View topic - Bear Spray in Ontario

Canadian Canoe Routes

Bear Spray in Ontario
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Author:  Pablo [ June 29th, 2006, 2:18 pm ]
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Rob, I almost posted the exact same thing until I too, realized I had read it here. It's a gret joke.

Author:  GWA [ June 29th, 2006, 3:10 pm ]
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If you see a bear and you're not sure if it's a grizzly or a cinammon black bear, climb a tree. If the bear climbs it and eats you, it's a black bear. If the bear knocks the tree down and eats you, it's a grizz.

Author:  Pablo [ June 30th, 2006, 8:22 am ]
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Heh, also very good. Thanks GWA.

Author:  HeavyK [ June 30th, 2006, 8:30 am ]
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I was camping with my bride last weekend near parry Sound.

She asked if we should be concerned about bears?
I said that I was not concerned.......I can run faster than you!

She was not impressed.

Author:  Nancy [ June 30th, 2006, 4:01 pm ]
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Kim Gass wrote:
No bear spray for me. I am uncoordinated enough to disable myself and the bear will be unaffected. Plus they really need to be close and there is no time to rummage in the pack. My bear encounters have mostly been surprises.

Being a 'Postie', I am provided with pepper spray for attacking dogs. I don't bother to carry it with me because there is never time to get to it before the dog is at you. Either I yell at the dog and chase it down the street with its tail between its legs, or I let it eat my bundle of mail. It's never failed me yet.

However, I don't think the bundle of mail thing would work on a bear, do you? :wink:

I do take that pepper spray with me while camping, though, just as a precaution. I was on a trip last fall and, I'm not sure, but I think we had a bear visit during the night. We were woken up by sounds outside the tent and I swear something nudged up against the tent wall. We yelled and waved our bear bells until we heard 3 very big 'plunks' into the lake. Later on in the week, I stepped in what I think was bear scat. Yummy...

Anyway, my point is that I'm agreeing with Kim that most of the time there isn't time enough to grab the spray, so just yell and wave your arms up high. Or if you happen to have a bundle of mail with you... :P

Personally, I worry more about dog attacks than bear attacks.

Author:  paulr37 [ July 1st, 2006, 2:14 pm ]
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I don't take bear spray on any trips anymore, due to a couple of mishaps.

Last year I was camping on an island with my wife and 3 of the kids. we were the only ones on the lake. Around 10:00pm at night just as we were running low on firewood, we were just getting ready to hit the sack, when on the other shore we started to hear all this splashing. The wife was terrified, and I was trying to act all brave, and saying don't worry it's probably just frogs. The campsite was about 15 feet above the water line, and 2 minutes later we hear this grunting coming from the water about 30 feet out from the island. Well now, I'm starting to get terrified, we started banging pots and making as much noise as we could. The wife said to me where is the bear spray, i promptly got it out of my pack. So, now I'm carrying bear spray and a flashlight, and the wife asked me, "have you ever tried the bear spray?. i answer, "no, I'll get the safety off and try it." I got the safety off after a few minutes of trying and decided to leave it off. The spray was working OK.

By now the wood is starting to get real low, so we start looking around the site for wood, picking up what we can to keep the fire going. My hands are full, so I put the bear spray can so that it is sticking out of my pocket, and continue getting wood. I bend down and the can fires, I look down but can't see anything on my shorts or shirt. I said to my wife, "Geez, that must have been a dud can, as I have had it a few years.

The splashing and grunting is still going on, and we are still banging pots. Then about 10 minutes later, I start to feel this warmth in my groin area, I look down and have a huge stain on my shorts at my scrotum and a huge one on my T-shirt around my stomach. Now the wife starts to laugh, and it's getting hotter and hotter. I strip down, so now that I'm naked and jumping around because of the heat. We have a collapsible water container, I bend over this and try to get my scrotum into the water. I grabbed one of the kids T-shirts and soaked it and try to rub off the spray. My wife then reads the first aid instructions, of course it says DO NOT RUB. Holy geez, now I'm in agony and the tears of laughter are rolling down my wifes face, and the splashing and grunting are still going on around us. I bet the bear was pissing himself laughing at me.So, I had to do it, into the lake I go. My balls are on fire, I'm terrified, I'm laughing with my wife at how ridiculous I look, and a bear is in this water with me....somewhere.

I was in the water for about 1/2 an hour before it would cool down a bit. Eventually all the noise stopped, and we eventually went to the tent around 3am. I didn't sleep a wink all night, and was totally uncomfortable for about 2 days.

The moral of the story is... Bear Spray is OK, but be careful, be VERY careful

Author:  Ted [ July 1st, 2006, 3:02 pm ]
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When in the shield with a group of fellow canoe types NOPE, don't carry spray.
When solo, YES I carry spray.
When up North YES, I carry spray (along with a 12 gauge and slugs).
I always carry bear bangers.

