I just read this question about bears and tents and according to the answers, if you ever have to use a bear spray, you have to do so outside of your tent (quite reasonably).
I am wondering if camping with a tarp, especially with a open (as in suspended a-frame) configuration may be somewhat safer than using a tent in such a situation. In my mind, this would allow the bear to see you (and leaving accordingly, since in the majority of the cases that's what is going to happen - again, still according to the answers of the above questions).
And, in those rare case where the bear might want to predate you, you would have an easier life firing with the bear spray - or a gun, without the hassle to leaving the tent in panic first.
I'd like to travel in bear countries and I'd be interested to know if the above speculation might actually be right or not.