Spending time in the great outdoors is always an adventure. Whether you’re exploring a trail for a few hours or pitching a tent for a week, you’re sure to see some incredible sights while you’re out in nature—especially when you visit state and national parks or other protected lands. On top of colorful plant life and serene landscapes, you might also come across the locals: elk, bears, cougars, and other incredible wildlife. While wildlife encounters can turn into great photos and stories, they can also prove dangerous if you’re not careful. Whenever you venture into the great outdoors, keep these safety tips for unexpected wildlife encounters in mind.
If you come across a wild animal, the most important thing to do is stay calm. If you panic, you can make poor decisions or hurt yourself or the animal in your attempt to get to safety. Keep your wits about you so that you can remember the proper safety tips for unexpected wildlife encounters. If you come across a predator, don’t try to run away. Instead, back away slowly so that the animal doesn’t consider you’re prey.
Give Them Space
Many wildlife accidents occur because people decide to get too close. Wild animals can be adorable or awe-inspiring, but you should always maintain a safe distance from them. Don’t try to pet an animal—even small, seemingly harmless creatures. Don’t leave food out or feed the animals, either, as you don’t want the wildlife to make a habit of approaching humans for food. Finally, while it’s tempting to capture a photo with the creatures you come across, don’t approach an animal for a photo opportunity. Take pictures from a safe, respectful distance.
Know What’s Around
Being smart and aware can save you from a lot of trouble when you venture into the outdoors. Conduct some research into the local wildlife before you head out on a hike, camping trip, or another excursion. The information you find will help you prepare accordingly. For example, if you know there are bears in the area, you can pack bear spray. If you’re traveling somewhere with a lot of snakes, you can make a point of wearing tall boots and checking logs, rocks, or leaf piles before you step through or over them. Knowledge is your best tool against wildlife encounters. The more you know, the easier it will be to stay calm and do the safest thing.
Are you planning a trip to see Colorado and all its incredible wildlife? In addition to these tips, make sure you have your stylish Colorado apparel on hand to mark the occasion. From shirts to stickers and everything in between, we have everything you need to show your Colorado pride and celebrate your adventure through the Centennial State.