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Thread: Bear spray.

  1. #1

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    Bear spray.

    Do any of you carry bear spray with you when you are in Yosemite or any other NP? I was walking the North Dome trail and came across a HUGE bear.Luckily he didn't see me.But I've been wondering if it is (or allowed) a good idea.I never worried about before but lately I have. Nothing ruins your day quicker than a bear attack.

  2. #2

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    Re: Bear spray.

    I carry it in the western mountain parks, although not in the eastern parks. Yellowstone and the Tetons not only allowed it, but often recommended it for some of the trails in bear areas.

    Cheers!
    Bill

  3. #3

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    Re: Bear spray.

    With my luck I'd run into a bear that likes spicy food.
    Unless you're in the habitat of really mean bears I'd be more concerned about the other critters.
    Mammoth has some incredibly huge bears, but even they seem to be more interested in nabbing unprotected junk food than an "organic" photographer.
    The rule of thumb for bears---if you can cover the bear with your thumb, thats as close as you'll want to get.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #4

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    Re: Bear spray.

    I like that rule of thumb John.

    Good thing California doesn't have Grizzly bears. And since you can't carry a shotgun in Yosemite, I suppose it would be a good idea to carry a can of spray.

    Of course you should know how to read signs... Grizzly bear scat has bells in it and smells like pepper.

  5. #5

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    Re: Bear spray.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I like that rule of thumb John.

    Good thing California doesn't have Grizzly bears. And since you can't carry a shotgun in Yosemite, I suppose it would be a good idea to carry a can of spray.

    Of course you should know how to read signs... Grizzly bear scat has bells in it and smells like pepper.
    Are you allowwed bear spray in Yosemite? I don't think they sell it in the park.

  6. #6
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Bear spray.

    Never carried it anywhere in non-grizzly country, which includes Yosemite, and have laughed at those who do (it is allowed). Common sense and experience, which I may have lacked in my younger years in several legendary black bear encounters, will do more to protect you than bear spray. I will say that I believe, hopefully unnecessarily so, that the continuing range extension of predatory mountain lions in California, is a much more serious threat. I did carry holstered (its got to be at the ready) bear spray in Glacier NP for the first time ever this year, for last stand protection against griz and lion. I have to admit that after a couple of days of carrying it on the waistband of my camera pack, I very much enjoyed the sidearm feeling of its presence (insert testosterone filled grunt). However, when purchasing it, the question both my wife and I asked the clueless clerk was, more importantly to us, "Will it work on the residents of Stanley, Idaho?"

    My only serious encounter with wildlife, other than occasional rattlers and ubiquitous marmots, was when I was attacked by a goshawk in upper Ribbon Creek west of El Capitan. Bear spray would not have protected me if I'd had it. I removed myself from further difficulty after a seven mile half blind and bloody march to the nearest road with a lacerated eyeball and broken ankle. The attack was the subject of much speculation until other park personnel reported similar attacks in later years. BTW, the goshawk is the official emblem of the South Korean Air Force, its flying prowess unmatched by any other raptor.

  7. #7
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Bear spray.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    The rule of thumb for bears---if you can cover the bear with your thumb, thats as close as you'll want to get.
    Well, the other rule is to never travel alone. Then you don't need to outrun the bear, only your partner.

  8. #8
    Hack Pawlowski6132's Avatar
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    Re: Bear spray.

    Quote Originally Posted by ignatiusjk View Post
    Do any of you carry bear spray with you when you are in Yosemite or any other NP? I was walking the North Dome trail and came across a HUGE bear.Luckily he didn't see me.But I've been wondering if it is (or allowed) a good idea.I never worried about before but lately I have. Nothing ruins your day quicker than a bear attack.
    Nothing ruins a bears day more than getting sprayed in the freakin eye while just minding their own business.

  9. #9

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    Re: Bear spray.

    the question both my wife and I asked the clueless clerk was, more importantly to us, "Will it work on the residents of Stanley, Idaho?"

    Hey, I resemble that comment, having lived around Stanley for more than 27 years. Why us? I spent Friday night there, it was -30 F so your answer is, that I would have liked some on my feet and hands if it wasn't froze solid in your canister! And also, I have two cans. How good of a shot are you at 30 feet? Back to the original question, I once in forty years of backpacking, OK twice, had a tough time chasing a bear out of my camp, 99% of the time they're just as scarred or curious as you are. Lately, I've heard of some close encounters of wolves so I sometimes carry the pepper spray. The best thing to carry in the wilderness is an elevated consciousness and enjoy your highly alert senses.
    Thad Gerheim
    Website: http://www.thadgerheim.com

  10. #10
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Bear spray.

    Lots of sporting goods stores sell pepper spray in bear-sized canisters.

    How to use pepper spray: when the bear approaches, spray the bear in the face, hitting the eyes and nose.
    How not to use pepper spray: spray down your tent, and the ground surrounding your tent. Spray it on yourself. Roll yourself in sweet dough. Bears will visit promptly, as they like the taste of peppered meat in a sweet roll.

    I like Fox Labs pepper spray, but on someone else...

    Another thing you can do is take a pet skunk with you. This little animal carries the equivalent of military CS gas.

    One other thing: stop sticking your thumbs on bears. They do not like that.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

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