Bear Spray

#1
OK, I'm old and more protective and wise in my ways rather than when I was Young and Dumb. I want to get Bear Spray... not that I hike around bears a lot just want the warm fuzzy of knowing I have it.

Is there a recommended brand? What is the shelf life if not used?

I assume it can be used on other animals like dogs?
 

CJones

Adventurist
#2
I have UDAP Bear Spray. Strong stuff. It works pretty well. You don't need to be very accurate since it is a fogger. I would have to check on the shelf life.
 

Mr. Leary

Adventurist
Founding Member
#4
I have Frontiersman for backpacking in bear country, chosen purely because they make the smallest bottle that has an effective range of 30 ft. I have never used it, because I prefer to wrestle bears into submission, along with slaying laundry monsters and taking out the garbage.

#DomesticGod
#SuperDad

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TangoBlue

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#5
I have Frontiersman for backpacking in bear country, chosen purely because they make the smallest bottle that has an effective range of 30 ft. I have never used it, because I prefer to wrestle bears into submission, along with slaying laundry monsters and taking out the garbage.

#DomesticGod
#SuperDad
#SoundsLegit
 
#7
Be familiar with the effective range of spray you purchase. Also keep in mind bears can run at ~35mph or travel at ~50' a sec. I also carry an air horn and find it effective from long range or signaling to others.
 

Mr. Leary

Adventurist
Founding Member
#8
Be familiar with the effective range of spray you purchase. Also keep in mind bears can run at ~35mph or travel at ~50' a sec. I also carry an air horn and find it effective from long range or signaling to others.
Since they can run faster than me, I prefer a more stealthy approach. Some people use bear bells, but I find that when they are surprised, they are more likely to wrestle.
 
#10
I have Frontiersman for backpacking in bear country, chosen purely because they make the smallest bottle that has an effective range of 30 ft. I have never used it, because I prefer to wrestle bears into submission, along with slaying laundry monsters and taking out the garbage.
Interesting. I have heard about guys that wrestle "bears", I am okay with that as long as you pay taxes.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#11
Anyone ever shot a bear?

I won't bore you with the details, we had a bear in camp at Rubicon Springs on the Rubicon Trail a few years back. It actually came up and rubbed it's nose on the wall of the pup tent that Machelle and I were in. Scared the bejeezus out of me, Machelle slept through it. At the time, all I had was a 3D cell Mag Lite in the tent, if it came to a wrestling match with the bear...I figured I could knock Machelle out with the flashlight and run like hell!:eek:

Since then, we carry a 4" .357 wheel gun. Neither Machelle nor I are real gun people, I figured a wheel gun was as stupid proof as you could get. We've gone to the range and put a few hundred rounds through it. Not what you'd call a marksman, but we can both hit the target. I've been told that a .357 is just going to piss a bear off. In my head, 6 rounds at point blank (or within 10 feet) ought to at least slow the damn thing down...that would give Machelle a chance, she's got a little hitch in her giddy-up since she broke her leg last year, so I think my fat ass can still out run her!:cool:

I'm not going hunting with the pistol, so I'm not worried about taking a bear at 50 paces with it or anything, just a last resort defense.
 

Mr. Leary

Adventurist
Founding Member
#12
Anyone ever shot a bear?

I won't bore you with the details, we had a bear in camp at Rubicon Springs on the Rubicon Trail a few years back. It actually came up and rubbed it's nose on the wall of the pup tent that Machelle and I were in. Scared the bejeezus out of me, Machelle slept through it. At the time, all I had was a 3D cell Mag Lite in the tent, if it came to a wrestling match with the bear...I figured I could knock Machelle out with the flashlight and run like hell!:eek:

Since then, we carry a 4" .357 wheel gun. Neither Machelle nor I are real gun people, I figured a wheel gun was as stupid proof as you could get. We've gone to the range and put a few hundred rounds through it. Not what you'd call a marksman, but we can both hit the target. I've been told that a .357 is just going to piss a bear off. In my head, 6 rounds at point blank (or within 10 feet) ought to at least slow the damn thing down...that would give Machelle a chance, she's got a little hitch in her giddy-up since she broke her leg last year, so I think my fat ass can still out run her!:cool:

I'm not going hunting with the pistol, so I'm not worried about taking a bear at 50 paces with it or anything, just a last resort defense.
All kidding aside, Black bears are very different from Grizzlies. I've never even had to get big or loud with a black bear before, although my Mom ran one out of camp with a pot and pan once many years ago. Essentially a 300 lb raccoon, but dangerous if provoked, startled, or cornered.

