Bear safety is important to remember when visiting the mountain town of Durango. Durango is surrounded the San Juan National Forest and as a result, the lines between civilization and nature are blurred. It is not uncommon to see deer walking down residential streets or mountain songbirds flying overhead. This also means that other animals such as bears will sometimes come in contact with humans too.
The residents of Durango have coexisted for a long time with the black bears in the area and when these wild animals are treated with respect the relationship isn’t troubled. However, when humans invade too much of the bear’s territory, both parties can be put in serious danger. It is very important to be aware of bear safety when living in or visiting Durango.
Be Bear Aware
When visiting bear country, there is always a possibility that you will encounter a bear. Because of this, it is important that you are educated on ways to reduce risk. The trail heads will often have signs posted about the recent bear activity. In addition to looking for signs the park has posted, also keep an eye out for signs the bears leave, including droppings, footprints, or marks on trees.
Hike In A Group
Hiking in a group is better than hiking alone. When you hike with a group, you are able to make plenty of noise, so the bears hear you coming and leave the area. If you see a black bear, it is best to change your course of direction to avoid confrontation. If the bear starts approaching you, one key thing to remember about bear safety is never to run. Make yourself as big as possible and make loud noises.
Bear Proof Your Campsite
Bears can be attracted to your campsite by the smell of food, so never leave it out when it is not in use. A key bear safety measure is to store your food in a bear-proof locker or in your vehicle, or you can hang it in the trees. There are bear-proof garbage cans in Durango where you should throw away all of your garbage and food waste. Change your clothes after cooking, so that you are not sleeping in clothes with food odors on them.
When choosing your campsite, try to avoid anywhere near salmon streams, garbage, animal carcasses or back country metal fire pits that may have food remnants left behind. Even if you do your best to keep one of these areas clean of your own food and trash, it will still easily attract bears to your space.
Keep these important bear safety tips in mind when you are hiking and camping in the beautiful mountains of Durango, so that you can stay safe and avoid any situations that could be harmful to you or these beautiful creatures.