Learn more about the history of bear mace

Bear mace, or popularly known as bear spray has been used by many people in different states of North America to protect themselves from wild bears. The use of it can be dated back to many years. Remember that the world has always been a dangerous place. Though you may not agree upon this at all time, but there are times when you are walking down on the deserted street with no one by your side and you do not have anything with which you can protect yourself. Not just thieves and robbers, but even wild animals like bears can attack you. And these attacks can be fatal. Hence, it always helps that you carry a protection always with you whether you are traveling alone or not. Pepper spray is one such thing that can help against wild animals, including, wild bears. Bear mace or bear spray is a handy, compact and something which is concealed easily inside a small bottle. This kind of pepper spray is ideal foe situations when a bear is about to attack you. When you think of buying bear mace, you may be wondering about its history and also its actual usage.

history of bear mace

Bear mace or pepper spray is also known as OC spray (Oleoresin capsicum). The content for this spray is extracted from the genus of certain plants like capsicum. Most common of all bear mace products available is the chilli pepper. In each different types of bear mace, the quantity of capsicum that was included differed to give the mace its effectiveness by increasing the capsicum level, thus increasing its hotness. The capsicum content is rated as per the quantity included. These ratings could be form low to high. Low rating bear mace are generally used by police officers to patrol unruly crowds. While the pepper sprays with higher ratings have been used by different industries to ward off wild bears.

The actual process of mincing peppers and using them to makes your enemies go blind for a temporary period has been occurring since the time of ancient China. Fist developed in the 1960s, bear mace or pepper spray was first marketed and distributed under the brand name Halt Animal Repellent. In the olden times, bear mace or pepper spray was made from mustard grasses, slew of various tear gases and hybrids that were used by the various police and military forces from different parts of the world since 19th century onwards. The first use of pepper spray can be dated back to the 80s when it was used by the Postal Service department to keep away wild dogs.

The rest of the decade, bear mace or pepper spray continued to be used mostly as an animal repellent. It was soon used by forestry agents and hunters in the event of a wild animal attack, especially a violent bear attack. The use of pepper spray as a domestic product did not happen till the early 1990s when a lot more than 3000 police personnel, motivated by the FBI endorsement of the bear mace or the pepper spray as a safe to use crowd curbing tool, gained popularity and soon became a standard tool in their arsenal.

What is Bear Mace?

Bear mace is comprised of a derivative of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) which is a natural, oily, resin-like substance that is extracted from hot peppers such as Jalapeno’s often used in spicy foods and 1% to 2% Capsaicin and related Capsaicinoids. Bear mace does not expire or decrease in potency, however all aerosols tend to lose their propellant over time due to the canister seals weakening after the first four years.

These effects of the Capsaicins chemical causes a burning sensation on the tongue and in the eyes of animals and on the skin of humans yet are non-lethal or ozone-depleting and cause no permanent damage to neither animals or humans. The effect of bear mace usually wears off within 30-45 minutes and is intended to temporarily stop a bear in his tracks upon attacking by forcing the eyes shut from the burning sensation, giving a person enough time to flee. A person however is advised not to run because it is likely to prompt the animal to chase after you. Only a small 1-3 second blast of mace spray is needed in order to interrupt the charge and usually sprays up to 25 feet.

what is bear mace

You can purchase bear mace at your local Wal-Mart store or sporting goods store or make your own from scratch by mixing 2 Tbsp. of capsaicin cream, 5 habanero peppers, 4Tbsp. hot sauce, Jalapeno pepper juice, 1 cup Lemon juice, Latex gloves, Safety glasses, a Blender, and a spray bottle.

First place on the safety glasses and latex gloves and slice the habanero peppers through the middle to remove all the seeds. You will then need to cut the slimy portion of the peel which is the capsaicin portion you will need in order to make the spray. Place all of the sliced portions that you have cut into the blender along with the lemon juice, capsaicin cream, and hot sauce. The last step is to strain the blended remains to remove any solid pieces of the ingredients and pour it into your spray bottle.

When used correctly, store bought or home-made Bear mace is a powerful and effectively proven aid in order to prevent attacks from wild bears.

