It should go without saying that you shouldn't just wander off into the hinterlands without a basic amount of prep work. Yet we've all gawked at YouTube videos of people doing it anyway. Anderson suggests taking a bit of time to get a feel for the terrain via maps (which you should also carry), and also know what potentially threatening animals are native to the area, and possible hot spots you should avoid. Anderson is quick to point out, though, that being fearful is bad for everyone involved. "Because we've sensationalized these animals, most people walk out into their world with fear, and that is your worst enemy," he says. "You need to understand where you're going, what the dangers are, and then take the precautions to avoid them. Blindly walking into these animals' world without having any understanding of them is disrespectful – and you're kind of asking for trouble." Today preparation is easier than ever, with every national park and likely every state park having a website listing all the info you'd need before heading in.
Credit: James Gritz / Getty Images
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