst standing dowwind - very funny! Whilst out hiking, we carried pump action shotguns with solid shot - apparently they do the trick.
After all that, the closest I got to a bear was seeing one on a ridge 1 1/2 miles away - perhaps for the best...
Just come back from hols in Canada...the following comes straight out of the Canada Parks Mountain Guide on bear attacks....there are two kinds of attacks (defensive and predatory). What you do depends on the bear's behaviour.
'If the bear behavious is defensive
>If you have bear spray, use it (acording to the manufacturer's instructions).
>If the bear makes contact with you play dead! Showing submission will probably end the attack.
>Lie on your stomach with your legs apart, so the bear cannot easily flip you over.
>Cover the back of your head and your neck with your hands.
Keep your pack on to protect your back.
Defensive attacks seldom last longer thn two minutes. If the attack continues, it may have shifted from defensive to predatory.
In this case, fight back My bold.
After reading that I made sure I had a stopwatch with me....after all I didn't fancy being mauled/dismembered for any longer than necessary
Due to an attack of mongness I could not upload a piccie but Good CO was kind enough to up load the picture shown above. (Good CO, you sir are a gentleman and a scholar)
We septics protect ourselves from bears with the use of attack cats. See picture above. Our cats aren't pussies!!
Seriously, this is a real picture, taken last year, of a 12lb cat that chased a 250lb bear up a tree in New Jersey. It was a ginger tom housecat that did not like the bear in it's yard and hissed and spit so much that the black bear fled up a tree and would not come own until the cat was taken inside.
I keep the pic as my computer wallpaper to remind me that with enough guts and determination anything can be accomplished.
I was in Alaska 3 weeks ago. Was walking on the glacial exit root trail in McCarthy/Kennicot NP, and saw a black bear on the path about 20 foot in front of me. I had been giving it all the 'hello bear' crap before, kind of half hearted, but this made me freeze in my tracks. He trotted off in the other direction, and I gave it a good 5 minutes before I carried on. Holding 2 small rocks and clacking them together all the way..
Some people I spoke to later that day had seen a black bear in the same area scale a 40ft near vertical scree slope up from the glacier in a matter of seconds.
Wisely, most people I encountered out hiking either had jingly bells or bear CS spray. A couple had .45's.