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Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 7:37 pm
by Mike W.
I've got a can of Bear Spray that's a few years old, expiration date of 2017. Never been used, tested or anything like that. Should I just electively replace it or is it really good for a while yet? Obviously planning a trip to the park soon, this July. I'm not a real backwoods type, no backpacking or anything but I have been known to do some hiking, this trip most likely to Hellroaring bridge and or Mt Washburn, but I know the bears also kind of feel like it's their park and don't always just hang out at The Thorofare or Electric Peak. So, is it good for another year or pure foolishness to try to stretch it? I'm suspecting the answer is yes to both. :roll:

Next is there any special brand to get or to avoid if I do need to replace it, my current one is Counter Assault.

Edit: It appears I should have done more research, I found the following on Amazon
How long does it last when not used?
The expiration date is on every canister. When we buy direct from the manufacturer, the expiration is always at least 5 years away, and sometimes a bit more. However, even after it's peak effectiveness drops off, it will remain reasonably effective for a few more years, though I would suggest replacing it soon after the expiration date. One thing to keep in mind is that the expiration is set well before it actually looses effectiveness.
Keri-Lynn, Four Seasons Survival
However I'm still more than interested in hearing other input.

Re: Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 2:09 pm
by Mike
Mike W. wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 7:37 pm
So, is it good for another year or pure foolishness to try to stretch it? I'm suspecting the answer is yes to both.

I believe you answered your own question but there is no answer to the question of when,between the expiration date and when the spray is no longer effective and that's one question I do not want to find out personally.
For us that have a lot of encounters with bears they can become routine,do not become complacent and remember the grave situation you may find your self in.Bear spray is your defense of last choice and it may not even be 100% effective.Make sure it's up to date and use that second one for practice or even a 2nd or back up,I carry a older one as back up when in a area where i know that there is a high chance of running into a bear.

I have took note when watching interviews with people that have been attacked and had bear spray and some had trouble reaching for their spray after on the ground( i had a experience under these circumstances) for that reason I do sometime carry a can on my hip and one on a chest harness

Re: Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:13 pm
by andrew
Like Mike also said, I usually keep a fresh one at the ready and an older one as backup in bear-concentrated areas.

Also I wouldn't discount your trail plans as low-risk. Mt Washburn (fall) is the trail with the most bear sightings for me, and Hellroaring is 2nd (spring).

Re: Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:51 am
by Mike W.
Just for the record I tried to order some. It seems it's no longer allowed in the great state of California. Or at least nobody seems to be willing to ship it here, including a business located in California. I haven't figured out if it's a hard ban or a gray area nobody wants to test. Grizzlys are of course far more dangerous, but I wasn't aware the black bears here in California were harmless. Oh well.

Re: Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:20 am
by Mike
Mike,I live in California and I buy mine from REI,they have a good selection 8oz or 10oz cans,single or double packs.Look online at Camping and Hiking/Health and Safety/Bear Safety also Walmart has bear spray online,also Sportsmen's Warehouse stores throughout California

Aside:Did you know that the deployment of bear spray within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is illegal ? that's right no protection in the park where there's a bear behind every tree(I was bluffed charged here for the first time) I tried to get a explanation of this curious rule from the Park Service,all they could say is they do not have confidence in people to use bear spray in a correct manner :?

Re: Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:41 am
by Mike W.
Hmmm, interesting. Like I said I suspected it might be a gray area sort of thing especially since at least one place that was selling it was in California but wouldn't ship here. I knew Yosemite had banned it, but I wasn't aware of Kings Canyon/Sequoia, where I have seen lots of bears. I believe there is a claim that a bear has never killed human in Yosemite, though that doesn't mean not attacked but I have no idea on Kings Canyon/Sequoia.

Re: Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:16 am
by Mike
I don't think it's because of some sort of ban(I know,this is California,we ban everything),it's probably due to the shipping carrier that the retailer uses does not ship hazmat items,or hazmat across state lines.

I know that Fedex must pick up all hazmat items for shipping,you can not drop off at a Fedex location nor would I think that a retailer could just stick a hazmat item included with other non hazmat items for pick up by Fedex.I went through this when I shipped a hazmat item and they(Fedex) had to send a special hazmat driver to pick up the item.

Re: Current thinking on Bear Spray?

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:40 pm
by BeartoothTucker
The spray itself doesn't go out of date, but the date is on the canister because the seal has a shelf life. If the seal is still good then the spray still works.

As mentioned I wouldn't want to take that chance for $50...I like the idea of the 2nd can being out of date.