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Thread: Bear spray.

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    Default Bear spray.

    Do I need bear spray?

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    No you don't.
    Springer to 50 miles from Katahdin. 1991 to ...

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    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    It is a personal choice based on how you feel.
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    Today feels like a bear spray day!

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    Cool Simple answer

    For those walking on the A.T.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmrJx32xefM

    For all six of my bear encounters while walking solo on or near the A.T., the biggest problem I've had is that they all ran away before I could even get my camera out of its holder.

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    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    I'd ballpark that less than 2% of the A.T. Hikers I see carry bear spray.

    We only have black bears on the east coast. Unlike Grizzly's, black bears are not known to violently defend their young and are typically fearful of humans (of course getting between a wild animal and her offspring is never a good idea.)
    "This sucks and I love it."

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    My wife recently organized the hiking gear closet. The bear sprayed ended up in the food and cooking drawer. Guess she thought it was most useful for spicing up trail meals.

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    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Carrying bear spray to protect yourself from a possible bear attack along the AT is about as practical as carrying anti-venom to save yourself from a snake bite along the AT...

    ...and I think you're slightly more likely to be bit by a poisonous snake than you are to be attacked by a bear.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Sawyer View Post
    Today feels like a bear spray day!
    now that's! Funny

  10. #10

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    In grizzly country, maybe. Yellowstone and Glacier, probably.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Carrying bear spray to protect yourself from a possible bear attack along the AT is about as practical as carrying anti-venom to save yourself from a snake bite along the AT...

    ...and I think you're slightly more likely to be bit by a poisonous snake than you are to be attacked by a bear.
    Well,there is also people, where its presence can be a deterrent
    And dogs

    Bear spray has been successfully used to recover an AT thru hikers stolen pack from the offending bear in gsmnp, while it was in possession of said offender.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Well,there is also people, where its presence can be a deterrent
    And dogs

    Bear spray has been successfully used to recover an AT thru hikers stolen pack from the offending bear in gsmnp, while it was in possession of said offender.
    The latter seems like the most likely use of bear spray on the AT, but still a rare occurrence. As a "thru-hiker" topic, I can't think of hearing of an instance on the AT where bear spray might've been appropriate. There are those that fear dogs, and dogs know it and so they play their hand as only they can. Don't fear dogs and they will fear you.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    The latter seems like the most likely use of bear spray on the AT, but still a rare occurrence. As a "thru-hiker" topic, I can't think of hearing of an instance on the AT where bear spray might've been appropriate.
    Aside from numerous issues of habituated bears keeping shelter residents up all night in recent past (gsmnp and wautuga), stolen packs in gsmnp, and the hiker bitten and attempted to be dragged out of tent last spring in gsmnp, 65 yr old hiker kidnapped and asdaulted last year in shenandoah? Not much at all.

    Then theres hitchhiking...

    Not common
    Disengenuous to pretend instances dont occur, or have head in sand

    Up to every person to decide if they want the weight
    But dont deny them the facts
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-26-2017 at 15:47.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Aside from numerous issues of habituated bears keeping shelter residents up all night in recent past (gsmnp and wautuga), stolen packs in gsmnp, and the hiker bitten and attempted to be dragged out of tent last spring in gsmnp, 65 yr old hiker kidnapped and asdaulted last year in shenandoah? Not much at all.

    Then theres hitchhiking...

    Not common
    Disengenuous to pretend instances dont occur, or have head in sand

    Up to every person to decide if they want the weight
    But dont deny them the facts
    ...or the kid (college student) in NJ that got eatin' he prolly could have used some.

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    Not trying to be disingenuous, but bears at shelters is common, always has been, and its why food is hung, or in some cases why bear canisters are required. Not aware of any safety issues there. I don't believe the other instances are thru-hiker related - am I incorrect? Point I'm trying to make is that given the population of hikers year in year out on the AT, if there was a need for bear spray we'd know it by now.

    Not having my head in the sand, but not crying wolf either.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    Not trying to be disingenuous, but bears at shelters is common, always has been, and its why food is hung, or in some cases why bear canisters are required. Not aware of any safety issues there. I don't believe the other instances are thru-hiker related - am I incorrect? Point I'm trying to make is that given the population of hikers year in year out on the AT, if there was a need for bear spray we'd know it by now.

