If you thought pesky bugs were all you had to worry about while camping, you thought wrong. After this story, you might want to start learning how to escape a bear encounter before your next trip.
Geoffrey Glassner, a 74-year-old avid outdoorsman, was out on for his first hike through Alaska's Katmai National Park when he suddenly noticed he had uninvited company. A grizzly bear family composed of a mama bear and her cubs were tailing him through the wilderness.
"The cubs were out in front of mom and I was interested in them," he told Inside Edition. "My biggest fear was that they would get close to me and mama bear thought I was a threat and would attack me."
In a situation where most people would attempt to run or freeze in fear, Glassner started to walk backwards while filming the scene with his cell phone camera. Despite feeling fear, which was evident in the camera's instability, the hiker remained calm to avoid frightening the bears.
“Oh come on guys, give me a break,” Glassner can be heard saying in the video as the grizzlies got closer.
Click on the next page to watch the video of the terrifying encounter and see how Glassner got away.
Every bear encounter is definitely a frightening one, but the last thing you'd want to do is run.
"Most times they will turn around and walk away but there is always a possibility they will charge you," Glassner said.
In his case, he was lucky that the bears were simply looking for a place to cool off and left him alone once they found a nearby river.
Experts say that bear encounters aren't as rare as most people think, but many hikers and campers never know they were in the presence of the wild animal because "the bear did such a good job of avoiding them."
According to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, "your risk of being hurt by a bear is lower than your risk of being hit by lightning and much lower than your risk of being hurt in a car accident as you drive to bear country."
If you do find yourself in a situation like Glassner's, try not to trigger the bear's predatory instincts. If the bear isn't aware of your presence, do not approach it whatsoever and try to calmly leave the area.
If you're face to face with the animal, identify yourself as a human by talking to the bear in a calm voice. Place your arms on your side then move them slowly up and down. Avoid eye contact and any sudden movements at all costs.
If the bear leaves, you should walk in the opposite direction. However, if it chooses to follow you, do not run. Should it attack you, it's best to lay still on your stomach and protect the back of neck.
It's a good idea to arm yourself with bear pepper spray which can be used to stop an aggressive bear from attacking. Choose one that can spray for at least 7 seconds in a minimum of 30 feet and check with the park to make sure it's allowed.
You can watch Glassner's scary run-in below: