Bear Bells and When to Use Them

Going on a hike in Bear Country is a great way to be one with Mother Nature. Planning this outdoor activity starts with getting the right supplies. Bear bells may be one of the items that caught your eye at the hiking supply store. Knowing more about these bells can familiarize you with what they really are and when you must use them.

The Basics of Bear Bells

A bear bell is a small bell equipped with a loop. Its width can range from 2 centimeters to several inches. Hikers often hang bear bells on their clothes or backpacks. As they walk, the bells jingle. Nearby bears hear the sound, letting them know that there are humans in the area. The goal is not to disturb or startle the bears. This may prevent a bear attack.

Bear bells can work to a certain level. They do not completely prevent bear attacks but they can reduce your chances of being attacked by these huge, majestic animals. Wearing these bells can tell a bear that someone giving off a strange noise is coming. Bears will hear the jingling about 500 meters away. This is much better than surprising a bear, which can trigger a dangerous defensive bear attack.

Studies show that hikers who don’t wear bear bells are often charged by bears. That is why many outdoor professionals advise everyone to never leave without them.

How to Use Bear Bells

Here are some tips to consider to maximize the effectiveness of your bear bells:

  • Research your hiking environment. If you are going to walk through loud bodies of water or dense foliage, the sounds of one bear bell will not carry very far. Use more bells in this case.
  • Hang the bells where they can be their noisiest. Attaching them to your backpack or clothes will allow your bear bells to jingle while you move.

Bear bells are handy and light. They may not prevent a bear attack but they can surely lower your risk of getting attacked by this predator. Bear bells are good helpers in keeping you safe during your weekend hike. Just make sure that you study your environment and maximize the use of your bear bells.

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