As the year is coming to an end, we are definitely excited for all things to come in 2017. Yet, we are getting nostalgic and looking back on the year that has brought us to this point, including all the adventures we had along the way. So, we thought we would share one of our favorite adventures to one of our favorite places on the planet: Sequoia National Park. Press play on the video below to watch our pursuit!

Sequoia is America’s second oldest national park, right after yellowstone. Tucked in the southern sierra nevada’s, it is the gem of inland California. It is also home to the world’s largest trees, the giant sequoia. These trees can live for over 3000 years, and grow to be over 250 feet tall. But, it is their sheer size and weight that puts them in the record book as they’re the largest tree by volume. A single tree can weigh 2.5 million pounds.

Despite the amazing-ness of the flora, on this trip, we were there to see the mega-fauna; particularly what we deem to be the most creative animal in the park. the black bear. These intelligent and curious omnivores are a whole lot like us humans, but it’s that curiosity (led by an amazing sense of smell) that can lead to human/bear encounters that are a little too close for comfort. These encounters also include the ones that turn into property destruction (usually trash cans, cars, and remote cabins), but if you’re smart, you can take precautions to avoid having a bad bear encounter.

1. Prevent food encounters: Bear’s smellers can smell much better than yours. Don’t leave food where they can get it! If you’re in a campground in bear country, they might provide a steel food storage option or bear-bin, but if not, get a rope and hang your food at least 10 feet off the ground.

2. Safe hiking encounter: Bears are more scared of you than you are of them. However, this of course comes with caveats. 1. NEVER SCARE A BEAR. Make noise on the trail. Attach bear-bells to your pack, talk to your friends, whistle while you walk, or clap a beat to your favorite Bowie song, whatever you gotta do. 2. If one didn’t hear you, let ’em know. Stand tall, raise your arms, and yell as loud as you can. You want to seem scary, like a predator to the bear. To be extra safe, buy a can of bear-spray at your local sporting goods store (REI is our favorite ;) 

3. Safe photography encounter: Don’t get closer, buy a bigger lens :)

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