Hiking safety tips - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Hiking safety tips

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS, Mont. -

It can get scary if you get lost in the Montana wilderness, especially knowing you are surrounded by wild animals. We have some recommendations for staying safe when you are outdoors.
If you're new to Montana and really don't spend a lot of time outdoors, but want to, you might want to take some notes.
One hiker said she takes her dog and bear spray. She said she talks to her dog when she's hiking alone to make noise, to avoid sneaking up on any dangerous animals.
Another hiker said it's better to bring bear spray, instead of a weapon. Different hikers have their own ways of keeping safe.
"I always carry a weapon," said hiker, Phil Lambert. "Especially with grizzly bears. Pepper spray is one thing, but my philosophy is if they're close enough to where you can use pepper spray, you're probably in trouble."
"I keep my eyes open, number one, and I listen," said another hiker, Jean Albus. "I also, um, I should say that I use bear spray, but I've never used it. I've never brought it with me. I always take some water just in case."
Another thing to keep in mind when you're going on a hike is to go with a friend or a group.
The warm weather is here so more people are heading outdoors, but it's important to take precautions before you go into the wilderness, especially around this time of the year, moose season. Keep in mind, around this time of the year, calves are born and female moose tend to be more aggressive.
If you have bear spray, one of the first things you should know, is bear spray can expire. According to website, bearsmart.com, most bear sprays have a shelf life of three to four years. One hiker said she always carries bear spray with her.
If you plan on hiking during moose season, always be cautious. One hiker found herself encountering a moose and her newborn calf. She said it was a really frightening experience.
"My moose encounter was, I hiked passed it and didn't see it, said Albus. "So, when I turned around and came by again, the mother moose just stood up right there, like right next to me on the trail, with a calf."
"The moms especially with the calves, just like a bear, you get in between a mom and her calves and she's gonna come after you," said hiker, Jarron Ainsworth.
You can cross paths with wildlife when you're out hiking so make sure you carry bear spray with you and make sure it's not expired.

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