You may think you don't need tips to survive a bear attack until you're actually staring down a 600-pound grizzly in the woods.

It's not exactly a situation where you can quickly Google "what to do when attacked by a bear."

Instead of figuring out what to do in the moment, review these helpful suggestions for what not to do if you encounter a bear.

Never Fight A Brown Bear

Before you throw a punch at that bear snout, you need to consider what type of creature is pursuing you. The National Park Service recommends laying as still and quiet as possible when coming upon a grizzly/brown bear. 

"Stay still and don't make any noise – you're trying to convince the bear that you aren't a threat to it or its cubs," NPS says.

The preferred approach from the NPS is to "play dead" by laying flat on your stomach as a way to hopefully use your pack for protection.

Black Bear
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Never 'Play Dead' For A Black Bear

It's a completely different story if you come face-to-face with a black bear. The NPS says you better be ready to rumble and to "fight back with everything you have."

This includes striking with:

  • Direct punches and kicks to the bear's face
  • Nearby "weapons" such as tree branches or rocks
  • A steady stream of bear spray

Never Climb A Tree To Escape

In fact, running away alone isn't a smart idea either. notes that black bears are especially likely to go into predator mode in this situation. Even quickly climbing a tree won't ensure safety.

READ MORE: If You See Red Paint On A Tree, You Need To Leave In A Hurry

"Black bears are excellent climbers, and any tree you might shimmy up you can guaruntee they will do so much more easily," the website plainly states.

Close up of playful European brown bear cubs in the forest
Getty Images

Never Ignore Cub Sightings

Those baby bears you just encountered on the trail are adorable, aren't they? What a majestic moment with just you and these playful cubs that look like they were placed right along the path for hikers to observe.

The thing is you're actually not alone. Mama bear is likely just off to the side keeping a close eye on her cubs and your next move. recommends trying to distance yourself from the cubs, but you'll need to be careful.

That protective mama could be right behind you.

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