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Bear Spray


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Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
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  • #1277930
    Jeff Gerke
    Spectator

    @mtnrunner

    Locale: Utah

    I was curious how many of you carry bear spray when in areas that have grizzlies. Do you think most backpackers do? I'm going to be running a route in the Tetons and thought it might be a good idea to carry some. I've never carried spray before but seems like grizzly encounters are becoming more common.

    #1768576
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

    Hi – yes, absolutely.

    #1768577
    Mike Clelland
    Member

    @mikeclelland

    Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)

    There are a lot of Grizzly bears here in the Tetons. Carry bear spray – ESPECIALLY if you are running.

    #1769049
    Ryan C
    BPL Member

    @radio_guy

    Locale: United States

    After just getting back from a big trip in the Alaskan bush without bear spray, I have decided to add it for next time.

    #1769051
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    Ryan, did the nice little fuzzy-wuzzies come out to great you?

    –B.G.–

    #1769066
    Rick M
    BPL Member

    @yamaguy

    del

    #1769067
    Robert Cowman
    BPL Member

    @rcowman

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    why do u have bear spray in japan, I thought there were no bears there?

    Air horns don't do anything to an aggressive bear. is your life worth the $20 difference of the bear spray and air horns here?

    #1769071
    Ken Helwig
    BPL Member

    @kennyhel77

    Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA

    Not the bear spray conundrum again….(runs away screaming and waving my arms in the air)…….

    #1769094
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    You can get some really tiny and lightweight air horns (cheap, too). Unfortunately, they are not nearly as loud and obnoxious as the big ones.

    In June, I was in Yellowstone (grizzly country), so I carried either bear spray, a bear flare, or both. It would be just my luck to run into a grizzly that was deaf.

    –B.G.–

    #1769118
    Rick M
    BPL Member

    @yamaguy

    del

    #1769122
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    "Lot's of bear bells though."

    Sounds like a marketplace that is just ripe for titanium bear bells. You wouldn't want to have just ordinary steel bells.

    But then some Japanese engineer will develop an electronic bear bell so that you can vary the pitch and loudness, and they are powered like a self-winding watch.

    –B.G.–

    #1769131
    Tyler H
    BPL Member

    @ctwnwood

    Locale: Madison

    One option to add to bear spray to prevent an encounter is a loud noise maker. Signal cartridges, fired with a pen-style launcher are supposedly effective and are actually pretty small and light.

    bear signal

    They're basically the same as firing a gun off which is what a lot of people that "protect" themselves with a gun are mostly likely to use it for.

    Edit: link on bear deterrents:

    http://www.bearsmart.com/bear-management/non-lethal/tools

    Interesting piece from the site:

    "Research suggests that bear spray on objects or the ground may actually act as an attractant to bears. Since bear spray is a stable weather-resistant compound, it may retain its attractant properties for days or months. Bear spray should be cleaned from objects and the ground after use to avoid attracting bears (Smith 1998). Canisters, that have been fired, should also be cleaned or stored in bear-proof locations."

    #1769133
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    I have a vague idea that those may be banned in the national parks. You would need to ask them, and it would vary from park to park.

    In most national parks, fireworks are banned. Firearms are legal to be carried, but you can't fire them unless you have a life-or-death situation. A Yellowstone grizzly charging at you may be life-or-death. A Yosemite black bear prowling around your tent may not be.

    –B.G.–

    #1769162
    Ryan C
    BPL Member

    @radio_guy

    Locale: United States

    @Bob: No, the cute little fuzzy guys did not meet us but they were EVERYWHERE. Brooks Camp at Katmai was an interesting experience. There were sightings in Lake Clark too.

    #1769239
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    "Brooks Camp at Katmai was an interesting experience."

    In my first hour there, I had an up-close experience with brown bears.

    I got off the float plane and attended the mandatory bear safety video. Then I grabbed my sixty pounds or so of gear and started walking up the beach toward the campground. When I was halfway there, I heard somebody running up fast behind me, so I started to turn to look over my left shoulder. A half-grown bear ran right past me like I wasn't there. I could have reached out and brushed it as it went by me. Then about five paces behind, another half-grown bear was chasing the first one. Wow. Then about twenty paces behind them, the full-grown bear was chasing the half-growns. None of them even looked at me, so I guess I wasn't on the menu.

    That is when I came to appreciate the electric fence around the campground.

    –B.G.–

    #1769241
    Ryan C
    BPL Member

    @radio_guy

    Locale: United States

    Yup, similar experiences at Katmai. We saw a bear on the beach literally 30 seconds after walking out of bear orientation. The rangers told us not to worry about the bears chasing each other (like you saw), they are not interested in us. We were walking past the lodge one evening when a sub-adult come charging right out of the woods 3 feet in front of us. That kind of freaked some of the people in the group. Lake Clark was uneventful but we did observe a brown bear mother and cubs from a distance.

    I am actually more scared of the black bears out here in the Eastern US than Alaska because they have become so accustomed to human food. Dumb people feeding them in the Smoky Mountains does not help either.

    #1769248
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    My estimation is that brown bears and grizzly bears are much more dangerous than black bears. They are larger, more unpredictable, and more lethal. Black bears can be problematic because they are very intelligent and very curious, but not so lethal. Black bears seem better at solving problems, opening things, and getting into mischief.

    I would never consider wasting a perfectly good can of bear spray on a black bear unless it already had my leg in its jaws. For a grizz, though, I might value having a second can of it handy.

    –B.G.–

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