During my upcoming adventure, when I pass the Arctic coast to venture onto the ice, I'll be in prime polar bear country. An encounter would most likely happen while I'm around camp cooking or even asleep in the tent. Polar bears, attracted to the fish and food rations we'll have, might see us as a food source. (A polar bear can smell a seal on the ice 20 miles away.) We will leave our food several hundred feet from camp at night, but in the morning when we retrieve it, a bear could greet us. They're massive creatures and can reach a running speed of 25 miles per hour. They're also smart: I've heard accounts from people who have been stalked by polar bears say the bears will use a paw to cover their black noses to camouflage against the white snow. That being said, I have also been told that most of the time, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. I hope that's true.