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Could You Survive a Bear Attack?

Many people who go off-grid love the idea of not having any neighbors, but one thing they learn quickly is they do still have neighbors—they just aren’t of the human variety. Co-existing with wildlife is simply a part of living off the grid. While everything in nature has its place and all creatures deserve to be treated with respect, wild animals can be dangerous and unpredictable, and they are best avoided. (For a glimpse of exactly what can happen when people get too close to the wild animals that share their neighborhood, check out the Animal Planet channel’s series Fatal Attractions.) If you were to encounter a bear or a mountain lion unexpectedly, would you know what to do?


When Wild Animals Attack

There are many different animals you may encounter when living off the grid, and these include bears, mountain lions, coyotes, deer, boar, moose, wolves, raccoons, and venomous snakes. Any of these animals has the capacity to be very destructive, and some can also cause serious maiming and even lethal injuries. Certain species are more likely to attack, and you’ll want to research this ahead of time. Some reasons a wild animal may feel threatened include feeling like their territory is being invaded, protecting offspring, protecting food, fear, surprise, and confusion. In certain cases, if an animal has become a problem and has repeatedly been aggressive toward humans or has attacked pets or livestock, you may be able to contact local forestry organizations to have the animals removed.


How to Protect Yourself

If you encounter a bear or other dangerous predator, your survival will depend on how prepared you are and how quickly you are able to assess the situation and react. The first thing you’ll need to determine is whether or not the animal is behaving aggressively toward you or if you are in the way of food that it is trying to access. Familiarize yourself with the signs of aggression in any of the wild animals that are native to your region. Some animals can be driven away by yelling, but it can escalate the situation with others. There is no one way to react to a wild animal, and each incident will need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis that will vary depending on the species and the situation.

Don’t Feed the Wildlife

It’s obvious to most people that feeding bears or other animals because you think they are cute is a potentially deadly mistake, but what many people don’t realize is they are risking unintentionally training bears to think of their cabin, camp, or tiny house as an all-you-can-eat buffet that is open every night of the week if they do not dispose of their garbage correctly. In this case an ounce of prevention is potentially worth 600 lbs. of cure, because that is the average size of an adult black bear. It pays to invest in bear-proof garbage cans, or to build a shelter so you can keep your cans in a closed-off and protected area. Another solution many people choose is to invest in a high-quality fence to keep predators away from their dwelling.


Safer Trash Habits for Off-Grid Living

One man’s trash is another bear’s treasure, or a racoon’s, or even a large family of raccoons’, so if you’re living off-grid you can protect yourself from unwanted visitors by taking steps to reduce your garbage output. You can drastically cut down on the amount of trash you put out in the first place by purchasing items with glass or biodegradable packaging whenever possible. By avoiding buying goods that have plastic packaging you can significantly reduce your waste, which will reduce your risk of attracting animals as well as reducing your impact on the environment. Reduce your environmental footprint and protect yourself and your family at the same time by researching any wildlife that is native to your area and making sure you are doing everything you can to be safe today.

How to Disappear in the US

Have you ever fantasized about dropping out of your current life and starting all over again with a new identity in a new location? Hundreds of thousands of people go missing in the US each year, and of these a small number are people who have vanished deliberately. There are many reasons an adult would choose to leave everything and everyone they’ve ever known behind, including trying to leave a spouse behind for good, trying to run away from obligations that have become overwhelming, and simply wanting a fresh start. The idea of a tabula rasa appeals to many, but if you are serious about making it happen, you’ll need to do quite a bit of planning and preparation if you want to stay gone for good.


The First Steps

If you disappear, people will try to find you, and if you don’t want them to succeed you’ll need to start preparing for your eventual vanishing act well in advance, and the best place to start is with social media. Begin decreasing your online networking now so that no one will be alarmed when you cease using it completely. Most disappearances of adults are not investigated by law enforcement, but if your case is then your internet history will be the first place they will look. You will also need to ditch your car, destroy photos of yourself that could be used to identify you, slowly taper off interactions with family and friends, and begin planning your long-term budget.


Paper or Plastic?

In today’s society we are so attached to our debit and credit cards that for many the idea of getting along without them is inconceivable, but if you want to disappear without a trace plastic currency is one of the first things you’ll need to give up. Now is a great time to begin getting used to keeping cash and using it to take care of your day-to-day expenses. The key is to slowly taper off the paper trail that will connect your whereabouts to your spending habits. Just be sure when you dispose of your cards that they are completely destroyed. Either burn them or cut them into tiny pieces.


Make Sure You are Legally in the Clear

You already know that it may be illegal to take a minor with you and that it is extremely inadvisable, but you should take disappearing because you owe debts or for insurance fraud reasons just as seriously. Do not try to vanish off the face of the earth if being found will result in legal trouble. Take steps to clear up any potential problems before you leave to reduce the chance of an organization searching for you, because chances are their resources are better than yours are. If you are disappearing because someone is doing something illegal to you, such as blackmail or stalking, just know that there may be legal solutions to these problems that are less extreme.

Don’t Blow Your Cover

You are certain to be discovered if you do one or both of two things: tell someone else, or take someone with you, especially if you take a child. Taking a child not only endangers you, it also potentially leaves you open to having charges pressed against you, so it is a very bad idea. You should also take steps to make it clear that you left voluntarily, which will make law enforcement far less likely to agree to become involved. If you are running from a specific person or agency, take into account how far they would be willing to go to find you and what resources they’d have at their disposal if they were to begin searching and plan accordingly. Vanishing without a trace has become increasingly difficult in today’s tech savvy society, yet still it can be done. But only if you are smart about it.