Protecting yourself from a bear in absence of an animal repellent

Whether you like taking small hikes or going sightseeing to different places, backpacking or simply bear hunting, it is important for you to abreast with the different methods of self-protection in an event of a violent attack from a bear. You should always know what are the different ways by which you can safeguard yourself as well your close ones when faced with a violent or a fatal attack by a wild bear. Here are a few tips and recommendations that will help you stay safe when you are in close proximity to wild bears.

bear animal repellent

Avoid feeding bears

Even though you may like it, you should never feed bears. This rule just does not apply for bears but for all wild animals. You should always protect yourself and the bear. Never feed it any food or try luring it towards yourself by showing any consumable stuff.

Carry food and other aromatic items in bear-proof canisters

There are specialized bear-proof containers available which lock the smell of the food inside. You can use the containers to store food items, lotions, creams, toiletries apart from all other scented items. Tools like hunting knives or even guns which you may require at a short notice should be always kept near you in a safe and secure location.

Make lot of noises

When you keep making noises, it alerts the bear and makes it aware of your presence without startling it. When you are hiking, keep on making a lot of noise. This also applies when you are not hunting. If you are traveling alone in the woods at night time, it is essential that you carry along with you a LED lantern. This will not just help to light your way but also announce your presence in that particular place.

Stand out

When you are hiking in the proximity of bears, you should always wear brightly colored clothing. You can also wear reflective clothes as this will save your life by letting other hunters in the area know that you are also a human and not a bear. The last thing you want is to be mistaken for a bear by a hunter and shot down. Thus, as a means of protection, you should always carry LED lantern while rusting your way in the woods during night time.

Keep composure

In an unfortunate event of you coming face-to-face with a wild bear, you should immediately look down and avoid eye-contact. You should not speak in a loud voice with anyone who is near you and do not make surprise movements. Instead take slow and silent steps and go backwards, increasing the distance between you and the bear. This will allow the bear to escape without harming you.

Get aggressive when attacked

Though it is quite unlikely that a bear will attack you, if it does, then do not act like a chicken and instead bring out the aggressive tiger inside you. If you are attacked by the bear, then get aggressive. Start punching, kicking, shouting and use nearby lying stones and sticks to ward off the bear. You can also use a hunting knife to fend off the bear if you have one. Once you have successfully warded off the bear, then you should immediately report the incident to the local state police or the state department of fish and wildlife.

Bear Mace Eco Friendly

What is your immediate reaction when you come across the following words, “Bear Mace Eco Friendly”? You generally question yourself, really, are bear mace eco friendly products?

bear mace eco friendly

Most people would assume that the bear mace eco friendly is just another addition to the long list of useless eco friendly products, but it is not so. It sounds some what unmatched but, the truth is bear mace eco friendly is the one and only self defense product of its kind. Indeed bear mace eco friendly is like all other eco friendly products are very user friendly too. They are easy to use, can be carried along and are very effective on the bears. Let us assume, that you are on a weekend camping trip with your family or friends, what do you do immediately? You panic, recognizing the lurking danger in the close vicinity, and before you start looking around your camp or search for your firearm the bear charges on you. The more appropriate option would be to carry the eco friendly bear mace.

What makes this bear mace eco friendly, so important in our day to day life is the fact that, this product not only cares about you but also the environment that your predecessors would inherit from you. People living in the regions /area where there is even 0.1% chance of encounter with bears are advised to keep self defense products, because of the unpredictable nature of the bears, while the Grizzly bear is the most common type that is known for human attacks, in many cases black bears are also responsible for killing people in the forests as well as their homes. There are a wide variety of non lethal self defense product available in the market such as electric fences and fire arm. The electric fence requires a constant back up of electricity and the fire arm works on battery, thus both these self defense product not only require constant energy for their functioning but also adversely impact the environment. Apart from that there are negative consequences after the use of these products such as – the fire arm which scares the bear and forces it to back off, also burns the natural flora and fauna of the place thereby polluting the environment, the electric fence on the other hand is very dangerous, as it runs on electricity. Small children and pets should be kept away from it, any loop holes can lead to fatal electric shocks.

How exactly is the bear mace eco friendly?

Undoubtedly it is the nature and usage that make the bear mace eco friendly, which is very different from the above mentioned products. All you need to do is to keep a bear mace handy, and spray in the eyes or all over the face of animal. The constituents of the product are kept in a pressurized can generally made up of aluminum, which can be successfully decomposed or reused after use at any of the recycling plants. Independent of all forms of energy for its use, made up of non toxic and non inflammable substances, and last but not the least having a powerful impact on the bears indeed entitle the bear mace as eco- friendly products.

