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Thread: Bear Spray

  1. #1
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    Default Bear Spray

    I do a lot of hiking in bear country and have never carried bear spray. What kind of advice can you give me regarding bear spray. What kind to buy.
    When and how to use it. Any advice or experience you could offer would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default 10mm brand...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikaleauruk View Post
    I do a lot of hiking in bear country and have never carried bear spray. What kind of advice can you give me regarding bear spray. What kind to buy.
    When and how to use it. Any advice or experience you could offer would be appreciated.
    Right now, I subscribe to the Glock brand of bear spray (10mm to be specific). It's primary active ingredient is lead and only comes out in 10 individual drops, one after the other, but still manages to provide fairly good protection qualities. It is easy to carry and can be used more than once if needed. I am considering upgrading to something with bigger "drops", but haven't decided yet on it.

    Sorry, this probably doesn't help much regarding bear spray. I have heard too many accounts of bears either not reacting or not reacting the way you would like around bear spray to feel all that comfortable with it being my only protection. Add in that I don't know if a single container works more than once (could be wrong though) and the fact that you are still out in the woods with bears AFTER using it, I like the feeling of having something reloadable as protection. I would hate to have to cut a trip short because you had to use your 1 can of bear spray on day 2 of a 10 day trip and thus had no protection for the remainder of the trip.

  3. #3
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Check here:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ght=bear+spray

    I use the 500 S&W myself.....haven't had any problems with it yet

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I carry a firearm as well, but if you're not interested in buying one or carrying one, bear spray is certainly better than nothing. Some folks have used it successfully, so it's worth carrying.

    The directions are on the the bottle, so it's not too complicated. Just make sure that you only spray it when you are close to the bear, and only spray it in the bear's eyes. If you spray when the bear is too far away, it won't hurt the bear and it'll likely drift back into your own eyes. Also, don't spray it on rocks or anything around the tent thinking that it'll keep the bears away. They like the flavor and it'll possibly serve as an attractant.

  5. #5

    Default Bear Spray

    I have carried bear sprays of various varieties for years - not for me , but for the bear. I figured if I was going to be eaten, I might as well taste good!

    Never actually had to use them so I can't comment on how well they work. I did have one leak in my glove box, I didn't realize it, and then touched my eyes. - My wife had to drive the rest of the way home! I am now bringing along S&W, but my wife will still have spray on the pack.
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
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    Member northernalberta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Buster View Post
    Check here:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ght=bear+spray

    I use the 500 S&W myself.....haven't had any problems with it yet
    Is the 500 S&W available in 4" revolver or would that be too much pop for someone to handle?

    Another thing about bear spray is watch the wind. If the wind is against you, it can blow back in your face - not a fun experience - I know!

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    A guy I work with said his wife has had to use her bear spray twice. The first time it worked like a charm. The second time (on a different trip) it held the bear off, but the bear followed her and her friend for a long ways afterward albeit at a little distance. My friend now carries a rifle and bear spray, but his wife still sticks to the spray.

  8. #8
    Member AKRDGRUNNER's Avatar
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    Default As part of my job

    I have used and carry bear spray. However there are many brands out there to choose from. Field tested many, but now after 17years, only carry two brands. UDAP and Counter Assault. They are very effective on brown/black bears (in my experience). I have used them on bears in many different situations and have always had immediate results. But one has to remember that it is a tool not a shield. Just like rifles/pistols are a tool. There are just instances where a hunter/hiker have been killed by bears shot many times by their guns before the bear died. The choice is yours. I carry both but use the bear spray first in most cases. The bear lived and obviously so did I

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    Default Spray info summary

    mikaleauruk,
    http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/br...epperspray.htm

    That rather long link goes to a summary of bear pepper spray research by USGS biologist Tom Smith and others. It includes what to look for in various brands -- concentrations of the active ingredients, size container, etc. Also some interesting statistics on the success of using spray in the field and advice on how it is most effective.

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    Default Thanks for the help!

    Thanks to all of you who took the time to reply. I'm certainly not against the hand gun option, however I've never owned one and have very limited experience using one, so it certainly wouldn't be a wise choice for me.
    I appreciate all the information shared...useful stuff and interesting reading.
    Mikaleauruk

  11. #11
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    I carried Counter Assult the first couple of years I was here. I lost it in the Brooks Range though and have never gotten another can.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
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    Does this shotgun make my butt look big?

  12. #12

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    mikaleauruk,

    Sounds like bear spray is a good idea for you, then; it takes a lot less training to use it than it does to become proficient in guns powerful enough to stop a bear. Still, you might look into taking a self-defense class on the use of pepper spray - an instructor would be very knowledgeable in the use of the stuff, even if they don't know anything about bears.

    A good read is "Bear Attacks" by Stephen Herrero. Learning how to avoid bears in the first place is the best defense you can get.

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default spray..

    "Is the 500 S&W available in 4" revolver or would that be too much pop for someone to handle?"

    I own one and find it very managable. It is pretty hard to handle with the Buffalo Bore ammo, but factory fodder is fun to shoot. The gun is rather heavy (around 54 ounces I think) and that takes a lot of the recoil out of it. We float NW Alaska rivers each fall and I certainly sleep better with the S&W 500 at my side. We also take Marlin Guide Guns in 45-70. No subsitute for cold hard steel. But if you are interested in spray, look at UDAP. I am going to pick up one of their lightweight (4 lb) electric fences for our upcoming trip on the Wulik. We have had bears in camp on two of the last three trips. No bacon in camp. Just bad luck I guess. Had one come within 20 yards of the tent at 3am this past Sept on the Goodnews in SW Alaska. UDAP has a kit for $369 that includes the electric fence, bear spray w/holster, inert (practice) bear spray cannister, and a book on bear attacks. The book is a joke. Not sure why you would want to read that before going out in the bush.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14
    Member northernalberta's Avatar
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    Where can I learn more about these electric fences? The battery must be heavy. Which bear attack book is it?

    - never mind, I just saw it on the UDAP website there...

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default nice fence...

    These fences come highly recommended. I have talked with several people that use them and they swear by them. At 4 pounds, they are among the lightest available.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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