Grizzlies are no joke. If they decide they want to get you, they probably will. Some folks carry very large Calibur pistols, but IMO you don't have much of a chance without a hi-powered rifle... Or a can of bear spray, which can disorient them sufficiently long for you to make your exit.
 
#13
Frontiersman. 2.0% Capsaicin. Range of "up to 35 feet". Five seconds to empty the can. I think I got it at Amazon and although I cannot find an expiration date on the can, I recall being told about 5 year shelf life. All hypothetical as I've never needed to use it.
 

CJones

Adventurist
#14
All kidding aside, Black bears are very different from Grizzlies. I've never even had to get big or loud with a black bear before, although my Mom ran one out of camp with a pot and pan once many years ago. Essentially a 300 lb raccoon, but dangerous if provoked, startled, or cornered.

Grizzlies are no joke. If they decide they want to get you, they probably will. Some folks carry very large Calibur pistols, but IMO you don't have much of a chance without a hi-powered rifle... Or a can of bear spray, which can disorient them sufficiently long for you to make your exit.
Gotta agree with you. I have two long stories I could share. I'll give you the abbreviated versions. Close friend of mine, a very capable marksman (much better than me and I am pretty precise with my pistols) always carried his 45 with him while hiking. A black bear got a little to curious. It charged, maybe he surprised it with the warning shot hard to say why it charged, bears are unpredictable sometimes. Anyway, it was moving too quickly for him to hit it accurately. He thinks he got it twice but nothing hit the bear where it counts. He hit it at least once cause the bear could climb the tree my friend scurried up and left some blood behind when he finally left. Moral of the story. Unless you are a good enough shot to hit the bear in the right spot while it closes the gap at 30ish mph, you may want to reconsider the gun as your primary line of defense.
Story two. I jumped a bear in the bushes several years back. It reared up on it's hind legs, my dog got between us. Good dog, yellow lab. Never imagined she would try to protect me from a bear. Anywho, I spared her life and sprayed the bear with my UDAP. Bear dropped quick and was severely disoriented. Stumbled off like it was drunk. Had to carry the dog back to the car and take her to the vet but at least neither of us were mauled.

Anyway. I carry a .40. I'm pretty good with it too. But I will always draw my UDAP before I draw my pistol on a bear.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#15
I agree that the pistol is the last line of defense.

In my case, bear spray wouldn't have done me any good if the bear had started trying to come through the tent. I'm sure this bear was a regular at Rubicon Springs. There were no bear boxes, no significant branches on a pine tree to hang food from. We stuffed our coolers/food boxes under our Jeeps. That bear swooped them out from under the vehicles with the quickness.
 

CJones

Adventurist
#16
I agree that the pistol is the last line of defense.

In my case, bear spray wouldn't have done me any good if the bear had started trying to come through the tent. I'm sure this bear was a regular at Rubicon Springs. There were no bear boxes, no significant branches on a pine tree to hang food from. We stuffed our coolers/food boxes under our Jeeps. That bear swooped them out from under the vehicles with the quickness.
Agreed. Spraying from inside the tent is not recommended. I used to keep a small emergency air horn in the tent. Never had to use it.
 

Al Swope

Adventurist
Founding Member
#17
There is a movie on Netflix now called Back Country. It supposed to based on a real black bear attack I Canada. I thought it was well done. Just a little over dramatic
 
#18
Carried bear spray while hiking in Montana, Counter Assault. Carried it because it's what the front desk at the hotel had in their lost and found. :) Never had to use it. Rangers in the park said it's what they preferred.

I'll second that the majority of bears are nothing more than large raccoons and can be run off with a little noise. We have a couple black bears living around the house here and a shout or a rev of the motorcycle engine will frighten them off pretty quick. I've run into them while riding through the national forest and as soon as they've seen me on the bike they dart away. Ran into a mother bear and cub while hiking in the Sequoia National Forest, I was downwind and hadn't been seen so I chose a stealthy retreat vs. a wrestling match in that instance.
 
#19
Bear spray is what I had most the time while in sequoia kings and Yosemite in the back country. Most the time Goose would let me know long before we could see the bear and just a few words with it and it was gone. Most of the encounters I had are off trail and remote and the only one I had on trail it was fun looking down at him eating berries.


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