Bear Mace Recycling Centers

The best way to dispose Bear Mace is to dump it in a Bear Mace Recycling Center. Bear mace is the most preferred self defense tool used by individuals, as it is non lethal, easy to carry and use, but once used they don’t know what to do with it, how to properly dispose of it, which is essential, given the nature of the Bear Mace. The Bear Mace Recycling Centers are places that welcome the used bear mace with open arms. It is here that the dumped Bear Mace is disintegrated and recycled.

bear mace recycling center

Today, continuously growing awareness about our environment is at its pinnacle, and the creative minds are working upon how to minimize the damage that we have already caused. There are people who are resorting to a number of practices for the protection of the environment that we live in. The most effective way to keep our environments clean and green, emphasized today is to recycle and reuse. At one point in time, bear mace were considered as a great discovery for the people who actually worked in the forest or mountaineers, but with the passage of time it was realized that they were a threat to environment as no proper method of disposing them was available. They were the land fillers and were enlisted as hazards to environment list. With Bear Mace Recycling Centers coming up, environmentalists have had a sigh of relief. These Bear Mace Recycling Centers contribute to our environment a lot; they not only prevent the poisonous substance from leaking into the air, thereby avoiding the pollution and keeping it clean but also making the limited natural resources like metals available for future use. By dumping it in this way you not only contribute to your environment, but also you contribute your responsibility as an aware and concerned individual.
With a lot of Bear Mace Recycling Centers in the country and many more to come up, it should not be difficult to find one that is near to your location. The Bear Mace Recycling Centers recycle the residual amount of contents that are present in the can, either use them or send them to the industries that can make use of the recycled products. For example, the metal can is first emptied, and then it is crushed and then recycled, the recycled product, i.e., the metal that made the can, mostly aluminum, is sent to the industry that requires it. Most of these Bear Mace Recycling Centers have online presence thorough their own websites, where you can get in touch with them, get to know various information of the bear mace, immediate disposals and other services.

With the changing times it is very important for us to adapt to those changes. Disposal of harmful substance in a proper manner is crucial to our existence and these bear mace or pepper sprays. Do your part!

Bear spray vs Gun

The debate between which is the most effective; bear spray or a gun? Without even thinking, you would probably say a gun; however let me see if I can persuade you otherwise.

This may surprise you, as it even surprises experienced hunters, however when a hunter actually shoots a bear that is chasing them, the hunter usually ends up getting hurt pretty badly. Evidence such as that when a gun is involved with a bear, the bear will get more aggressive and keep coming at you and eventually attack you. With non-lethal encounters, such as no firearms involved, the human and the bear are less likely to suffer fatal injuries.

Now, I am not saying that a gun isn’t effective. It is, however you need to have one hell of a shot to kill the bear quickly enough, and if you don’t take it down with one shot you could be in serious trouble. Also, hunters are human right? Humans make shake a little bit, get a bit scared when a bear is coming at them, so that shot may not be as precise as they wanted it to be. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Law Enforcement Agents actually back this claim up. Based on their research of bear-human encounters since 1992, people that encounter grizzly bears and protect themselves with guns get injuries about 50% of the time. During the same time, people defending themselves with pepper spray actually got away without even a scratch, and those that actually were injured only suffered minor injuries and duration of shorter attacks.

Canadian bear biologist Dr. Stephen Herrero actually researched and found the same statistics.
“Awareness of bear behavior is the key to mitigating potential danger. Detecting signs of a bear and avoiding interaction, or understanding defensive bear behaviors, like bluff charges, are the best ways of escaping injury. The Service supports the pepper spray policy of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, which states that bear spray is not a substitute for following proper bear avoidance safety techniques, and that bear spray should be used as a deterrent only in an aggressive or attacking confrontation with a bear.”

Bear pepper spray is not 100% effective, neither is any spray or really anything in life for that matter. Guns can lock up, pepper spray can lock up, a cars accelerator can stick, so always have a backup plan, such as carrying a bear spray along with a smaller pepper spray keychain for instance. As a hunter or camper, you would probably carry some sort of knife as well.

The grizzly bear is federally protected in 48 states as species that are threatened. Shooting a grizzly bear is a violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), except if you use it to protect yourself or others during an immediate attack. Under the ESA, penalties are severe such as up to 6 months in prison and an additional $100,000 fine. State laws may also apply additional penalties as seen fit.

