Wildlife on Your Hike

What to do when you encounter wildlife on your hike

The weather is inviting you back outdoors. Time to dust off your All-Weather Mocs, shake off your women’s fleece jacket, stuff a few treats in the pockets and head out. You’re going on a hike. What better way to ring in the new season than with a temperate journey through the wild nearby. It could be a day trip to a state park. It could be a snow melt search for treasures in your backyard. Sometimes we forget what we’re acquainted to when we live in a civilization full of charm and comfort. When we get into the great outdoors there might be – GASP – wildlife a-roaming. While your first, second, or third reaction might be to scream and run away, that’s not always the right way to interact with the nature around you. Besides, that’s just a mossy rock.

Take it all in.

The quieter you are on those winding trails, the better chances you’ll run into something magnificent. You’d be surprised what you can see if you avoid bringing along those headphones. It’s just you, your waterproof boots, some peace, and more quiet. Bring along your Squall Parka, its natural colors will keep you in tune with your surroundings. You’ll certainly look good in it and in case you need lip balm, a camera, tissues (for all those nature admiring tears), a snack, and more can fit in all those useful Squall pockets. You’ll be hiking in Squall-or, not squalor.

Try not to get too close.

Can you imagine what you must look like to the animals? Sure, to all of us you look like you’re going for a hike, playing the “prepared for anything” card to the letter (we love your fleece hat and scarf combo, by the way). But animals get scared when there’s a well-dressed noise machine crunching through the last bits of winter snow. It’s hard to avoid the noise, with the extra t-shirt stuffed into the pocket of your winter parka, along with the extra boot socks should you sink in the mud past the top of your duck boots. It’s all good. Just remember this: Most importantly, do not touch wild animals. It can harm their livelihood, and if they’re frisky, could harm yours too.

Bear-y scared.

Usually what happens if you see a black bear is that you will probably look at it and it will look at you and neither one of you will want to have anything to do with one another. It’s like when you were a kid and you saw a teacher at a movie theater. If you know you’ll be in bear country bring along bear spray (in case of an emergency) and be bear-y aware. Travel in groups. Do not feed bears. They might look like the coziest winter sweater but trust us, they’re not polite at the dinner table.

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