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*Must be 19+ years of age to purchase. MUST BE ABLE TO LOCALLY PICK UP IN MISSION, BC. Must provide 2 Government issued pieces of ID at the time of picking up. The name of the purchaser must be the same as the individual who is picking up the order.*

National Parks, Provincial Parks, and the back countries are all home to both grizzly and black bears. Although the chances of having an encounter with an aggressive bear are low, proper planning before you head out can help reduce your risk. By following a few “bear-aware” rules, you can help protect bears, too. Here are some safety tips to get you started on the right foot.

Whether you are hiking, picnicking, camping, biking, trail running, or paddling in Parks Canada’s Mountain Parks, carrying bear spray is a good idea. It may reduce your risk of injury if you are in an aggressive encounter with a bear and/or other aggressive wildlife. Using bear spray is always a last resort; do all you can to avoid a bear encounter in the first place. Prepare carefully before you head into bear country.

You can run into a bear anywhere here, be it on a busy trail close to town or in the remote backcountry. Bears generally prefer to avoid people. However, encounters between bears and people do occur.

 

What is Bear Spray?
It is a deterrent containing capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers. It comes in a small, portable spray canister and is intended to repel a bear in the event of a close encounter.

 

What does it do?
The canister releases a cone-shaped cloud of pepper spray to a distance of approximately 10 m and at a speed of over 100 km/h. When a bear walks into the spray, its eyes and skin will sting and it will have difficulty breathing—symptoms nasty enough to prompt a retreat. The spray is non-lethal: the bear will be uncomfortable, but unharmed.

 

What should you look for when buying bear spray?

  • Check the expiry date.
  • Does it have a safety clip?
  • To be legal in Canada, the label must clearly show that it is intended for use on animals; the package volume cannot exceed 500 ml.
  • Size and strength: a 225 ml can (about 10 seconds worth) with 0.75%-1% capsaicin is recommended.

 

Before hitting the trails

  • Read the instructions Carry it in a holster you can easily reach with your dominant hand (if you are right-handed, carry it on the right side of your body).
  • If you are biking, place it in the bike’s water bottle rack.
  • Having it in your pack is a no-no—a surprise bear encounter can happen in seconds, and you want to be ready!
  • Practice—spray a short burst outdoors to make sure the can is working properly and to become familiar with the spray radius and your reaction time.
  • Practice reaching for your spray and undoing the safety clip several times. Stores will sometimes have inert cans you can use to get the hang of it.
  • At least one person in your group should carry it, but it’s best if everyone has their own (you want backup, right?).

 

Getting to the trails
En route to the trail, carry it with the safety clip on in the trunk of your vehicle or in a sealed container. Avoid temperature extremes and the risk of puncturing. It is not permissible to carry bear spray on a commercial airline, even in your checked baggage.

 

When should you use it?
Bear spray is your “last-resort” tool: have it ready, but try to calmly and slowly get out of the bear’s way first. If the bear comes towards you, yell “Hey Bear!” The bear has to be in close range (less than a bus length) for your spray to be effective. Use only if the bear acts aggressively.

 

How do I use it?
Remove the safety clip and aim for the bear’s face (make sure the nozzle is pointing away from you). You want to create a wall of spray between you and the bear. Give quick, one-second bursts until the bear retreats. Leave the area immediately. Wind or rain may reduce the spray’s effectiveness; be careful not to get in the path of the spray.

 

How NOT to use it?
Don’t spray it on yourself, your tent or your gear. Studies have found that the lingering smell actually attracts bears! If it can stop a bear in its tracks, imagine what it would feel like on you. Check the label for health precautions.



Frontiersman Xtra 1.0% Bear Spray

Regular price $74.99
Sold out

*Must be 19+ years of age to purchase. MUST BE ABLE TO LOCALLY PICK UP IN MISSION, BC. Must provide 2 Government issued pieces of ID at the time of picking up. The name of the purchaser must be the same as the individual who is picking up the order.*

National Parks, Provincial Parks, and the back countries are all home to both grizzly and black bears. Although the chances of having an encounter with an aggressive bear are low, proper planning before you head out can help reduce your risk. By following a few “bear-aware” rules, you can help protect bears, too. Here are some safety tips to get you started on the right foot.

