The bear in the hammock clip is currently my favorite quick smile.
I also had a series of encounters with bears in the Smokies, in 1962 while camping with my family.
A motherBear and her clubs visited the area frequently, we got some good sitings of her.
One night our family returned to the campground around ten. All was quiet and very dark.
My father and the boys were in their tent. My mother, sister and I headed for the latrine, a long distance away. About halfway there : We heard motherBear, then saw her about 40' - 50' away.
Mother decided it was best to go back to our site and tell Dad so he would not let my four year old brother walk out of the tent.
The three of us turning around disturbed motherBear. She made a sound that sent the cubs up a tree. Then she charged us.
We stopped. I stretched out my arms to protect my Mother and sister. MotherBear was charging, fast. Space closing. I expected to feel her claws in my flesh.
My Mother let out a loud sound : a sound she never made before or since. Perhaps the sound could be called a bark.
MotherBear stopped in her tracks ! Was it 12' or 10' or 5' ? I do not know.
She had stopped her charge, looked at us for a few moments, turned, called down her cubs and walked away.
We stood there shaking. Trying to understand what had happened.
( For the sixteen year old I was, it was a life defining moment of knowing I had stood up to protect my family. )
A man appeared out of the darkness, a hunter, and he explained what had happened.
MotherBear understood our actions. Defensive, not threatening.
MotherBear stopped her charge because she understood that the loud, one note sound
my Mother made was the 'same sound' she had made to her cubs.
My favorite hammock memory : the next day, at the same campsite. The rest of the family went on a hike. I stayed at the site, took a nap in the hammock.
I was wakened by a fairly gentle bump. I opened my eyes as the back of a bear moved away from the hammock.
I felt no fear; there was an overwhelming good sense of being part of wild nature.
Now as my husband and I begin the hammock camping adventure, in bear country
( Catskill Mts, NY ) where we have often seen bears, we search this forum for words of wisdom regarding bears and hanging.