People may want to head to the great outdoors as conditions improve, but caution should be a priority as wild animals might have the same idea.

At this time of year, bears are coming out of hibernation, not to mention the many other wild animals like cougars and coyotes that could be around.

Because of that, it's imperative that people know how to keep their camping trips bear-free.

Matthew Tokaruk, a provincial black bear biologist, says that one of the best practices is to make sure you're not leaving out snacks for wildlife.

"There are a lot of folks can do to keep themselves and bears safe, for sure. A lot of that has to do with active management, managing your food and garbage in your campsites or in your cabins is pretty important and that really can help keep bears away."

While Tokaruk says that any kind of interaction with a black bear can be rare, he still recommends a few tips just in case.

"It's really important to note that black bears don't want to have altercations with people," said Tokaruk, "They're quite timid animals by nature and often if you do see a bear it's going to head in the other direction. In the rare case where a bear doesn't head the other way, we always recommend bear spray. It is good to have, jus tin case in that rare scenario where a bear doesn't leave the area."

Tokaruk also recommends finding shelter in that case, such as entering a car or building or breaking line of sight with an object. 

You can also drop something like a backpack, if you're carrying one, to distract the bear.

"We know classify cougars, coyotes, bears, and wolves as dangerous wildlife in the province in regulation. That was done so we could put in regulation about not feeding those animals," said Tokaruk, "So that all those suggestions about not leaving attractive food out is useful for any of those species and an important part of keeping the public and the animals themselves safe."