On Friday we had a slight change of plans. I had intended on taking our merry pack of adventurers to Ballentree Park. But as we rounded the final bend to get to the trail head we saw a sign indicating a bear was in the area.
Bears are common on the North Shore. One of the fantastic things about Vancouver is how close it is to nature. But nature should be respected. So we decided to give the bear some space and headed to a different trailhead.
People often ask me if I feel safe heading out into the woods by myself. Well, with a pack of dogs I’m not really by myself. One of the nice things about hiking in Canada is our predators are large solitary predators (for the most part). A solitary animal needs to win a fight. If it gets injured it can’t feed or take care of itself. Solitary animals will stay away from a pack of animals. As packs can take care of one another. Simply by walking in a group you reduce your chance of engaging with a solitary animal (aka bear). Especially if you make lots of noise to let them know you’re coming. It’s important to make noise near water (water masks noise in general, so a bear may not hear you until you’re close) or near dense brush where visibility is low. It’s fattening time, so the bears are eating lots of berries! Let them know where you are and they’ll stay away (for the most part)
So that’s what we did. The dogs all had their bells on. I sang some songs (terribly, but loudly). We had a great time, and we didn’t see a single bear.