Whether you are hiking, picnicking, camping, biking, trail running, or paddling in Parks Canada’s Mountain Parks, carrying bear spray is a good idea. It may reduce your risk of injury if you are in an aggressive encounter with a bear and/or other aggressive wildlife. Using bear spray is always a last resort; do all you can to avoid a bear encounter in the first place. Prepare carefully before you head into bear country.

You can run into a bear anywhere here, be it on a busy trail close to town or in the remote backcountry. Bears generally prefer to avoid people. However, encounters between bears and people do occur.

 

What is Bear Spray?
It is a deterrent containing capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers. It comes in a small, portable spray canister and is intended to repel a bear in the event of a close encounter.

 

What does it do?
The canister releases a cone-shaped cloud of pepper spray to a distance of approximately 10 m and at a speed of over 100 km/h. When a bear walks into the spray, its eyes and skin will sting and it will have difficulty breathing—symptoms nasty enough to prompt a retreat. The spray is non-lethal: the bear will be uncomfortable, but unharmed.

 

What should you look for when buying bear spray?

  • Check the expiry date.
  • Does it have a safety clip?
  • To be legal in Canada, the label must clearly show that it is intended for use on animals; the package volume cannot exceed 500 ml.
  • Size and strength: a 225 ml can (about 10 seconds worth) with 0.75%-1% capsaicin is recommended.

 

Before hitting the trails

  • Read the instructions Carry it in a holster you can easily reach with your dominant hand (if you are right-handed, carry it on the right side of your body).
  • If you are biking, place it in the bike’s water bottle rack.
  • Having it in your pack is a no-no—a surprise bear encounter can happen in seconds, and you want to be ready!
  • Practice—spray a short burst outdoors to make sure the can is working properly and to become familiar with the spray radius and your reaction time.
  • Practice reaching for your spray and undoing the safety clip several times. Stores will sometimes have inert cans you can use to get the hang of it.
  • At least one person in your group should carry it, but it’s best if everyone has their own (you want backup, right?).

 

Getting to the trails
En route to the trail, carry it with the safety clip on in the trunk of your vehicle or in a sealed container. Avoid temperature extremes and the risk of puncturing. It is not permissible to carry bear spray on a commercial airline, even in your checked baggage.

 

When should you use it?
Bear spray is your “last-resort” tool: have it ready, but try to calmly and slowly get out of the bear’s way first. If the bear comes towards you, yell “Hey Bear!” The bear has to be in close range (less than a bus length) for your spray to be effective. Use only if the bear acts aggressively.

 

How do I use it?
Remove the safety clip and aim for the bear’s face (make sure the nozzle is pointing away from you). You want to create a wall of spray between you and the bear. Give quick, one-second bursts until the bear retreats. Leave the area immediately. Wind or rain may reduce the spray’s effectiveness; be careful not to get in the path of the spray.

 

How NOT to use it?
Don’t spray it on yourself, your tent or your gear. Studies have found that the lingering smell actually attracts bears! If it can stop a bear in its tracks, imagine what it would feel like on you. Check the label for health precautions.



Frontiersman Xtra 1.0% Bear Spray

Safe travels in bear country

The Canadian Rocky and Columbia Mountains are home to both grizzly and black bears. You can run into a bear anywhere here, be it on a busy trail close to town or in the remote backcountry. Bears generally prefer to avoid people. However, encounters between bears and people do occur.

Knowing how to avoid an encounter with a bear is the best way to enjoy the parks, safely. In the event you do come across a bear, it is important to know a bit about bear behaviour. How we respond in an encounter with a bear really depends on the type of interaction that is taking place.

AVOID an encounter

Bears are extremely sensitive to the stress of human activity. You can help protect these animals by avoiding encounters with them.

  • Make noise! Let bears know you're there. Call out, clap, sing or talk loudly especially near streams, dense vegetation and berry patches, on windy days, and in areas of low visibility. Bear bells are not enough.
  • Watch for fresh bear sign. Tracks, droppings, diggings, torn-up logs and turned-over rocks are all signs that a bear has been in the area. Leave the area if the signs are fresh.
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times or leave it at home. Dogs can provoke defensive behaviour in bears.
  • Larger size groups are less likely to have a serious bear encounter. We recommend hiking in a tight group of four or more. Never let children wander.
  • Use officially marked paths and trails and travel during daylight hours.
  • If you come across a large dead animal, leave the area immediately and report it to park staff.
  • Dispose of fish offal in fast moving streams or the deep part of a lake, never along stream sides or lake shores.

