Are you planning a trip to Alaska this summer? Or perhaps you live in Alaska and enjoy the outdoors?
Summer is just around the corner and with it, increased bear activity. And while bear sightings can be thrilling if you’re watching from afar, a close encounter could be fatal if not handled properly.
Now, if you’re tired of jumping from Facebook Group to Facebook Group to try and find out about bear sightings in your area, we’ve got good news for you!
Husband and wife Ashlie and Scott Keenan recently launched a revolutionary app called Repawts designed to provide users with real-time wildlife activity information and safety alerts on their phones, sounds good for use photography folk that depend on safety.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what Ashlie and Scott Keenan made with Repawts and exactly and how it works before sharing tips on how to stay safe in bear country this summer.
What Is Repawts and How Does It Work?
Repawts is a world-first safety and awareness app that allows nature and animal lovers to safely enjoy the outdoors by providing real-time information about wildlife sightings in their area.
The crowd-sourced data driven platform derives information from real-time sightings that locals and visitors report on the app. Once on the app, you’ll have access to a newsfeed and convenient maps showcasing the latest sightings and safety-related information.
But that’s not all. To allow users to customize their search, the app also features a filter option, helping them instantly access relevant information. Naturally, there’s also a report option that allows users to easily report wildlife sightings and share them with others for a safer and more enjoyable outdoor experience.
Lastly, the wildlife alerts and notifications are designed so that you can better prepare before heading to a specific trail, park, wildness area or neighborhood. Something very handy in a land full of bear habitat such as Alaska.
The Repawts app is a fantastic way to increase community wildlife awareness, improve human and animal safety, and foster a greater sense of appreciation for the wildlife we coexist with. Its also completely free to use.
How To Stay Safe In Bear Country
Whether you’re planning a backcountry photo trip, want to mountain bike ride or just go for a walk with your kids, being bear aware is a no-brainer.
After all, Alaska has been their home for over 100,000 years! And as a largely untouched region, The Land of The Midnight Sun is still home to some of the most abundant and impressive wildlife in the world, including over 140,000 bears roaming wild.
So, here are some golden rules you should follow to ensure your safety and that of the bears as you enjoy this amazing part of the world:
Check Sighting Information
Before heading out, check out the latest sightings on various Facebook Groups or using Repawts. If you’re going to a national park, you can also head onto their website or social media pages and see if there is any information about recent bear sightings. However, the key here is to ensure you’re getting real-time data so that you can plan your trip safely.
Don’t Invade a Bear’s Personal Space
If you spot bears, it might be tempting to get closer to take pictures or just see them. After all, they’re impressive creatures! The thing is, although bears won’t bother you if you leave them alone, there’s a chance they’ll react if you invade their personal space as they might feel threatened. Some of the things you can do to stay out of their way include avoiding camping near trails you know they’re using and areas where you can smell carcasses or fish.
This could be their latest catch, and they won’t appreciate seeing you near it.
Store Your Food And Scented Items Properly
Did you know that bears’ sense of smell is better than dogs’?
Bears are attracted by the smell of food, including garbage. To bears, a fancy piece of cake is the same as your dinner leftovers. And that’s not all. These glutinous creatures also have a thing for scented items such as deodorants, toothpaste or lip balms, and if you’re camping or picnicking and you aren’t careful, they might pop in for a visit! So, your food, and scented products should be placed in bear-resistant airtight containers or at a bear hang.
And while we’re on the subject of food, cook away from your tent or picnic site and burn any remaining food waste once you’re done to avoid attracting them.
If you encounter a bear, you should strive to stay calm. Easier said than done, we know. But letting the bear know you’re not a threat by standing your ground, remaining centered and talking to it in a calm tone can genuinely prevent an attack. One thing you should avoid doing at all costs is running away. While this is the first reflex you’ll probably have when facing the bear, running away from it will only prompt it to chase you!
And if a defensive bear approaches really closely, fall on the floor and lie flat, covering your neck and head with your arms. Keep your backpack on your back and wait until you’re certain the bear has gone before moving.
We hope that this article will give you peace of mind when planning your trip or allow you to enjoy your local area knowing that you’re safe. Repawts was created because Ashlie and Scott identified a genuine need for real-time wildlife sighting information, so we hope you’ll find the app useful! You can check out their website here www.repawts.com