TikTok trend about ‘being stuck in a forest’ with ‘a man or a bear’ yields strategic tips

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In a popular TikTok trend, a woman answers the question, “Who would you rather be stuck in the woods with, a man or a bear?”

Many women are quick to say that if they had to choose, it would be better to be with a bear.

The trend started on April 10th with a TikTok video posted by the “screenshotq” account. In the 29-second video, only one of the eight women questioned said she wanted to be with a man in the woods.

Everyone else chose the bear. One woman said, “Men are scary.”

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The issue continues to be debated on X (formerly Twitter), with some women saying people would believe them even if they were attacked by a bear.

“So men don’t understand why women want to see bears in the woods more than men. Listen, understand this: The worst things bears do is killing me. I can’t say the same about men.” posted user “@ItsMrsRabbitToU”.

A new TikTok trend that poses a hypothetical question has women sharing whether they would rather be trapped in the woods with a man or a bear. A lot of people say “bear,” but here’s what you need to know if it actually happens to you. (Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

But how dangerous are bears in the woods, really?

And what should people do to stay safe regardless of the species they might encounter?

The National Park Service (NPS) says, “Most bears don’t want to attack you. They usually just want to be left alone.” Stay calm if a bear notices you. I encourage you to do so.

However, there are some important strategies you should know.

‘Are they harmless?’ Not exactly’

“Long story short, I never felt ‘threatened’ by bears,” Emma Rosset, a Florida-based backpacking guide with Valiant Outfitters, told Fox News Digital.

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“I’ve had close encounters with bears more times than I can count,” said Rosset, a mother of four.

However, while she was in the forest, she was never threatened by a bear, but she did get “surprised.”

“They deserve respect and space, but fear? No.”

“Are they harmless? Not exactly. They deserve respect and space, but they don’t deserve to be feared. No,” she said.

The key to safe hiking is being prepared for any encounter, bear or not, she says.

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“If you prepare and plan ahead, bears are just part of nature’s invitation,” she says.

According to the USDA Forest Service, to best avoid getting stuck in the woods with a bear, you should be especially careful when hiking through bear habitat.

Asian black bear

Bear attacks are rare, but if you are attacked by a black bear, you should fight back, but if your attacker is a grizzly bear, you should play dead, the National Park Service says. Keep reading for more general tips (check out specific recommendations for specific parks, but always try to avoid bears). (George Rose/Getty Images)

This includes being aware of your surroundings, avoiding headphones, making loud noises, and carrying a weapon such as bear spray.

“If you see a bear, keep a safe distance and reroute to avoid the bear. Never interfere with the bear’s travel route,” the USDA Forest Service website says.

If you see a bear cub alone, do not approach it. The baby’s mother may be nearby and will be very protective of the baby.

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Bear attacks are thankfully rare, but not unheard of, according to multiple sources.

There are three types of bears found in the United States: black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears (the latter is said to only be found in Alaska). To the nuclear power plant).

Hikers are taught a rhyme about what to do if they encounter a charging bear in the woods: “Black man, fight back. Brown man, lie down. White man, good night.”

A bear takes care of three cubs on the North Slope.

According to the National Park Service (NPS), grizzly bears are especially protective of their young. If you spot a grizzly bear cub in the wild, never approach it as the mother bear may interpret it as a threat. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Basically, if a bear that charges at someone is typically a small black bear, people should “fight back with all their might,” the NPS website says.

“Don’t play dead. [Use] Punch or kick the bear directly in the face, or use weapons like rocks, branches, and bear spray to protect yourself. ”

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Conversely, and somewhat confusingly, if the attacking bear is a much larger grizzly or brown bear, the person should Play dead, at least at first.

“Wait a few minutes until you’re sure the bear is gone.”

NPS says, “If you are attacked by a brown or grizzly bear, keep your backpack on and pretend to be dead. Hold your hands behind your neck and lie face down. This will make it harder for the bear to turn around.” Please spread your legs.” Stay still until the bear leaves the area. Fighting back usually increases the intensity of such attacks. ”

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Unlike the case with black bears, people attacked by grizzly bears must remain silent, as if trying to convince the bear that they are not a threat.

“Do not stand up immediately as the bear may still be in the area. Wait a few minutes until you are sure the bear is gone,” the NPS said.

If the attack continues, the hiker should only then fight back.

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Polar bears are not found in the continental United States, only living in the wild in Alaska, and are extremely aggressive when threatened.

Bears are the world’s largest species and have no natural enemies, according to the Library of Congress website.

canadian polar bear

Polar bears are the largest species of bear and have no natural enemies. The last polar bear death in the United States was in 2023 when a woman and her cub were killed in Alaska. (SWNS)

The most recent polar bear fatality in the United States occurred in 2023.

The Park Service says it is only sharing general tips. “Please check the recommendations for each park you visit. Recommendations vary from park to park.” [on] Local bear behavior. ”

“One must always be alert and avoid distractions.”

When it comes to encountering unexpected people in the woods, there are also steps you can take to ensure your hike is as safe as possible.

The USDA Forest Service said as well as tips for avoiding bears, people should remain vigilant and avoid distractions.

Other things people can do include telling someone their planned itinerary, including start and end times, and making an emergency plan before heading out into the woods, the service said.


The service also said it would “give children a whistle with instructions to ‘stop and blow’ if they get lost.”

Additionally, the USDA Forest Service says it’s best to stay on marked trails and follow all park rules.

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