If you surprise a grizzly bear while hiking and he charges, “you should really try to stay calm,” someone told me. No kidding. You’ll likely be so scared and shaking that you’ll be peeing your pants. If you have no doubt the bear is going to make contact with you, drop to the ground or he’ll likely kill you by the collision alone. Really the best thing to do if you don’t have any bear protection devices like pepper spray, is to curl up into a tight ball with arms over your head and don’t move a freaking inch. Hugging yourself tightly like this will help you appear less shaky and frightened. At this point you start praying the bear has better things to do and you can get away with only the loss of an ear or a finger. He might not be that hungry anyway.
If you had a dog with you, he was probably one of the reasons the bear charged you in the first place. It’s best to keep your dog on a leash when you’re in bear country, or have ten bear dogs (Airedale terriers, Irish terriers, Karelian bear dogs, Akitas, etc.) surrounding you at all times like you were the president or something.
Note to self. Firearms are sketchy for bear defense for several reasons. First, the bear is likely only bluff charging, so you’re likely to shoot at a bear who wasn’t going to attack you anyway. Use pepper spray. Second, you need a really big gun so you can literally knock the bear down, and they’re heavy to carry in the back country. Third, in your panicked state, you’re likely only to wound the bear, and wounded bears are nothing to sneeze at. They kill to defend themselves. Fourth, you might shoot your buddy by mistake when all hell breaks loose, like Dick Cheney. Fifth, unless you’re carrying a small cannon, relying on a firearm could give you a false sense of security right before the bear rips it from your grasp and shoves it up your ass. Just play dead instead, before you really are dead, unless it’s night time and the bear is hunting you for easy pickens, but that’s a different can of worms altogether and extremely rare.
When you see a bear from a distance, move away