Paul Fletcher, the trip leader and former Alaska resident, said he taught the boys and adults on bear safety. >>
An experienced hiker once told me that when hiking in Alaska in Grizzly territory, one must hike with a cow bell or other noise making device while you walk. This should scare away the bear before he sees you.
Carry a 12 ga shotgun, works MUCH better than a bell.
That said, thank goodness one the leaders had enough smarts to carry a weapon!
We're told by some to carry pepper spray and a "bear bell".
It has also been observed that black bear "scat" usually consists of various small rodents, carrion and vegetable matter.
Grizzly bear "scat", on the other hand, seems to contain a disproportionate share of "bear bells", and smells of pepper spray.
If you're going into grizzly country, be FAR BETTER "prepared" than these unfortunate Boy Scouts were.
12 gauge slugs are my preferred defensive mechanism.
We need more cowbell!