Gear Advice: Bear Repellent

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So what do you do if you come up to a bear in the woods? Walk the other way…What if he/she follows? I have not had to deal with this, and I suspect that it is due to the fact that prevention is usually the best bet. Bear spray is designed to be sprayed into the eyes of a bear, and the theory is that they will run away. Here are a few better ideas:

  • Don’t sneak through the woods. Talk normally, to let the bears know you are there.
  • Don’t sleep in the same clothes you eat or cook in.
  • Put all “smellables” in a bear bag up in the trees. This includes all food, trash, and clothing that has food on it. Also, any water bottles that had anything other than water in them. First Aid kits, toilet kits also go up. When in doubt, put it up.
Practice the “Bearmuta triangle”. Form a triangle at about 50’ per side. Cook and eat at one point, keep your packs at another point, and sleep at the third. If a bear comes he/she will likely move between the cooking and pack areas, leaving you blissfully unaware.

Bill’s Choice

In addition to the above items, I carry a bottle of bear spray. I never give this to the boys to use as we all know that boys need to test things out, and this is not something that should be tested. The cost is about $30 per bottle. I have had mine for over 4 years, and it has never been used.

I also keep my hiking poles in my tent, just in case I get a night time visitor…..A bible does not hurt either!

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