Bear Spray?

10:00 p.m. on November 22, 2009 (EST)
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7 forum posts

Just curious if anyone carries bear spray?

10:02 p.m. on November 22, 2009 (EST)
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311 forum posts

Nope.At least not here in the pacific nw.Bears are not a big problem here though we do treat them with respect.No grizzleys except maybe limited number in eastern parts of Washington state.

10:24 p.m. on November 22, 2009 (EST)
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3,956 forum posts

I do, however you should be aware that possession of bear spray does in no way reduce your odds of an encounter, benign or otherwise.

The most important thing to carry with you is the knowledge to travel safely, and with respect in bear country.

You should familiarize yourself with proper technique for hiking and camping in these areas, a little common sense goes a long way towards traveling safely. Like anything else, prevention is key.

Having said that, if you purchase bear spray, strongly consider getting two cans. The first to practice with, in a safe area, so that you understand how it functions and behaves. Partially discharged cans that have spray residue on them can actually attract bears to you. This is one reason for getting two cans, the other is how sure would you be that the partial can held enough spray to be effective?

The same holds true for any item that has residue on it, including the ground.

Lot's of good info out there on being Bear Aware, most National Parks or National Forest websites carry that info. There is also an article here on Trailspace, that can be found here:

If you already know this stuff forgive me, it's just easy for us hikers to sometimes purchase gear to solve problems that are best solved by gaining knowledge along with that gear.

Travel safely, and don't eat corn chips in your tent!

10:28 p.m. on November 22, 2009 (EST)
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185 forum posts

I think trouthunter couldn't have said it better.... I agree totally...

10:01 a.m. on November 23, 2009 (EST)
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I agree.... I think education and common sense are the most important things to consider here. I'll be with my 10 yo son and I want to be as safe as possible in any situation we may encounter.

I want to have fun but I also want this to be a learning environment for him as well.

The reason I ask is we are circut hiking the AT and over the winter and spring we will be making our way through Virginia. I have heard of some bear encounters in the southern part of VA.

I don't really have any experience with bear encounters and I just want to make sure I'm prepared if and when I do.

June 18, 2018
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