Brown bears

Hiking in brown bear territory

Brown bears, the largest mammal in the north.

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a large bear with the widest distribution of all bear species.

They are found in the forests and mountains of northern North America, Europe, and Asia.

The main range of brown bears includes parts of Russia, Central Asia, China, Canada, the United States (primarily Alaska), Scandinavia, and the Carpathian region (especially Romania), Anatolia, and the Caucasus.

In Spain, the Cantabrian brown bear is increasingly common to see thanks to the conservation efforts that have been carried out; since its population was in frank decline in the Iberian Peninsula.

These bears can be found in many habitats, from the fringes of deserts to high mountain forests and ice fields; where they require dense areas with tree cover in which they can shelter during the day.

There are 16 subspecies of brown bears, including grizzly bears and Kodiak bears.

The brown bear is a naturally long-lived animal. The average life expectancy in nature is about 25 years. The oldest wild brown bear on record was almost 37 years old. The oldest brown bear in captivity has been verified to live up to 47 years, with a captive male possibly reaching 50 years of age.

The brown bear is one of the two largest land carnivores in existence today, rivaled in body size only by its close cousin, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), which is much less variable in size and averages more because of this.

If you go camping in a bear area you should get to know your neighbor a little better.

The size of brown bears is the most variable of modern bears. Typical size depends on the population it comes from, and most accepted breeds vary widely in size.

The normal range of physical dimensions for a brown bear is a head and body length of 1,4 to 2,8 m (4 ft 7 to 9 ft 2 in) and a shoulder height of 70 to 153 cm (2 ft. 4 to 5 inches). ft 0 in).

Adults have massive and heavily built concave skulls, which are large in proportion to the body.

The tail is relatively short, as in all bears, with a length of 6 to 22 cm (2,4 to 8,7 inches).

The average weight of adult male bears from 19 populations, worldwide and various subspecies (including large and small bodied subspecies), was found to be 217 kg (478 lb), while adult females from 24 populations had an average of 152 kg (335 pounds).

The largest subspecies is the Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi), which commonly reaches sizes of 300 to 600 kg (660 to 1320 lb) and is even known to exceed 680 kg (1500 lb) in weight at times.

Brown bears are often not completely brown. Bears' fur is long and thick fur, with a moderately long mane on the back of the neck that varies somewhat between breeds. North American brown bears can be dark brown (almost black) to cream (almost white) or yellowish brown, and often have darker colored legs.

One thing all grizzly bears in the world have in common is a hump of muscle on the back between the shoulders.

Although it may not appear to be very fast due to its weight and size, it can present a great danger to hikers who decide to flee.

His body strength and that of his jaws is remarkable. So it is important to avoid contact and take preventive measures.

It is an omnivore by nature, the brown bear's diet varies from nuts and berries to fish; and of course, the coveted honey from bees.

Camping in areas where bears live can be dangerous if you don't know how to keep your camp safe.

Bears and people don't make a very nice combination.

Here are some tips to reduce the chances of bears entering your camp.

The first thing you should do is register at the visitor center of the national park you visit and leave your itinerary. Camp guides are the best source of information about local bears and areas to avoid.

Do not venture down unauthorized hiking trails. Animals know which routes are the most used by humans, and they seek to avoid them.

Depending on the time of year you go hiking, the chances of encountering one of these majestic animals increases or decreases, especially towards the winter months.

Wild animals generally avoid contact with humans, hence making a little noise and being noticed is a good way to keep them away and avoid getting close.

If you do hiking with your dog, it is important that you train your dog against the dangers of an excursion, not only against bears but also against snakes and other wild animals.

It is better to choose sites that are outdoors. Setting up your tent in a deep wooded area gives bears plenty of places to hide and take cover as they stalk from afar.

Are you in an area where bears may be feeding on nuts or berries? Are you close to the hunting trails? If so, skip the site and find another one.

Once you find a place that seems free from bear activity, part with your food.

The smell and food of campers

Most national parks require camp campers to properly hang their food so that it is out of reach of bears. Many campsites offer hanging poles for this purpose.

A rope should be laid so that it runs between the two tall trees, in the same way that a clothesline runs between the posts. Tie your food to the second string.

Next, take this rope and throw the free end up and over the rope that runs between the two tall trees. This will allow you to lift the food so that it hangs between the two trees well above ground level. Tie the root securely to a tree branch or tree trunk, to keep food safely in place.

If you are camping in an area that does not have tall trees, it is recommended that you place your food in many layers of zip-lock plastic bags. This will help reduce the odor. Then take your food and place it somewhere several hundred feet away from your camp.

It is preferable to bring dehydrated food, not only because it is lighter to carry but because you can carry it in packages more easily.

If you are a dedicated hiker to buy suitable equipment. In specialized stores or eBay you can buy anti-bear packaging. They seal the food completely, are almost unbreakable, and have a safety mechanism to avoid being opened easily.

When it's time to cook, don't cook anywhere near where you set up your tent. Food odors can enter your tent from the food itself and from the smoke coming from the stove / grill and be trapped for a long time attracting these unexpected visitors.

Do not throw food at campfireAs uncalcined remains will attract these keen-smelling animals.

Try not to cook too much food. You should only cook what you are going to eat.

Garbage and waste should be collected in hermetic bags and take them with you to the park exit. Do not allow wild animals to get used to the waste, as they will see in the hiker an easy and attractive way to feed.

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