14

US Fisheries and Wildlife (with black and grizzly bears) suggests that bear spray is statistically more effective. A 2008 study by Smith et al included two polar bear encounters where the bears were successfully deterred with bear spray. However, in polar bear country you have other considerations, as the Nunavut visitor information says Pepper spray ...


13

The suggestion to use wasp spray for defense seems to be common enough that there’s a Snopes page on the topic. This particular urban legend is more often brought up in the context of defense against people, but it seems now to have been extended to bears. I would stick with the bear spray. In the US, the phrase “It is a violation of Federal law to use ...


7

Bear bangers and bear spray are designed for slightly different situations. Bear bangers are intended to use when a bear is still a ways off, but is showing no signs of leaving, or is wandering towards you. The idea is to scare the bear off before he gets close enough that you need to be seriously worried. They generally shoot a few hundred feet. Looking ...


7

The key ingredients in bear sprays are capsaicins (reference), which are also the key ingredients of classic pepper spray. Cleaning bear spray off of you or your gear is similar to cleaning pepper spray off you or your gear. First off, it capsaicins can be an extreme irritant, and so you want to minimize harm. Stay calm, avoid rubbing affected areas or ...


5

Going straight to the source, here's a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Mace brand pepper spray (note that bear spray is high concentration, high volume pepper spray). Here's a snip of the relevant section: The particular first aid recommendations are: Move victim to fresh air, encourage coughing Rinse eyes "immediately thoroughly, pulling the ...


5

This is only a partial answer, and I don't feel comfortable citing the following source without permission. I e-mailed a highly condensed version of my question to a reputable guiding company specializing in small group trips and custom charters in Southeast Alaska. This is the reply: A trip into bear country is not without risk! The first and most ...


4

Before bear spray was even a thing, people always carried shotguns. Most people in the wilder parts of the world still do carry shotguns, because an angry bear will charge right through bear spray, as recently happened to a man in Montana late last year. One guy I hiked with as a kid kept 5 shots in his shotgun, the first was just bird shot, a warning shot ...


3

Instead of carrying bear spray, noise flares, and/or a rifle, how about carrying bear spray (primary) and a large caliber pistol (backup at close range)?


3

A difference on the side of the rifle would be that polar bears live in more open environments, so they're easier to see coming. A difference on the pepper spray side could be that these open plains can be windy, limiting the range and precision of the spray. So I figure the different approach might have more to do with environmental factors than bear ...


3

There are a number of circumstances where bear spray is at a disadvantage to firearms including environmental factors like wind, rain and cold temperatures. Know the product! Winds, rain, snow, freezing temperatures and age of the product all play a role in the effectiveness of bear spray. If it’s expired, properly dispose of it according to manufacturer's ...


2

They might be confident to carry bear spray because it is the better and safer option than carrying a gun. This was discussed a bunch of times on TGO already, one example of it can be found in this answer here, which cites sources claiming that bear spray shows 98% effectiveness in deterring grizzly attacks in Alaska, whereas bringing a gun did not show ...


2

The previous answer fits with the Alberta Parks advice regarding bears — they suggest carrying both noise makers and bear spray, with noise makers being used for bears still at distance. They include air-horns as options. Bears' response to any stimulus is dependent on many variables - not the least of which is the species of bear and its relative ...


2

We carry both, a handgun (.45) and bear spray in black bear/grizzly country. A warning shot recently stopped a black bear from (bluff) charging LONG before it was within range of the bear spray. I deployed the bear spray as well, but it was carried sideways 10 feet by the wind and the bear would have to been much closer for it to be effective. Had it charged ...


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