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Hiking, camping, or backpacking are some of nature’s little mercies that remind you of the joys of being at one with your environment. The rugged environment, the sounds, the sights, and the perfect alignment of the elements make every outdoor experience worth it. Nothing beats laying back after a successful hike or hunting trip.

Unless you encounter a bear.

Popular culture might have you thinking of bears as big cuddly animals. In reality, bears are extremely powerful animals that could inflict heavy damage upon confrontation. It would serve you best to maintain a good distance away from them.

We do a deep dive into 5 of the best bear sprays available. Find out what to look for when shopping for bear spray and what to do in the face of an impending bear attack.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a brand as highly rated as the Counter Assault Bear Spray.

With one of the longest shooting ranges in its product category at 32 feet, you can buy yourself plenty of time to stave off a bear attack. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the rockies or in the ice caps, no bear – not even a polar bear – is going to withstand the 2% capsaicin concentration in this bad boy.

This anti-bear spray carries about 10.2oz of potent content and fires a continuous stream for 9.2 seconds. No bear can withstand such intensity.

The design transforms your arm into a lethal weapon with the ring-design trigger for stable aim and sturdy handling.

One of its winning advantages is the glow-in-the-dark cap. If you encounter a grizzly in the woods in the dark, you’re not going to make any mistakes picking out this canister from its holster.

pros
  • Effective against all bears
  • 9-second continuous spray
  • 32-foot range
  • Extinguisher style spray
cons
  • Harsh blowback
  • Its fits too snuggly in its holster to deploy in an instant attack

The Frontiersman comes in 2 handy sizes that each pack enough heat to save you from a bear attack.

When you pick out this brand, you know it comes with the backing of a company with a strong rapport established over a long period.

This guard holds a title for strength and effectiveness, being 50% as strong as police-issued pepper spray.

This 9.2oz can gives you enough handling power to fire a precise blast up to 35 feet. Cover the immediate area with heavy anti-bear fog to create an almost impermeable barrier between and the attacking animal.

It has enough stopping power, with the EPA approved level of 2% capsaicinoids. The holster is designed to reduce deployment time and improve reaction speed. This spray will tackle any bear.

pros
  • No Velcro on the holster to restrict access
  • Heavier fog blast
  • Far-reaching
  • Stronger than police-issue pepper spray
cons
  • The safety ribs might be a little catchy

If you and your buddies are hitting the Rockies trail, arm yourselves with this 4-pack before heading out.

The Alaska Repellant packs a modest kick compared to other products. Each can is a 9oz that hold up for 9 seconds of continuous 1.34% capsaicinoid power.

You’ll be able to get at least 15 feet from each burst. It works against all bears and it has gone through all the tests in the Alaskan wild.

The holster attaches firmly to your belt clip. It is easily accessible and it is designed to deploy easily to quicken your response time in the face of an attack.

If you are eco-sensitive, this repellant will only deter a bear attack. The ozone remains safe. The repellant stays potent with a 4-year shelf life.

pros
  • It fits in your thumb as you fire
  • Environmentally safe for the ozone
  • Easy access holster with flaps
  • 1.34% potency
cons
  • You need to regularly check for leaks

Surviving a bear attack is no mean feat. So it comes as no surprise that it took a surviving a bear attack to come up with this bear spray.

The UDAP is instantly recognizable in daylight, from its bright canister. There’s enough spray in the 7.9oz canister for a continuous burst of 4 seconds.

It fogs out your immediate surrounding, creating a barrier that blinds, chokes, and disorients an attacking bear.

The oil-based contents of the canister can reach up to 30 feet from a single burst, making it hard to just wipe off.

And its not just effective against bears. The 2% capsaicin content is harsh on other animals that you might encounter out in the wild.

It comes with a range of easy-access customizable holsters with high aesthetic appeal and accessibility.

pros
  • Customizable holsters
  • Oil-based spray
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Works against bears and other animals
cons
  • Highly sensitive trigger

The design of this bear spray is meant for fast reflexes, quick deployment, and wide dispersion.

The oil-based formula has the recommended 2% concentration that is likely to stop a charging momma bear or any other animal you encounter.

The 7.9oz can serve its powerful fog up to a range of 30 feet.

You won’t need any belts with this. The clip mechanism allows you to conveniently take this anywhere.

Its non-flammability and environmentally friendly composition make it an ideal item for your camping, hiking, or backpacking experience.

pros
  • 30-foot range
  • Oil-based lasting fog
  • Clip attaching
  • Ozone friendly
cons
  • You might need to get another holster if you’re biking.

How To Carry And Use Bear Spray

  • Bear attacks happen in an instance. When you notice a bear, do not engage it unless it is charging at you. Stay away from cubs; the mother is never too far from the young ones.
  • Always keep the bear spray on your person, on your stronger side for easy access and deployment. This takes practice since you can’t predict the likelihood or proximity of an attack.
  • Keep your bear spray on hand and safety off. Stay ready especially if you are in a place with a high likelihood of encountering bears.
  • When a bear charges from a distance, grab your can and steady your arm. You need to learn how to time so you don’t fire too soon.
  • If you know the range on the can, estimate the distance and press the trigger in bursts of 2 seconds.
  • As you fire, cover your nose as well and create some distance between you and the fog. The pepper will irritate you too.
  • Fire while backing away until you notice the bear is disoriented. At this point, back away to a safe point.

What Do I Do After Repelling A Bear Attack

  • Clear that area. Bears might launch an attack if the spray was not too effective
  • Clean up after the encounter. The concentration of the spray might cling on your skin and sting.
  • Keep the safety on.

The Close

Bear attacks are severe and can easily turn fatal. If the attack is too sudden and you cant deploy the spray, play dead. Lie on the ground, spread your legs and cover your neck. Bear spray is only used as a last resort. Stay safe.

Kelvin Mwathi