This is a phrase used many times on social media when I said I was going camping in the wildness of Algonquin in Canada last summer.
On arrival at the canoe launch we were warned of a heighten risk of bears around the campsites and portages.
We were given information leaflets on the storage of food and to remove all garbage and food from the campsite on departure.
We gathered up a discarded black bag full of beer cans and other rubbish that some selfish visitors to the area had discarded in the area where a bear sighting had been reported.
I'm very grateful not to have seen a bear on our visit, however we believe we had a close encounter with one at the camp site when we found bear poo within 100 meters of the tent, officially answering the question 'does a bear shit in the woods?'
We didn't go anywhere without a can of bear spray, even the short distance between the camp fire and the tent.
So what do you do if you encounter a bear? There are 4 types of bear encounters you could experience.
A fleeing bear.
Enjoy the sight of it running away.
An habituated bear.
DO NOT RUN.
If the bear is fishing or foraging for berries, calmly leave the area.
If the bear is approaching you, stand still, face it, yell, throw sticks and rocks, use a whistle, make yourself as big as possible, wave your arms and use the bear spray.
If that fails, depending on how you reached your campsite either get into you car or a building on into your canoe and paddle away.
A defensive bear may see you as a threat to it's food source and it will huff and blow air through it's nostrils and swat the ground and make mock charges. Talk to the bear and back away and leave the area.
A predatory bear will silently stalk you, leave the area by canoe or car but DO NOT TURN AND RUN. DO NOT CLIMB A TREE.
If you cannot leave, do EVERYTHING you can to fight back. DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Fighting back with noise, sticks and rocks is the only way to halt the attack.
I'm glad I didn't see a bear, I'm not sure I'd react all that calmly faced with a situation like that.
One thing to remember is to camp in in groups, there have been no reports of bear attacks on groups of 6 or more people, most attacks occur when there are only 1 or 2 people.