Bears are large, powerful creatures, symbolizing courage, health, and vitality. But as majestic as they are, you would want to avoid coming across one in the wild. Besides their enormous weight, ranging between 300 to 900 pounds, they have an incredible bite strength of 975 PSI. In Canada, they are primarily found in British Columbia, Alberta and the three territories, and Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. However, if a bear attacks you during one of your trips, your best bet would be to use bear spray. Several online stores sell bear spray Canada, allowing you to choose from various types. What are these sprays? Are they helpful? What are some things you should know before buying them? Find out in this article.
What is bear spray?
It is a type of self-defense spray designed to deter aggressive bears. It emits a concentrated stream of capsaicin (the active ingredient in hot peppers), which causes temporary eye and respiratory irritation and distress. This reaction typically causes the bear to stop its aggressive behavior and retreat.
It is commonly used by hikers, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts who may encounter bears in the wild. It is generally considered a safer alternative to firearms for bear protection, as it does not permanently harm the animal and reduces the risk of human injury. However, it is essential to note that it is not a guarantee of safety and works best as a deterrent against aggressive behavior by bears.
Even though it is legal in Canada to deter aggressive wildlife, it is regulated under the Controlled Weapons Regulations of the Criminal Code and Health Canada and Pest Control Products Act. Therefore, it is vital to use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and to familiarize yourself with local regulations and restrictions before using it.
How does it work?
As mentioned earlier, it is a type of pepper spray that deters and repels aggressive bears. It releases a cloud of oleoresin capsicum, a hot pepper extract, into the air.
When a bear inhales the spray, the capsaicin irritates the eyes, nose, and respiratory system, causing temporary discomfort and an intense burning sensation. This reaction usually deters the bear from attacking and causes it to retreat.
The spray has a range of 30 feet and typically lasts for about 8 to 10 seconds, giving the user ample time to evacuate the area. However, the effectiveness of bear spray can be affected by wind conditions and the size and behavior of the bear.
In general, a spray is an excellent tool for outdoor enthusiasts who are in bear country and want to reduce the risk of an encounter with an aggressive bear. However, it is crucial to understand how to use it properly when hiking or camping in a bear habitat.
According to the Wildlife Department of the Government of Canada, travelers should carry it while camping, hiking, or trail running in the Mountain Parks of Canada and only use it as a last resort.
Tips for buying a bear spray
- Check the expiration date: Ensure that it is still effective by checking the expiration date before purchasing.
- Check the strength: Look for a spray with a high concentration of capsaicin, the primary ingredient that repels bears. Experts recommend a concentration of at least 1.0%. However, per the rules set by the Government of Canada, the package volume should not exceed 500 ml and should clearly state its use exclusively for animals.
- Consider the spray distance: Choose a spray that can reach at least 25-30 feet so you have enough time to escape if a bear charges.
- Choose the right size: It is available in various sizes, from small portable cans to larger ones for extended trips. Choose the size that best fits your needs.
- Familiarize yourself with how to use it: Before heading out into the bear country, practice using your bear spray and ensure you know how to quickly and effectively deploy it in an emergency.
You can buy bear spray in Canada from an online store that sells these, as it will increase your chances of safety during an attack. However, it’s crucial to ensure it’s always accessible and not stored inside your backpack.