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Advice on Bear repellent gear such as bear spray, bear banger and bear bells. Plus efficiency, and draw-backs to each product.
Coming across a bear can be very scary. These are animals that, although generally afraid of people, if frightened, they can react in ways that can end up disastrously. Plus, just like there are dangerous people, there are bad bears too. And, you never know if they are dangerous till something happens. There are several ways to repel a bear. The best way to prevent any bad encounters is to prevent a bear encounter such is with bear bells .
However if you do encounter a bear, there are several methods to try and scare off a bear.
Bear Defense Spray
Bear Repellent / Bear Spray
· Bear Repellent is similar to pepper spray or mace. Bear Spray is supposed to deter a bear, similar to how a skunk deters wild animals, or how a person uses it against another person- it causes them to cover their eyes, giving time to flee.
· Do not use Bear repellent if there is a wind. You do not want to accidentally spray yourself!
· Used at close range only.
· Carry in a pouch on your waist for easy accessibility.
· Practice using bear spray (either expired or inert canister) before going into the woods, so you know the range and accurately point it.
· Hold your breath when you spray it.
Noise makers include:
Bear bangers, Air horns and pots and pans
· Bear Bangers are like small fire crackers that you shoot in the direction of the bear. They make a very loud noise, similar to a gunshot, which is supposed to scare the bear.
· They come in three sizes: the size of a pencil, .22 caliber launcher and 12 guage launchers. They need to be readily accessible and practiced prior to going camping.
· My problem with bear bangers is that if they get wet or even slightly damaged, then they do not go off. You do not want something in the woods to be ‘temperamental’. That is just my personal experience.
· You are supposed to shoot it between you and the bear. Not at the bear or behind the bear as this may force it to run in your direction.
· I personally like air horns.
· There is nothing major to go wrong. They are easily accessible, and they make a loud noise. Plus if you haven’t used them by the end of the trip, they’re fun to wake up your fellow campers on the last morning!
Falcon Safety Push Button Horn
Good ol’ pots and pans
· If you make a significant amount of noise, then the bear is supposed be scared away. A way to make lots of noise is by banging pots and pans.
· I used pots and pans when I had a fox encounter, however, the lure of food kept bringing him back, even though he was frightened.
- to prevent bear encounters
Bear Bells are supposed to be a preventative method to prevent encountering a bear, although they really aren’t that loud to scare off bears. The noise can be lost in the wind, and they may just end up annoying you and fellow campers. I have found that talking relatively noisily, or singing works well.
The best thing to do with bears is prevent an encounter. Find out ways besides bear bells on how to prevent a bad bear encounter.
At night I keep my flashlight, radio with satellite phone and air horn easily accessible.
Always have an escape plan and keep important items available and with you. For example, when sleeping at night, keep you satellite phone in your tent. Have a safe route from your tent to your canoe (if canoeing), or from the tent to the main path. Make sure that your food is away from you.
Other bear articles that you might find interesting:
Other dangerous wild animals.