If you SEE a bear

Stop and remain calm. Get ready to use your bear spray. Do not run away.

Is the bear UNAWARE of your presence?

Move away quietly without getting its attention.

Is the bear AWARE of your presence?

Bears may bluff their way out of an encounter by charging and then turning away at the last second. Bears may also react defensively by woofing, growling, snapping their jaws and laying their ears back.

  • Stay calm. Your calm behaviour can reassure the bear. Screams or sudden movements may trigger an attack.
  • Speak to the bear. Talk calmly and firmly. This lets the bear know you are human and not a prey animal. If a bear rears on its hind legs and waves its nose about, it is trying to identify you.
  • Back away slowly. Never run! Running may trigger a pursuit.
  • Make yourself appear BIG. Pick up small children and stay in a group.
  • Do not drop your pack. It can provide protection.

If you must proceed, make a wide detour around a bear or wait at a safe distance for it to move on.

If the bear APPROACHES

Stop and remain calm. Get ready to use your bear spray. Do not run away. Assess the bear’s behaviour and determine why it is approaching.

Is it DEFENSIVE?

The bear is feeding, protecting its young and/or surprised by your presence. It sees you as a threat. The bear will appear stressed or agitated and may vocalize.

  • Try to appear non-threatening.
  • Talk in a calm voice.
  • When the bear stops advancing, start slowly moving away.
  • If it keeps coming closer, stand your ground, keep talking, and use your bear spray.
  • If the bear makes contact, fall on the ground and play dead. Lie still and wait for the bear to leave.

Is it NON-DEFENSIVE?

A bear may be curious, after your food, or testing its dominance. In the rarest case, it might be predatory–seeing you as potential prey. All of these non-defensive behaviours can appear similar and should not be confused with defensive behaviours.

The bear will be intent on you with head and ears up.

  • Talk in a firm voice.
  • Move out of the bear’s path.
  • If it follows you, stop and stand your ground.
  • Shout and act aggressively.
  • Try to intimidate the bear.
  • If it approaches closely, use your bear spray.

Handling an ATTACK

Most encounters with bears end without injury. If a bear actually makes contact, you may increase your chances of survival by following these guidelines. In general, there are 2 kinds of attack:

DEFENSIVE!

This is the most COMMON type of attack.

  • Use your bear spray.
  • If the bear makes contact with you: PLAY DEAD!
  • PLAY DEAD! Lie on your stomach with legs apart and position your arms so that your hands are crossed behind your neck. This position makes you less vulnerable to being flipped over and protects your face, the back of your head and neck. Remain still until you are sure the bear has left the area.

These defensive attacks are generally less than two minutes in duration. If the attack continues, it may mean it has shifted from defensive to predatory—FIGHT BACK!

PREDATORY

The bear is stalking (hunting) you along a trail and then attacks. Or, the bear attacks you at night. This type of attack is very RARE.
Try to escape into a building, car or up a tree.

  • If you cannot escape, do not play dead.
  • Use your bear spray and FIGHT BACK.
  • FIGHT BACK! Intimidate that bear: shout; hit it with a branch or rock, do whatever it takes to let the bear know you are not easy prey. This kind of attack is very rare, but it is serious because it usually means the bear is looking for food and preying on you.

What happens to a bear when it encounters people?

  1. It can alter its path of travel or abandon an area, displacing it from important habitat.
  2. It can react aggressively: this usually only happens when the bear is surprised at close range and feels threatened. Serious human-bear encounters may result in the bear's destruction and loss from the ecosystem.
  3. It becomes habituated: with frequent, repeated exposure to people, a bear loses its natural wary behaviour and becomes increasingly bolder. It is more likely to enter a campground or townsite where food or garbage may be improperly stored.

TIPS FOR ROADSIDE VIEWING

How you can help protect bears

The best thing you can do for bears is to limit their exposure to you.

  • Consider not stopping when you see a roadside bear.
  • Put all garbage in bear-proof garbage bins.
  • Keep your picnic or camping site attractant-free. Move the food, cooler, dirty dishes, recyclables, BBQ, lotions and pet food into your vehicle, trailer or storage locker (tents are not bear-proof).
  • Use official trails only and leave the wild trails to wildlife.
  • Respect closures and group access requirements—they are in place for your safety and to give bears a chance to use critical habitat undisturbed.
  • Pay attention to warnings—follow recommendations. Be careful when travelling through these areas, or choose a different route.
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