best brand of bear spray? and hello all. glad to say hi :)

1:40 p.m. on March 11, 2014 (EDT)
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hello all. last year was my first year of backpacking at an older age :) glad i found all of you to get me started. now that i have some solo day hikes, some group overnighter hikes and the weather is breaking im ready to get out there again. sometimes my day hikes are just myself for company and I am getting ready to purchase bear spray and would like to know what brand you recomend. seems like counter assault might be the brand to go with or will any brand do. shouldnt ever need it but if it makes me more comfortable rather carry it :)

2:12 p.m. on March 11, 2014 (EDT)
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Re: best brand of bear spray and hello all. glad to say hi :)

Hi Hiker..,

I carry UDAP while hiking in bear country.  It is a bit expensive to buy 2 canisters but it's a good idea to buy a canister to practice with and one to carry in the field.  You definitely don't want to be learning how to use the stuff during an attack or bluff charge.  Practice so your reaction is automatic in the instance you are confronted by a bear and you need to protect yourself.  You can watch online videos for training purposes as well.  Good luck and hope you never have to use the stuff.  

6:47 p.m. on March 11, 2014 (EDT)
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Made in Montana. Get the holster so you don't have to look for it. Spray works.

6:53 p.m. on March 12, 2014 (EDT)
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Re: best brand of bear spray and hello all. glad to say hi :)

Jason Ruff said:

Hi Hiker..,

I carry UDAP while hiking in bear country.  It is a bit expensive to buy 2 canisters but it's a good idea to buy a canister to practice with and one to carry in the field.  You definitely don't want to be learning how to use the stuff during an attack or bluff charge.  Practice so your reaction is automatic in the instance you are confronted by a bear and you need to protect yourself.  You can watch online videos for training purposes as well.  Good luck and hope you never have to use the stuff.  

 I agree, you need to know what to expect and how it works, etc.

9:45 p.m. on March 12, 2014 (EDT)
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Hi HG! Do you need bear spray in Ohio???

According to this site there are only 25 bears in the entire state:

http://www.americanbear.org/Population%20-%20Distribution.htm

2:03 a.m. on March 13, 2014 (EDT)
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Udap, Guard Alaska, and a number of others are all good. Look for 2% capsicum.

3:01 p.m. on March 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Thank you all for your help and goose, here in Ohio probably wouldnt ever need it but for some reason when i go even on day hikes by myself it is my 1 phobia, bears. However last 2 day trip i took with a friend there were coyotes close by and made me feel vulnerble. if having it helps me be able to enjoy a multi day trip it is worth getting comfortable with carrying and spraying. I have grown up around wildlife and would probably never need to use but bieng in a tent alone (even with your buddy in the next tent) hearing the noises will be more comfortable with it :) Also hoping to enjoy some trips outside of ohio and pennyslvania is close by and they have had some sightings. Ready to take on more backpacking than last year and enjoy

3:07 p.m. on March 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Bear Spray isn't just for bears.  It can be used on coyotes, mountain lions, wild dogs, etc.  It can even be used on critters that come into camp to steal food.  I think Gary mentioned that in a previous post.  It can also be used on our not so nice fellow human beings should the need arise.  

5:31 p.m. on March 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Seems like we have 30,000 here in California, 3rd after Alaska (200,000 black bears plus a bunch of brown bears = griz of various shades) and Wisconsin (35,000), tied with Washington, and ahead of Oregon (27,500). Wyoming is listed as "unknown" and Montana only 10,000, which seems awfully low.

Anyway, in wandering the hills for over 7 decades, I have seen plenty of black and various types of grizzly in the wild, with no negative encounters. I haven't ever carried bear spray, nor the little bells.

Old Wives Tale - the way you can tell the difference between black bear scat and grizzly scat is that one type has little bells in it and the other has a strong pepper smell. There is a famous cartoon that has 2 bears talking - one is telling the other that they can tell when a meal is approaching by the dinner bells, and it comes with the seasoning.

My brother-in-law, on the other hand, has lost all his food to bears in the Sierra twice. And a couple times when I have stayed in drive-in campgrounds, people in the campground, including one in the next site over (brilliantly left the fish they had just caught sitting on the table), have lost food to bears.

These two images are from Alaska.
DSC_0020.jpg


DSC_0072.jpg

12:35 p.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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I would caution against using bear spray too frequently against animals other than bears. While a pesky raccoon is an issue, it is important to remember that bear is used in the face of a bear or other animal. Although Bill was joking about seasoning, bears have a great sense of smell and taste. They can be attracted to the smell or taste of capsicum. A Japanese family camping near Manning Park BC 10 years ago, sprayed bear spray in a ring around their tent as they thought it would deter bears. It actually attracted a bear. The most persistent bears I've encountered have been in the Sierras. Gammy, for those late nights when you wake up at every bump, another effective method is a small boat air horn. They are loud and will drive off many curious animals easily. They are not a substitute for bear spray. The issue always is animals that have no fear, either because of being habituated to humans, or being fearless for one reason or another. Quill pigs are one animal that is always looking for salt and they can be a problem in any camp. Cute, and I always love seeing them. But their gnawing, once checked to make sure it isn't anything of mine, has caused me to lay in my bag awake, listening for any change in pattern that would indicate an axe haft or a canoe paddle was being consumed.

1:29 p.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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...or a whistle, instead of an air horn.

I was in my hammock last year, and a coyote started walking around my campsite and calling to others. I shouted a loud "HEY!" and he put his tail between his legs and ran.

6:03 p.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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Go for the UDAP. get 2, one to practice with and get the holster. better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. the air horn is a good idea too. good for driving off those pesky coyotes.

December 22, 2014
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