As long as you're hiking in bear country, you should carry bear spray for personal defense.
Hikers, be aware of aggressive bears as you visit national parks. The chances are pretty low of you being attacked by a black bear, but you never know when these beautiful creatures are ready to tap into their predator instincts.
You should prepare for the worst-case scenario. A good bear deterrent will give you time to get to safety after you encounter a bear. Of course, you only need to use bear spray in the case of self-defense.
Best Bear Spray
If you've ever been in the market for some bear spray, then you've probably heard of SABRE Frontiersman. It's a popular bear spray for hikers and backpackers that visit national parks frequently. This canister comes with a holster, so there's some incentive to keep it close when you're out in the backcountry.
SABRE says its bear deterrent spray has proven effective, as it held up against charging bears by the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Elmendorf, Alaska, and Brown Bear Resources in Missoula, Montana. This spray is EPA approved and is effective against black, brown, and polar bears. It fires from up to 30 feet away!
You might be a tad nervous about traveling with it, but you can rest knowing that it's non-flammable and has a glow-in-the-dark safety latch to prevent an accidental discharge. It deploys a heavy fog of 1.58 oz (45 grams) per 1-second burst. Hopefully, you won't ever have to use it, but this is a great option to have.
UDAP is another big name for bear spray. UDAP says they provide a person with a reason not to run! (I hope so.) The defense spray is EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) certified. This bear spray can has 7.9 ounces of product and is effective on all eight major species of bears up to 40 feet. There is a safety cap to prevent accidents.
Using bear spray sounds like a scary situation, so feel free to get a few practice sprays in. A customer left a positive rating and wrote, "Bought my 9 year old and I each one for our trip. Thank God we didn't need to use them but they are much cheaper than buying elsewhere and the Forest Ranger said they were a good one as well for distance."
Personal Security Products' spray is accurate and effective. This spray canister features a finger loop handle with a safety clip, making it easy to carry. To use, pull off the orange safety wedge on the top of the grip and spray by pressing down on the top button. The active ingredients are natural.
It's derived from peppers that are EPA regulated. However, once they hit the bear's face, it will cause a burning sensation, along with temporary sight loss.
Counter Assault's spray is effective up to 32 feet! Impressive. Counter Assault says their formula contains 2% capsaicin and related capsaicinoid products that temporarily disable a bear's ability to smell and see. Their formula is effective against all eight bear species, even polar bears. Wow. This spray has a four-year shelf-life, so you'll be able to keep it in your survival bag for a long time.
A belt clip is included for easy access.
A customer wrote a review that might make you a bit nervous but confident in this product. They gave it five stars and wrote, "Accidentally sprayed a little while reinserting the clip and it almost killed me. I pity the bear who forces me to have to use this. As I like to say, it's good for aggressors of both the 2 and 4 legged variety."
Yep, sounds like the grizzly bear stands no chance against this spray.
This formula is made to penetrate wet fur (which is perfect for taking on your kayak fishing trip).
Regular pepper spray will not get the job done. Hopefully, you don't ever have to use bear spray, but you'll have some peace of mind knowing you have a can on you.
For velcro and nylon holsters, visit Amazon.
This post was originally published on October 18, 2019.