Bear spray has a best-before date .
Every three years I take my cannister into an empty gravel pit and empty it.
It's at that time, I also fire off my three year-old bear bangers and flares.

Practise is smart. Practise is good.


Author:  Kim Gass [ July 2nd, 2006, 12:19 am ]
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paulr37. Thanks for a great story! I am in hysterics.

I'll continue not to carry bear spray. I know the effects of pepper spray as I have had to use it not on bears but on violent patients out of control in the back of a moving ambulance. Even though my aim was good, I learned the consequences of using it in a confined area. The alternative was somebody jumping out the door at 70 mph or me getting killed.

Author:  paulr37 [ July 2nd, 2006, 8:31 am ]
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Kim, glad you enjoyed the story. the other incident happened about 6 weeks later when I was doing the Spanish with 2 buddies. We had one canoe and one kayak, and started off at Duke Lake. If i remember correctly we paddled down to Eighth lake to make camp for the first night.

As we pull up to the shore we get out of the canoe and start unloading the packs. I picked up my pack and dropped it on the shore and set about unloading the rest of the stuff. all of a sudden I hear my buddy coughing and spluttering, I turn around, he is about 10 feet from my pack. The stupid safety that I had problems getting off on the previous trip has popped off by itself and the spray is shooting a stream right at my buddy. His face was totally red, I don't know if it was the spray or because he wanted to kill me. I was tempted to tell him to get a shirt and rub it off, but thought better of it. Luckily for him he was far enough away that the effects didn't last that long.

That was my last trip with spray, now I just take a little air horn from Wal-mart, this is a lot safer.

Author:  Ted [ July 2nd, 2006, 9:54 am ]
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Bear sprays need to be treated as a dangerous weapon because that's what they are! Treat them like a pistol.

They should have a heavy-duty cordura holster with a fold-over flap and velcro closure, not one of those little neoprene no-top types. The safety position should be checked at least once a day. When being transported to/from the trip and when stored, the safety should be secured. I use a red plastic electrical tie-down.

Kim: not allowed a baton or cosh eh? After all they're in an ambulance anyway :wink:

Author:  Kim Gass [ July 2nd, 2006, 10:26 am ]
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Mag Light therapy was frowned on. especially the 5 D cell size.

Come to think of it that size ought to sting Mr. Bruins nose, but its not portage efficient.

I am trying to count number of bear encounters I have had and that means bear in my personal space. I can only recall two and they were total surprises and self rectified before I would have had time to get out spray.

Maybe three. Something big bumped my tent one night. My defense was to pretend it didnt happen...

digressing here

Author:  Rick [ July 2nd, 2006, 11:26 am ]
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Big things that bump tents in the night are usually falling twigs or at worst a pine cone. :wink:

I started carrying spray and an air horn last year. I use a large caribener to clip it to my pack or canoe and than hang it in camp. I feel so much safer now. :o The whole package including holster that Tripper Ted suggests weighs a whopping 500 gm. :doh:

Author:  RHaslam [ July 2nd, 2006, 12:56 pm ]
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Just got back from a ten day trip with the high school kids...we surprised two bears at once on one took off like it's ass was on fire, and the other went straight up a tree and stayed there....the kids really showed the difference between north and south...they were unconcerned....I told them to port in large groups, and don't leave any stragglers.....the bear came down sometime after the second trip and disappeared.....I don't carry bear spray, the examples listed are enough of a reason.....I do however, always have my chainsaw, which I'll take any day over spray....noisy, noxious, and ultimately effective.

Very funny story about bear spray balls! The kids have a name for excessive chaffing that occurs to the boys on hot trips....swass, or sweat-ass....guess you were suffering from sprass, or worse, spralls...ouch.......but I'm still laughing....

Author:  Kim Gass [ July 2nd, 2006, 1:48 pm ]
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Rick wrote:
Big things that bump tents in the night are usually falling twigs or at worst a pine cone. :wink:

I started carrying spray and an air horn last year. I use a large caribener to clip it to my pack or canoe and than hang it in camp. I feel so much safer now. :o The whole package including holster that Tripper Ted suggests weighs a whopping 500 gm. :doh:

very true about most things that go bump in the night but pine cones and twigs dont breathe and go hfff. It was in the daytime. Only met a bear at night once in addition to those stupid dump shows.

Author:  Thelon [ July 2nd, 2006, 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Bear Banger

Around here we don't go fishing without a bear banger. I carry a .30/06 bear banger loaded with 220-grain Nosler partition bullets. They'll penetrate a polar bear skull if one of them gets aggressive. I've lost a young prospector to a grizzly, had a helicopter damaged by a grizzly, and had a fixed-wing wrecked by grizzly and/or polar bears. Haven't had to do it yet, but I'm sure not going to piss around with pepper spray when lead is available. Having watched a grizzly consume a gallon of day-glo orange paint together with asphalt shingles, toilet paper, and dried food, I suspect they consider pepper spray a condiment.

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