Kamchatka: Secret Compass' "Bear Essentials"
In honour of Secret Compass's expedition to remote Kamchatka, the adventure company has put together its "bear essentials" for travelling to this volcanic region of Siberia. A last true wilderness and home to the highest concentration of brown bears in the world.
“We offer pioneering adventure travel in the world’s wildest places,” said Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass. “Exploring remote, wildlife-rich Kamchatka, one of the world’s most active volcanic areas, is the goal of our next expedition.”
Kamchatka is dubbed the Land of Fire and Ice, with its volcanoes part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. 30 of the peninsula’s 300 volcanoes are active including Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia’s highest at 4,750m.
Bodkin concluded, “Between the high-altitude trekking and volcano-summiting, the myriad brown bears will keep our team on its toes; there were many up-close sightings on our 2014 expedition. Find our favourite bear facts below.”
Expedition Fact Box:
Expedition name: Kamchatka: Land of Fire
Highlights: Explore a volcanic region, trekking in a region that includes Klyuchevskaya (4,750m), Ushkovsky (3,943m), Bezymianny (2,882m) and Plosky Tolbachik (3,085m).
Dates: 17 Aug – 6 Sep (22 days, group size 12)
Cost: £2,899 (all inclusive ground costs. Excludes flights)
The "Bear Essentials" from Secret Compass
Bear to Human Ratio: 1 to 40
Despite an area the size of France, Belgium and Luxembourg combined, fewer people live in Kamchatka than in Manchester yet there’s one brown bear for every 40 people. Bear populations are estimated to be between 10,000-14,000 in an area of 472,300km2 while the human population is under 400,000.
Gentle Giants: Up to 3m tall
The Kamchatka brown bear is the largest subspecies in Eurasia and can weigh over 650kg. Despite this, only 1% of reported bear encounters in Kamchatka lead to an attack.
World's most important wild salmon rivers
Bears thrive in Kamchatka because of its significant salmon population. A river teeming with these red fish can resemble the boiling lava of the local landscape. Six species of salmon spawn in Kamchatka’s 14,000 rivers and streams, with biologists estimating that one fifth of all Pacific salmon originate from Kamchatka.
Kamchatka’s brown bears delight in the healing qualities of the natural thermal baths, volcanic mud and hot springs and can often be seen taking a dip.
Stars of the Screen
Kamchatka’s bears featured in Walking with Giants: The Grizzlies of Siberia and the BBC’s Bear Man of Kamchatka. Both programmes followed the story of three orphaned cubs adopted by an American couple.
Surviving bear attacks
The last notable attack in Kamchatka occurred in 2008 when 30 hungry bears attacked a mining compound, killing two guards. Some credited the incident to limited food supplies as 100,000 tons of salmon are poached a year in Kamchatka for high-retailing caviar. Although Kamchatka’s brown bears are considered largely harmless compared to some, incidents and fatalities do occur. Sound advice exists and should be sought prior to exploring the region, as does advice of a more tongue in cheek variety- see www.hellawella.com/infographic-freeze-or-flee-a-survival-guide-for-dangerous-animal-encounters-part-1/10238
Secret Compass Kamchatka imagery on Flickr: flickr/com/photos/secretcompass What are Secret Compass expeditions like?
Watch 'Team Members Talk' at youtube.com/watch?v=IGm6B1nX0Ww
Wanderlust article: wanderlust.co.uk/magazine/articles/destinations/a-fiery-tour-of-russias-kamchatka-peninsula?page=all
Notes to editors
Secret Compass is a pioneering expedition company creating world-first experiences for teams of like-minded adventurers. Through group and bespoke adventures, Secret Compass helps each team member achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Founded by ex-British Army Parachute Regiment officers, its expeditions reach the planet’s most remote regions in the spirit of exploration’s earliest pioneers.
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Secret Compass TV and Film
Secret Compass provides expert pre-production and in-country location management services to the TV and film industries. Clients to date include the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Channel 4, in countries from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, South Sudan to Siberia.
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