Why buy bear spray?
Bear sprays are what provide you with protection when you are out in bear country. If you ever run into an aggressive bear when camping, backpacking, or hiking, effectively deployed bear spray is the best way to deter them. This can prevent injuries or even death sustained from a bear attack. The good news is that bear spray is non-lethal to bears but still strong enough to convince them to leave you alone. And it doesn’t require any precision or special accuracy to work; as long as you put up a large enough cloud of spray between you and a charging bear, it should do the trick. If there’s any chance of encountering a bear in the area where you plan to camp or hike, no matter how minuscule, bear spray is an absolute must-have.
Keep in mind that bear spray isn’t like insect repellent. Spraying it on yourself or your gear won’t keep bears away; it’s only effective when deployed in the direction of an aggressive bear. And bear spray has a shelf life, meaning it does expire after a time. Be sure you check the dates on any cans you own before you go camping and buy a new supply if necessary.
What should you look for in bear spray?
There are many different products available on the market, but you should consider something that offers the following:
- Range & Length: You need a bear spray that can extend far enough to be effective if you come across a territorial bear. Certain bear sprays can reach a distance of around 30 feet and spray for around six to eight seconds.
- Concentration: The concentration of capsaicin in bear spray also plays a role in the severity of the repellent: 2% is the highest concentration allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Do I need a holster or belt clip for my bear spray?
It is highly recommend that you have one or the other, yes. If a bear is charging at you (anywhere between 25 and 35 mph, faster than any human can run), you don’t want to be fumbling around in your pack for your bear spray. The faster you can deploy the spray, the better. A holster or belt clip will save you those precious seconds that can make all the difference. Either of these tools will allow you to keep bear spray right on hand and draw it quickly if needed.
The good news is that many bear sprays include some sort of holster or belt clip with your purchase. Thus the odds are good you won’t have to spend extra money on one. And, as an added bonus, you know the holster or belt clip will properly fit and hold whichever bear spray you buy.
Udap 12HP Bear Spray
Designed by a bear attack survivor, this bear spray is both extremely potent and has a long range for more effective deterrence.
Guard Alaska 9 oz. Bear Spray Repellent + Pepper Enforcement Belt Clip Holster - Maximum Strength Bear Deterrent (2-Pack)
A bundle of two cans of bear spray and matching belt clip holsters for both, to help ensure you don't run out of bear spray on long camping or backpacking trips.
Griz Guard bear spray featuring a UDAP Griz Guard hip holster
This powerful bear spray has the strongest possible formula allowed by the EDA and comes with an easy-access, no-fuss guard holster.
Mace Brand Maximum Strength Bear Spray – Accurate 35’ Powerful Pepper Spray, Finger Loop Handle with Safety Clip – Great for Self-Defense when Hiking, Camping, and Other Outdoor Activities, green, 260 gram (80346)
At a maximum range of 35 feet, this bear spray offers you optimal protection.
Personal Security Products Guard Alaska Maximum Strength Bear Spray by Mace Brand – Accurate 25’ Powerful Pepper Spray, – Great for Self-Defense When Hiking, Camping, and Other Outdoor Activities, green, 260 gram (153)
This is among the best all-around bear sprays that you can purchase at an affordable price.
If you ever go camping, backpacking, or hiking in an area where there is even a remote possibility of running into a bear, bear spray is absolute must have. Not only for your safety but the safety of anyone with you. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it– but better to have bear spray on hand and not need it than be caught in a situation where you need it and you didn’t bother to buy any.