Bear Repellent

6:13 a.m. on May 16, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I am planning a backpacking trip soon in bear country and was wondering if you use repellent, or just give me some opinions on the product.

Thanks in advance.

9:05 a.m. on May 16, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Good to have "just in case", but better "bear awareness" will probably better serve you in the long run.

If you do buy, get two cannisters and try one out at home (away from pets and children!) so you can see how it behaves. Get the larger cannisters as they can spray multiple times, whereas the smaller ones might only be good for one or two shots.

2:59 p.m. on May 16, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. griztrax
Bear Repellent - good if used properly

I have a series of articles on safety in bear country on my website. Check out the piece on using bear spray. I think it's a great product when used properly, and I personally know some folks that have used it for defense. It saves bear's lives, and sometimes it probably saves some human lives as well. Can't beat that.

Dave had some good advice about testing it in advance. I'd add not to test it anywhere near your equipment or campsite, as a buddy of mine once did while we were camped in the southern Washakies in Wyoming. He sprayed a blast about 200 ft. from camp to see how well it spread out. It was nearly windless - note the use of "nearly". About 5 minutes later, after he returned to camp, the cloud drifted into camp. Ouch! Not something your're ever likely to forget. It took forever to wash the stuff out of our equipment.

The articles are located at http://www.griztrax.net/bearsafe.html .

5:53 a.m. on May 17, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I will be in black bear country, but I guess the information on the referenced griz website goes for them as well? It only mentions the grizzly and the brown bears.

6:32 a.m. on May 17, 2002 (EDT)
30 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts
My wife once chased a roach around the garage with pepper spray.....

without my knowledge. Next day I went and grabbed the broom, swept up some things and then put it back. I then went to the bathroom to return some coffee back to the earth. Thirty seconds later I am doubled over in pain. I mean screaming! Spent 20 minutes in the shower trying to get rid of the extremely painfull burning on "Mr. Johnson". My wife had sprayed the broom with pepper spray while chasing the roach.

6:38 a.m. on May 17, 2002 (EDT)
30 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts
Never very helpfull here, but.....

Two years ago I was on a motor coach tour of the Canadian Rockies. Before dinner I always liked to get out and go for a run. Everywhere place we visited was black bear country. The tour guides always insisted that I carry a small cow bell with me when I ran so the bears could here the ringing from a distance and stay clear of me.

Perhaps some things jiggling on your pack while hiking will anounce you are coming thru.

7:32 a.m. on May 17, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Never very helpfull here, but.....

The rangers in Yosemite recommend tying bells to your pack, or if packless, boots. They said metallic sounds rather than more natural sounds (voices, footsteps) would be a better deterrant. Yosemite contains black bears.

The deterrant and your actions, if approached, should be different depending on whether you are encountering a black bear or grizzly. Your message didn't specify which type populates the area you intend to visit.

If you are visiting an area in or near national park, the rangers might have the best advice. They'll know which areas tend to be frequented by which types, and what the attitude of specific animals toward people may be. For instance, several years ago in the Shenandoahs, a black bear (normally a timid species) known to frequent a particular area had grown quite bold. She would approach hikers and go for their packs. The rangers, knowing this, would advise hikers who expected to be in that area.

Good luck!

5:17 p.m. on May 17, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: My wife once chased a roach around the garage with pepper spray.....

I hope your wife was able to bear with you after that ! Amazing story...

2:44 p.m. on May 18, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. griztrax
Bear Repellent for blackies

Quote:

I will be in black bear country, but I guess the information on the referenced griz website goes for them as well? It only mentions the grizzly and the brown bears.

There's so many blackies around here (western NC) that I've never considered them to be a threat, so I never carry the spray for them. I've always found that simply yelling or tossing some gravel at them is sufficient to get 'em out of camp. Some studies have suggested that the spray isn't quite as effective against the blackies, but I think that they are probably referring to highly habituated bears. It sure works great against Rottweilers and squeegee guys (long story...)

3:21 p.m. on May 18, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

squeegee guys? do tell... n/t

n/t

11:05 p.m. on May 19, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. griztrax
Re: squeegee guys? do tell... n/t

A couple of friends and I were returning from a 5 week trip out west and stopped in a river city to check out a blues festival. We'd been camping for several weeks in the mountains of Montana and Wyoming, and I still had two full canisters of pepper spray in the cargo area behind my truck seat. (Now I always pack the spray in gallon-sized plastic jugs with screw-on lids and lots of absorbent padding when traveling, but I hadn't learned that trick back then.)

As we circled the block looking for a parking spot, a very aggressive squeegee guy sprayed some filthy liquid on the windshield and then demanded that we pay him to clean it off. I told him to *&%^&*% off, and then he started banging on the passenger window and yelling at us to "spare him a five". He came around to the drivers side and shoved his arm into the passenger compartment, trying to reach the seat where a female passenger was riding. Without really thinking, I zapped him point-blank in the face with the spray, then rolled up the window and hauled ass. Luckily the traffic that had us blocked in moved at just the right time and kept us from getting too much of a dose of the stuff. The last I saw of him, he was rolling around screaming on the yellow line. Nobody was stopping to help out, either. I just hoped that they rolled their windows up before they drove through the cloud.

In the Rottweiler incident, somebody had set out two Rottweillers in the Bent Creek area of Pisgah National Forest. They had attacked a couple of mountain bikers only a few minutes before we passed through. One of the bikers had lost his tool bag and was afraid to go back to get it. I volunteered and took the spray with me. The dogs came raging out of the bushes, but the spray stopped them instantly. They were biting and clawing at each other, rolling on the ground, and yelping their heads off. I think those results impressed me more than some of the stories that I've heard of it repelling Grizzlies. Grizzlies have a strong survival instinct, but that instinct is often bred or trained out of vicious dogs. I still carry the spray when I'm hiking the Nantahalas in boar season in case I run across a pack of aggressive hunting dogs. A well-trained dog isn't a problem, but some of the boar hunters take some real monsters on their hunts with them.

11:57 a.m. on June 1, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Bear Repellent - good if used properly

Another caveat about testing the spray near your campsite or trying to use it as a repellant. Don't. It actually attracts bears. I found that out for myself in the North West Territories a few years ago. The spray should be used only as a last resort and is no substitute for being prudent and taking proper precautions.

Quote:

I have a series of articles on safety in bear country on my website. Check out the piece on using bear spray. I think it's a great product when used properly, and I personally know some folks that have used it for defense. It saves bear's lives, and sometimes it probably saves some human lives as well. Can't beat that.

Dave had some good advice about testing it in advance. I'd add not to test it anywhere near your equipment or campsite, as a buddy of mine once did while we were camped in the southern Washakies in Wyoming. He sprayed a blast about 200 ft. from camp to see how well it spread out. It was nearly windless - note the use of "nearly". About 5 minutes later, after he returned to camp, the cloud drifted into camp. Ouch! Not something your're ever likely to forget. It took forever to wash the stuff out of our equipment.

The articles are located at http://www.griztrax.net/bearsafe.html .

September 20, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Limmer Lightweight Boots/Danner Boots Newer: Trekking Poles
All forums: Older: rope clamp / rope grab Newer: quick trail meals