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The Best Bear Sprays for Safe Hiking and Camping

Personal Security Products
🕚 Updated May 2021

If you regularly go camping or hiking, then you are likely going to encounter a bear. This is why you should consider purchasing a chemical deterrent to protect yourself and your loved ones. Bear spray can effectively avert dangerous encounters with a wild bear, ensuring everyone's safety. Recent studies showed that 98% of people carrying bear spray were able to avoid injury. Here are some we recommend you take with you on your next wilderness adventure.

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  Best Overall Best Set Most Potent Longest Range Also Consider
 
  Udap
Bear Spray with Color Griz Guard Holster
Pepper Defense
Guard Alaska Bear Spray Repellent + Pepper Enforcement Belt Clip Holster
Griz Guard
Bear Spray
Mace
Brand Maximum Strength Bear Spray
Personal Security Products
Maximum Strength and Accurate Bear Spray
 
Our SummaryDesigned by a bear attack survivor, this bear spray is both extremely potent and has a long range for more effective deterrence.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.This powerful bear spray has the strongest possible formula allowed by the EDA and comes with an easy-access, no-fuss guard holster.At a maximum range of 35 feet, this bear spray offers you optimal protection.This is among the best all-around bear sprays that you can purchase at an affordable price.
ProsPotent, good range, instructional booklet, hip holster, and glow-in-the-dark safety clip all included.Non-flammable, 9 second continuous spray, available in packs of 1, 2, 3, or 5.Durable, good range, holster doesn't require a belt.Lightweight, easy to locate safety wedge, good price.Accurate, easy to use, less expensive than many similar models.
ConsSome versions are a bit pricier than other comparable products.Slightly less potent, shorter spray range.Shorter continuous spray time.Holster sold separately.Spray range under 30 feet.
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How Did We Research?

13 Models Evaluated

6 Hours Researched

6 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Bear Sprays for Safe Hiking and Camping

can of bear spray in a pants leg pocket
Personal Security Products

Buying Guide for Bear Spray

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.

Our Picks for Best Bear Spray

Best Overall

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.

Best Set

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.

Most Potent

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Nick Pappas Nick Pappas
Nick Pappas is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy from South Bend, IN. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and has written content and short stories for ABC57 News and Kansas City Voices. Away from the computer, you can find Nick traveling and filmmaking, though his interests are constantly changing! Read Full Bio »

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