Grizzly Strength Pepper Spray
On hikes in the mountains I carry "Counter Assault", an 8 oz. bear pepper spray which contains 2.0% capsaicin. We bought it at a sporting goods store or you can contact the manufacturer, Bushwacker Backpack and Supply Co. at 1-800-695-3394. It can spray up to 30 feet and has a safety clip. It really gives me peace of mind. I keep it in my fanny pack so I can grab it easily. But if I see what appear to be fresh bear tracks, like I did in Aiken Canyon, CO recently, I walk with it in my hand. Note which way the wind is blowing before spraying and cover your face if necessary. I haven't had to use it yet.
The pepper irritates the bear's eyes, nose and mouth, giving you enough time to make a run for it. It's supposed to work even on grizzlies, perhaps even being more effective than guns because the spray causes immediate irritation (if the wind is with you) and it usually requires about four gun shots to get a grizzly to fall. Don't worry about making the bear mad with the spray. They suffer with a burning sensation for awhile, then some start licking their faces, enjoying the taste. Since some bears appreciate the taste of the pepper spray, do not apply it to campsites because it has been known to attract bears.
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