When exploring out in the wild, it’s important to remember that we are in nature’s backyard. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, avid backpacker, or keen on camping, then you probably already know how important it is to have bear spray in your tool bag to ensure your safety. Thankfully, the best bear deterrent sprays are effective when it comes to protecting yourself from these stouthearted creatures without harming them in the process.
Whether you’re a frequent backpacker or just simply like to enjoy a long hike from time to time, you’ll never know if and when you’ll need a bear deterrent. Bears are naturally curious creatures, and when you combine that with environmental degradation and habitat loss, human-bear interactions have become something of a norm. Seeing how dangerous these burly animals can be, it’s crucial that you have a can of bear spray on hand just in case – your life may depend on it. Here’s how to use bear spray.
Things to consider when weighing out your bear spray options are the spray distance and spray duration. You’ll want to find a spray solution that provides the optimal amount of distance between you and the bear (about 12 to 30 feet) as well as one that spumes your repellent for longer periods of time to make sure it keeps spraying even as a bear is charging. It’s also important to make sure your spray contains the recommended 2% capsaicin.
On that note, you can’t just go online and find any old bear spray and hope it works in your time of need. So we’ve rounded up some of the best bear deterrent options to ensure your safety during adventures in the wilderness.
Counter Assault offers one of the best bear deterrent sprays simply because its spray duration is reliable and its spray distance eclipses all alternatives. When in conflict with a bear, your best option for keeping safe is by keeping a safe distance away from the animal, and this bear spray is effective up to 40 feet. This repellent comes equipped with a night glow locator and tactical belt holster, too, for ultimate accessibility in every environment. It’s also the only bear deterrent spray to meet the requirements set by the EPA’s Significant New Alternative Policy (S.N.A.P) of the Clean Air Act for those environmentally conscious minds out there.
- Spray distance: up to 40 feet
- Spray duration: 8-9 seconds
- Equipped with nighttime locator and belt holster
- Works on all bear species (including polar bears)
The Frontiersman bear spray from SABRE is one of our favorite bear deterrent options as it’s 50% stronger than police-grade pepper spray and is one of the industry leaders in terms of spray distance (30 feet) and providing a massive fog cloud barrier between you and a charging bear. This spray has been a reliable option for casual campers and avid explorers alike for years because of its effectiveness, but another reason behind that is the brand’s holster offerings. SABRE gives each buyer the option to add a belt or chest holster depending on their preference of accessibility, which goes a long way when weighing out a life-saving decision.
- Spray distance: 30 feet
- Spray duration: 9 seconds
- Option to add belt or chest holster for added accessibility
- Field tested to work on all bear species
Some of the best products are made by survivors of a dire and threatening experience. Udap’s bear spray is a great example of this as it was created by grizzly bear attack survivor, Mark Matheny. This deterrent was meticulously designed with two comforting attributes; quick and easy access and reliably potent stopping power, which are both delivered in the form of a large dispersed cloud of bear fighting pepper spray and a customizable, hard-plastic Griz Guard holster.
- Spray distance: up to 30 feet
- Spray duration: unsure
- Customizable Griz Guard holster is best in the business
- Designed by bear attack survivor
If you’re wondering what to expect when encountering different bear species in the wild, you can find more tips and details in our guide on how to survive a bear attack.
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