For the Love of Camping!

There are many people who love the outdoors, nature and wilderness. For these people, camping out is a joy. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned camper, proper planning is required else the trip of your dreams might end up becoming the nightmare of your life!

Besides being truly enjoyable experience, a well planned camping trip hardly costs anything. Camping trips can be made more pleasurable with experience and also by learning the tricks and tips of camping. Let us check out a few tips that can help make camping more worthwhile.

1. Planning is the key to everything. First thing to plan is the type of camping trip you plan to undertake. Is it for sightseeing, mountaineering, hiking, observing wildlife, nature camp, adventure sports etc. Also additionally, you need to decide how many days you will be camping out for. This will determine what exactly you need to carry.
2. Figure who all are accompanying you on this trip. The type of trip and the needs of camping will vary according to the age of people accompanying you.
3. Wherever you plan to go, carry a detailed road map of the area and carefully study it before beginning the trip so that you are familiar with the area.

Camping Gear
Camping trips can become nightmares if you do not carry the right type of gear. It is advisable to make a list of the essential gear needed before hand and before starting off for the trip, make sure everything is ticked off the list.

camping gear

A small compilation of basic must-haves for any camping trip would be
a. Tent
b. Several layers of requisite clothing and shoes
c. An utility knife and some rope
d. A map, a compass or GPS enabled device
e. A lighter
f. Bear Mace
g. Sleeping bag
h. First aid kit
i. Enough water
j. A powerful flash light with extra batteries
k. Sufficient packaged food and water
l. Miscellaneous items like toilet paper, towels, trash bags etc

Before setting off on a camping trip, it is necessary to learn about the gear that you will be carrying. Practice pitching the tent till you get it right. Practice tying different types of knots and building camp fires. All these will ensure that your camping trip becomes easy.

If you intend to cook food outside, you need to carry camp stoves, grills and the required pots and pans. Carry all food ingredients in neatly labeled zip lock packets. This will keep them fresh and also avoid confusion. Always cover your food once it is cooked as the smell can attract animals and insects. Once you have finished, properly dispose off the leftovers without dirtying the environment. Alternatively you can carry sufficient quantities of energy- rich packaged foods, snacks and beverages.

Make sure all the essential medical supplies are carried in a handy first aid kit. In addition to the basic kit supplies, it should also have antiseptic soap, ointment, hand sanitizer, an antiseptic cleaning solution, mosquito repelling spray or lotion and sunscreen. Make a point to carry common medicines like pain killers, paracetamol tablets for curing fever, common cold etc. Also, if you have your own medicines you take regularly; make sure you stock up those.

It is also important to not wander away from groups especially when going camping in the wilderness. Never feed animals or birds during trips and always use a flash light when moving around after sunset.

A camping trip with children will have its own requirements in terms of gear and precautions to be taken.

Other than these, it is advisable to do your background work thoroughly before going for a camping trip. Camping truly is a fun activity and to be able to make the best of it, it is essential to plan well and carry the right gear.

Explore the Pros and Cons of Bear Mace

What is Bear Mace?
Bear Mace is in simple terms a compound that is used to fend away bears. It is made of a derivative of the compound Oleoresin Capsicum which is made from fruits of plants like cayenne peppers, jalapenos etc. It is the most common tool used by campers, hikers, wildlife enthusiasts etc for survival in the wilderness.

How does Bear Mace work?
Bear Mace primarily consists of the same ingredients that is used in a pepper spray and hence the working of both these agents are also similar. When sprayed, the Bear Mace causes the capillaries of the bear to dilate thus resulting in temporary blindness, choked throat, difficulty in breathing etc. It renders the bear incapable of attack for a period of 15 to 30 minutes minimum giving you enough time to flee. In most cases, the bears run off, unable o bear the pain and discomfort. However, the effects are temporary and after a few hours, they normally wear off.

The main difference between Bear Mace and Pepper Spray is that Bear Mace is much more stronger than an ordinary pepper spray and justifiably so because the Bear Mace is intended for bears who are much more aggressive and larger than humans. Also, the target range up to which the sprays can reach differs in both of these. The Bear Mace has a much longer range than the average pepper spray.

