Get naked, and other advice to fend off a polar bear attack

The other day, a polar bear killed a 38-year-old Dutch man who was camping in Norway’s remote Svalbard Islands.

Now, many of us wouldn’t consider camping in Svalbard, but more of us are going to islands. In the past five years, the area has had a spike in “arctic tourism” as we rush to see the polar bears and ice caps before they disappear forever.

Polar bear tours in places like Churchill, Canada, are kitted out with mobile viewing units that look like elongated tanks, but there are still many places where tourists and locals can — and do — accidentally come face-to-face with the bears that may look cuddly — but are deadly.

I have been to the Arctic four times — in Greenland and Canada — and each time the warning is the same: Stay away from bears. However, should you run into one, there are three things you can do to protect yourself.

So, once COVID-19 is over, go to the Arctic and have fun! But be prepared.

Paula Froelich is the founder and editor of the online travel magazine for women, A Broad Abroad. Instagram @pfro

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