How to Get Mauled by a Grizzly: A Ten-Step Guide

1. Enter a known grizzly area at dawn or dusk, preferably alone.

2. Keep your bear spray in your backpack, where it is difficult to reach in an emergency. Better yet, don't bring any.

3. Find signs of a bear in the area, such as bear scat, overturned rocks, or dug-up dirt. Then, lather yourself in peanut butter and wait.

4. Hike as quietly as possible, especially when turning blind corners. Bears love it when you sneak up on them.

5. If you glimpse a bear, scream and run. This works every time, as long as you can outrun the bear - or your traveling companion.

6. Climb a tree or cross a creek. Bears hate trees and water.

7. Run toward a grizzly at full speed, especially if it's guarding a carcass. Maybe it will share.

8. Store food in your tent for bears to enjoy, post-carcass.

9. Disobey the park rangers. They don't care about your safety - they're just in it for the money.

10. Pet the cubs. Mama bears love this.

All kidding aside:

Bears are beautiful creatures, but they are also wild and dangerous. It's important to exercise caution in bear country and to educate yourself about the animals around you. The appropriate response to a bear encounter depends on the type of bear (black, brown, or polar) as well as the situation.

Bears generally prefer to avoid contact with humans, and the odds of being attacked by a bear are slim. However, it's always good to be prepared, and bear spray has been very effective in preventing potential attacks. Please carry bear spray with you and to have it ready to use (i.e. with the safety cap off and your finger on the trigger) in case of an emergency.

Following safety precautions, storing food appropriately, and heeding the advice of park rangers will ensure that everyone - humans and animals alike - can enjoy the park safely.

Happy trails!

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