    Not having my head in the sand, but not crying wolf either.
    Yes, it was a thru hiker attacked in his sleep in his tent in gsmnp last spring. He had to be taken out by rangers next day. The rangers killed a few of its friends as a warning to it. (Bears, not thru hikers)

    If it had been a small woman, likely would have been a fatality. It intended to eat him.

    The shelter residents nearby failed to intervene on his behalf during said nocturnal attack.


    What your attitude is saying is, 1 in 10000 or so isnt worth worrying about. Maybe, unless your that 1. Thats what everyone decides for themself.

    Btw that bear.....is still out there.

    I dont carry bear spray. But i wont tell someone else not to. Ill tell them the likelihood of needing it is very low on AT. Not zero, low.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-26-2017 at 16:54.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Yes, it was a thru hiker attacked in his sleep in his tent in gsmnp last spring. He had to be taken out by rangers next day. The rangers killed a few of its friends as a warning to it. (Bears, not thru hikers)

    If it had been a small woman, likely would have been a fatality. It intended to eat him.

    The shelter residents nearby failed to intervene on his behalf during said nocturnal attack.


    What your attitude is saying is, 1 in 10000 or so isnt worth worrying about. Maybe, unless your that 1. Thats what everyone decides for themself.

    Btw that bear.....is still out there.

    I dont carry bear spray. But i wont tell someone else not to. Ill tell them the likelihood of needing it is very low on AT. Not zero, low.
    OK, let's cool it with the "attitude" talk. I asked if I was incorrect, and it appears that indeed I was. Hadn't heard of this case. Did not tell anyone to not to take anything, but rather was suggesting to have a clear set of glasses with which to determine their comfort level for doing so. Those glasses have now changed for me as well.

    Oh, by the way, bears don't eat people... the bear immediately left when the guy screamed, so I kinda doubt size or gender had anything to do with that... and he was setup a fair distance away from the shelter, whose residents likely thought someone was having a bad dream IF they ever woke.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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    you might not "need it" but for me a piece of mind is everything and at the very least it's giving you a little better piece of mind...

    I never did much hiking, just getting into it and planning the AT next year, but **** I'm on the NET doing day section hikes and I still have my bear spray with me - I don't care how stupid or useless anybody thinks it is.

    If it could stop a bear, there's a good chance it will stop any animal (or human) that poses a threat... as unlikely as it may be

    I'm actually not scared of seeing a bear in the wild anymore, I'd love to get a picture... what scares me (as mentioned above) is a bear coming into the tent while asleep. I will always sleep with my bear spray/trekking poles in tent for some kind of "just incase" protection. How likely is it for any animal to try to get inside an enclosed tent, considering all food is hung at least 100 feet away from the tent?

    Does anybody know, with the instances of bear's dragging people out of tents, if it's known if these people had food in their tents or not? ... Do animals generally smell humans and avoid trying to get in tents as long as they aren't smelling food?

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    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    Oh, by the way, bears don't eat people... the bear immediately left when the guy screamed, so I kinda doubt size or gender had anything to do with that... and he was setup a fair distance away from the shelter, whose residents likely thought someone was having a bad dream IF they ever woke.
    Um....yes, black bears most definitely DO eat people.
    When they are of the mind to, and have the opportunity. Quite often thats the way the positive id is made after killing suspected bear, is stomach contents. At least prior to DNA analysis.

    Then again, so do household dogs...sometimes

    Most bears dont.
    Purely because they have never learned that they can.
    Not because its against their code of ethics.

    In 2015 a teenager was pulled from hammock in gsmnp by bear as well.

    The bear last year didnt immediately leave, it backed off, and tried again from other angle, repeatedly. Which is typical. He was strong enough to punch its face when it pushed in on tent, this is what saved him, till it left long enough for him to go to shelter.

    It returned and tore up couple of tents, etc.

    Probably just a good bear having a bad night.
    But the salient point is..thats all it takes
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-26-2017 at 17:48.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  20. #20
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    Oh, by the way, bears don't eat people..


    the lady that was killed by a bear in 2000 in GSMNP-------parts of her were found inside the bear...............

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