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 Bear Spray 
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Mountaineer
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:10 am
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 Bear Spray
Just curious what people have to say......

Do you carry it? Have you ever had to use it?

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:25 am
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I don't carry it.

I'm not really afraid of bears in NH. All of the ones I've come across (and that would be a very small number) were more anxious to get away from me than vice versa.

Ofcourse, with my philosophy, you can only be wrong once.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:31 am
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Don't carry it. Like Jamie my half dozen encounters with bears have always ended with them running away and having no interest in me whatsoever so I don't even worry about it now. I might consider it if I did much bushwhacking, but I don't, so unless I start hiking with donuts in the pack or something ill take my chances.

I did however occasionally hike with a gun years ago if we were backcountry stealth camping in bear territory but never on day hikes or busy trails and never since I've had kids. Figured the noise might scare them away more than anything.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:48 am
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Flatfoot
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I live in a pretty wooded area with a couple of good sized black bears that walk through my yard. I don't bother them and they just walk thru not bothering me. When I go out in the early am, I just shuffle my feet to let them know I'm outside too, so I don't startle them. I'm more afraid of some of the people I've seen on the trail with ALL the wrong gear and the "I know about everything" attitudes. Those are the ones that get leary of. On another forum I asked about if anyone carried a gun, and I got crucified by alot of them. I carry neither bear spray or a gun. Just my .02


Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:55 am
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Location: candia nh
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 Re: Bear Spray
bizona wrote:
Just curious what people have to say......

Do you carry it? Have you ever had to use it?


I usually carry Halt! pepper spray ... but not for bears. Aside from making my heart go pit-a-pat bears have never made any threatening moves toward me, even when I ran across a mama & cub.

I suppose it *might* work, but probably too lightweight. Just right for dogs , though .... which have threatened me a number of times.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:00 am
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Location: Somersworth NH
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I'll admit, I carry bear spray.

The first bear I ever saw I startled out of a tree, and it was pretty scary for both of us. I hike solo a lot, and realizing my utter defenselessness was terrifying, even understanding that the odds of a legit attack were miniscule. So I carry Frontiersman brand spray that I got at Kittery Trading Post. It hangs off the side of by pack by a 'biner, next to my right hand at a moment's notice. I've never had to use it and probably never will, but in that moment where I'm by myself and hear something that's clearly not a chipmunk I'm glad that I spent the money to have SOME semblance of something.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:15 am
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I don't have or use it. Maybe if I camped out more I might.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:18 am
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I don't carry it. I hike solo mostly and have never felt a need for it, especially in NH (although now I have my dog which in my mind alleviates almost all bear worries.)

I worry more about personal injury (rolling an ankle, slipping, falling), weather, and moose than any bear.

I have never carried it in other states either were I have had bear encounters. They were all in black bear only country though.

If I were in grizzly/brown bear areas I would absolutely carry it, and probably a gun as well.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:42 am
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We carried bear spray in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, but do not carry in non-grizzly areas. We're also very vigilant about adhering to "bear aware" food handling/prep/storage recommendations to reduce our risk of attraction for either grizzly or black bear. So far we're batting .1000. Though I realized that by saying that I've just jinxed myself...

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:45 am
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KellyK wrote:
We carried bear spray in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, but do not carry in non-grizzly areas. We're also very vigilant about adhering to "bear aware" food handling/prep/storage recommendations to reduce our risk of attraction for either grizzly or black bear. So far we're batting .1000. Though I realized that by saying that I've just jinxed myself...


Batting .1000 is very bad, that's 10% by my math :P 8)

I carry it when I'm hiking alone, at the request of my wife, who would be even happier if I hiked with a handgun. Seriously.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:02 am
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Excellent point, Bob. Of course, after I said that I remembered years ago we left our grill out at Moose Brook CG and had a bear try to eat the food residue out of the bottom. So maybe .1000 is closer to the truth...

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:13 am
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I don't carry it, but my mom would probably be happy if I did. :) I think she's more worried about an animal attack than falling off a cliff...


Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:13 pm
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After a trip to Yosemite summer before last and reading up on it a bit, I'm convinced that the 99.9% of black bears are like big scared dogs. Seriously, the advice is to yell and throw rocks at them. Small rocks. I saw rangers chasing them around our campground. Kinda lost any fear after that. There have been a handful of Black bear attacks, mostly in Canada in remote fishing camps or other places where people routinely fed the bears and they lost their natural fear of people. Grizzly bears, now that's an entirely different story! I haven't done backcountry hikes in grizzly territory recently but when I do, I will absolutely be carrying bear spray!


Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:34 pm
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Dingo wrote:
I don't carry it, but my mom would probably be happy if I did. :) I think she's more worried about an animal attack than falling off a cliff...


My wife once came home from Wal-Mart with bear bells for me (before I ever saw a bear, even). Seriously. I choose my battles carefully, but that one there was just no way!


Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:52 pm
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Grindboy wrote:
Dingo wrote:
I don't carry it, but my mom would probably be happy if I did. :) I think she's more worried about an animal attack than falling off a cliff...


My wife once came home from Wal-Mart with bear bells for me (before I ever saw a bear, even). Seriously. I choose my battles carefully, but that one there was just no way!


We wore bear bells throughout our honeymoon trip. Well, ok, not so much in San Francisco than in Grand Tetons. Confused a lot of tourists on the trails. But whatever, I would rather they hear me coming (bears and tourists alike). We'll probably wear them out in CA this summer as well. Realize that it's black bear territory rather than grizzly, but if there's a new mother out there I don't want to take her by surprise.

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:21 am
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