Bear spray is a concentrated spray that is used to ward off an attack by various species of bears. It is meant to be carried on your person when hiking, camping, fishing, or anywhere else there is a chance of attack by a bear, and has a safety device to prevent accidental firing.
Bear spray is made from several ingredients, all of which are meant to disarm a bear long enough for humans to make an escape. Three of the main ingredients found in the spray are:
Capsicum – Oleoresin Capsicum is the main ingredient and is what gives bear spray its punch. This oily substance causes an incredibly uncomfortable burning sensation for the bear when sprayed in its face and the oily nature help it to cling. It is derived from very hot cayenne peppers and in the right concentration can bring down any size of bear.
Base Liquid– this may be made from various ingredients but will typically be of an oily nature to mix well with the capsicum.
Propellant – this comes in aerosol form so that it can cover a good distance between the bear and the human.
Different bear sprays on the market have different variables, such as distance of spray, duration of spray, and cost. The distance can vary from around 18 to around 40 feet away, duration may last anywhere between four and nine seconds, and the costs range from about $15 and up. In order to be prepared for any type of bear experts have a formula that they go by for a well rounded bear spray. They say to look for a spray that lasts a minimum of six seconds AND can spray a minimum of 25 feet away. Most bear sprays have a loop and/or a clip so that you can wear it rather than carry it in a bag.
Bear spray can’t protect you if you don’t carry it. Be sure to pack some with you on your next outdoor adventure, and keep it on you at all times.
Dou You need Bear spray
According to Science Daily, new studies led by bear biologists have shown that those who are adventuring into the forest are better off bringing 8-ounce cans of bear pepper spray along with them, rather than guns. Bear spray retails at around $30-$50, so it’s not really a hassle to include a can of bear spray for your trip. Especially if you are in a bear habitat regularly, a can of bear spray could help you more than once in halting aggressive bear behavior.
Not only is bear spray cheap and easy to use, it’s legal. On many popular hiking grounds, camping grounds, and national parks, use of firearms is strictly prohibited. Even in areas you are allowed to use guns, effectively shooting a bear in a moment’s notice is a quite difficult and unlikely task. This is why people are recommended to bring along bear spray in case of potential emergencies.
Another important thing to remember is to study the behavior of bears before your trip, that way you know what to do if approached by a bear. For example, running is not advised, as it can make the bear angrier, but by using bear spray, it sort of sends to the bear an alarming warning. While some believe you shouldn’t rely solely on bear spray alone, some swear by it.
If you’re concerned about danger while you venture out into the wilderness, and want to do everything possible to stay free from harm, it’s a good idea to have a can of bear spray with you, just in case!
Types of bears
The two main type of bears are grizzly, and the black bear. The grizzly bear weighs in at about 350-500 lbs. Some grizzlies can reach 800 lbs. The color of the grizzly is usually medium brown to dark brown with a little lighter tip of color on the ends of their fur. The black bear will be about 110-300 lbs, but some have been seen that weigh as much as 400 lbs. The general color of the black bear ranges from black to light blonde.
Safety is always number one when you are hiking or camping. If you are hiking, always travel with a group or a partner. By making your presence known the bears will avoid coming into your area. Singing and making loud noises will help warn the bears that you are entering the area. Some hikers even wear bells to make sure they are heard. The time of day is another thing to consider. Dawn is when the bears are active and are probably looking for breakfast. Dusk will be dinner time so hike accordingly.
Camping can put you at risk unless some safety rules are observed. Always keep the area clean around your campsite. Wash all of the dishes and and don’t leave garbage out. Do not bury your garbage. Bears have a very keen since of smell and will get into anything that has a strong odor. Keep all of these strong smelling items out of the reach of the bears. You can store these things in bear-proof containers or hang them above ground in a tree. Change your clothes before you go to bed.
In the unlikely event that you would be attacked by a bear, there are some things to remember. Make sure you have had some training in how to use bear spray. It is very important that you practice the procedure again and again, until you are comfortable enough to use it. Bear spray is recommended by The National Forest Service. The EPA approved bear spray is a pepper spray that helps to greatly reduce human injury. This has helped stop bear attacks with no permanent injury to the bears.
The best defense when you encounter a bear is before you stumble upon one. If this happens watch the body language of the bear. If he is standing on his hind legs this may not be aggression. He may be trying to get a better look at you. The best thing to do is to back away slowly, and look as small as you can. Do not make direct eye contact. Try to avoid the bear as much as possible. If he attacks, use the bear spray. A good quality bear spray is all it takes to ward off a bear. Buy the best EPA approved bear spray available.