The instructions for usage of the Bear Mace are simple. You just need to point the can straight at the bear and spray. Do not forget to remove the safety clip. Most of these cans can spray up to a range to 20 to 30 feet. You can spray in one long burst or try spraying in two to three short bursts. Be sure to make note of the range of the spray before hand – it is normally mentioned on the spray can itself.

benefits of bear spray

Benefits of Bear Mace
Bear Mace is a boon for campers and wildlife enthusiasts. Lets have a look at its benefits:
1. Compact and easy to carry.
2. Easily available as compared to guns.
3. Effective in incapacitating the bear for long enough for you to escape
4. You can easily practice and perfect your aim beforehand.
5. Does not cause death to the bear.
6. Effects wear out after a while, so animal lovers can breathe easy.
7. Humane way to deal with an attacking bear rather than killing it.
8. Known to work on all types of bears.

Limitations of Bear Mace
Like everything else, the Bear Mace also has a few limitations.
1. Might not work if there are multiple bears.
2. It is easy to misjudge the distance and panic and spray before hand and finish the spray off.
3. Carrying multiple cans is fine but you may not have all of them ready at hand if disaster strikes suddenly
4. Wind, rain and extremely freezing temperatures may affect its performance.
5. The bear may be able to attack you before the spray starts affecting if it is close enough.

Clearly a bear mace seems an easier and more convenient option when it comes to defending yourself from bears. However, if you are planning to go deep into the wilderness, make sure you know enough about these sprays and are carrying enough of them with you and if you are not confident enough, it might help if you carry a gun as well!

Bear Mace VS Firearm

Bears have known to be the most unpredictable animals on the planet. The grizzly bear is one of the most feared animals in North America. The largest grizzly bear stood 14 feet tall and weight 1,600 pounds. When out in the wilderness you will want to protect yourself from bear attacks. But which method is better? Some prefer mace while other prefer a firearm. Let’s review the pros and cons of each.

bear mace vs firearm

Bear mace contains Capsaicin. Capsaicin is made from hot peppers. It is important to remember that bear mace is a temporary deterrent, but is effective. It is much stronger than ordinary pepper spray. Usually, only a small dose of it will prevent aggressive behavior. Bear mace has a long shelf life , making it a great must have. The average shelf life is around four years. There are some negatives associated with bear mace. First you must be within 20-30 feet of the bear to use it. Also it will not work in freezing weather. It is essential that you keep the mace warm for best results. Also it is non-lethal and will not cause permanent harm to the bear.

If you are simply wanting to scare the bear away, do not choose a firearm. A firearm will kill the bear and mace will only stun it. If you are a good shot a firearm may work best for you. If you are not a good shot, do not attempt. You have one chance when shooting a bear. If you only injure the bear, it can become more aggressive. Also it take time to load a bullet into a gun. This can mean life or death in a bear attack.

Overall bear mace is more effective than a firearm. Bear mace will stop the bear dead in it’s tracks. In most cases the bear will run away. It is estimated that bear mace works 92% of the time, while a firearm works only 67% of the time.
Source: http://news.byu.edu/archive08-mar-bearspray.aspx

If you want to feel REALLY secure, carry bear mace and a gun, then you will be best prepared!

Grizzly Bear Kills Hiker at Yellowstone National Park

A fifty-seven year old man was mauled to death while hiking with his wife on Wednesday. Trails and remote campgrounds near the fatality were closed following this horrible death. A group of nearby hikers called the park ranger for help after they have heard the victims wife crying loudly for help. A service announcement from the National Park Service made a statement saying the man and wife surprised the mother grizzly while she was with her cubs. They proceeded to say that the mother grizzly mauled the man in an attempt to defend her cubs away from any danger. YellowStone Officials say that at least 600 grizzly bears reside there, although other people guess close to 1,000.

grizzly bear

It is rumored that they couple did not have any protection… no gun, no bear mace, no whistles, no bells, no nothing! If this couple would have purchased bear mace, they could of easily protected themselves. It’s an unfortunate event that happened. Let this be a reminder to you… if you don’t want to spend $40 on bear mace, you can purchase a whistle or bells so that you don’t startle the bear. Also, be cautious of where you are and make sure you look for any signs or tracks… if you feel like you are coming into danger, get out of there!

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/06/montana.grizzly.attack/index.html

Related: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America
(Check out this wikipedia article about fatalities from bears. It gives you true insight of how you can be killed even if you are young, a fast runner, etc. So don’t think you can get away from bears… Please – SAFETY FIRST!)