Bear country is definitely not the safest place that you can go on your camping or backpacking adventure, but as humans, we do like to explore and take a few risks to make the trip even more fun.
When entering the bear country, bear spray is generally recommended and there are a lot of mixed comments and facts that people will tell you about the spray itself.
We have decided to look a little deeper at bear spray and find out for ourselves what the real thing is and if you should consider buying the bear spray or simply just take the risk and venture into bear country without it.
No matter which one of these options you choose, the necessary steps and safety precautions are always recommended and by taking these precautions, you could also eliminate any possible encounter.
In this article, you will find out exactly what bear spray is and does it really work. You will also get some general tips that you could incorporate into your trip once you do decide to invest in bear spray.
Finally, we will tell you if we think that bear spray is worth the price and whether or not, we think it will be a great investment.
What Is Bear Spray?
Credit: Bear Spray by Vik Approved - Under Creative Common license
Before we can simply dive into the effectiveness of the product, you should know what is inside the can and what they use as the deterrent when it comes to creating the bear spray.
Sometimes people just buy things and they do not really care about what the actual ingredients are and how these ingredients work to ensure you get the desired result from the product.
Bear spray is basically a type of pepper spray and it generally contains multiple different hot peppers that have been ground up and put inside the pressurized can. Capsaicin is generally also added to the mix and this will give that added hotness or chili smell to the spray.
When these two are combined, you get a very effective substance that will burn the skin and even the eyes when it comes in contact with it.
The pressurized can is fundamentally important if you are looking at bear spray and the more pressurized the can is, the further effectiveness you spray will have the more distance you will get when using it.
Bear spray in the average cans that you can buy in most outdoor stores in bear country, will have an effective range of 18-30 feet. Some cans might sometimes give you some more distance, depending on the pressure inside the can.
How Does Bear Spray Work?
Now that you have an idea of what is in bear spray, you should also know what the bear spray actually does to keep the bear away from you. Knowing this should give you more peace of mind and will also ensure that you are able to get the best out of the can.
Most of the times, bears are not there to challenge you and they only try and protect their environment or they are looking for food. The bear spray with its pepper ingredients will be a great way to ensure that you keep the bear away. One of the most important things people have found is the way the bear reacts when you do spray it.
When you first spray the can of bear spray and it creates a cloud, this will immediately confuse the bear and if the bear is out of range, he will most likely be frozen in his tracks when he does reach the cloud.
The pepper will start burning the eyes and the bear will hastily retreat to a safe area and this will give you enough time to make your escape.
Bear spray will also clog up the lungs for a small time period and this will keep the bear from chasing you and catch a breath. The best place to aim for when spraying your bear spray will be the eyes as this will immediately start burning and the bear will certainly not be in a mood to eat you anymore.
You should make your getaway at this time as the bear will only become more enraged when the effects wear off.
In one test, people have also found that bears will start running away, but we would still recommend that you do take precautions and ensure that you are prepared with the necessary escape route as well as an SOS contact that could come to your aid in the time of need.
We would also like to mention for the environmentalist out there that bear spray does not have any permanent effects on the bear and it will eventually wear off.
So Does Bear Spray Work?
Yes, it works and multiple tests and incidents have proven this to us. Bear spray is certainly one of the top things that you should consider carrying with you if you want to venture into bear country. The prices on the best sprays are also relatively cheap, but it is very hard to actually put a price on your life.
We would like to advise you to do some added research into bears and the area that you will be visiting. This will ensure that you are ready for those bears and also allow you to get the best possible value for your money when looking for bear spray.
Please let us know if you have any experience with bear spray in the comment section below and also let us know what you think of bear spray and the effect on the environment.