Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Bear Spray Alternative

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Bear Spray Alternative

Old 07-17-15, 06:46 AM
  #1  
ak08820
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 575

Bikes: MGX MTB, Fuji Supreme, Miyata 90 and a Trek 700 in the works

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Bear Spray Alternative

For the price, a "Wasp and Hornet Killer" promises a 20' ling jet and seems to be a good alternative to comparable sized pepper spray (or bear spray for that size),
e.g. $6 for Enforcer-16-oz-wasp-hornet-killer-spray vs. $40 for an 8 oz. can of bear spray.

However, the MSDS indicates that it is largely a petroleum based solvent (>95%) - sort of like kerosene - and the rest is the active systemic insecticide, which does not sound promising for the purpose of repelling bears and dogs.

Has anyone experienced the effects of being inadvertently sprayed by Wasp killer or paraffin based paint thinner or kerosene? Of course, it will not compare to Capsaicin but would it be sufficiently irritating and blinding to escape a bear?
ak08820 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 07:27 AM
  #2  
elcruxio
Senior Member
 
elcruxio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Turku, Finland, Europe
Posts: 1,954

Bikes: 2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 36 Posts
Umm... pepper or bear spray will temporarily blind the animal while that other stuff will permanently blind them, ie. a death sentence to a wild animal. You might as well shoot them if you're going that path
elcruxio is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 07:29 AM
  #3  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28,821
Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12531 Post(s)
Liked 4,658 Times in 2,401 Posts
And why, exactly, do you think you might need any sort of bear repellent?
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 08:16 AM
  #4  
jargo432
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North Texas
Posts: 277

Bikes: Surly Disc Trucker, Ogre, Steamroller

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I guess the only question I have is...."why would you want an alternative to bear spray?" Ask yourself, What is my life worth? Spend the money, ride safe.
jargo432 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 08:35 AM
  #5  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 441 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 77 Posts
If you actually want/need bear spray use bear spray and skip thinking about wasp spray or other alternatives. Personally I wouldn't even consider carrying either. Even in bear country, it really is not necessary IMO. There are a lot of other dangers that are more likely than a bear attack. They range from traffic, to lightning strikes, to an anaphylactic attack from a bee sting and are all more likely than a bear attack even in Canada or Alaska. In the lower 48 attacks are rarer yet.

Among all outdoor activities, there are only a few deaths per year associated with bear attacks in all of North America. In the lower 48 there area lot fewer. I don't recall ever reading about a death by bear attack among touring cyclists anywhere.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 08:36 AM
  #6  
erig007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: 6367 km away from the center of the Earth
Posts: 1,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
A 6 million scoville hot sauce in a spray bottle should do
https://www.amazon.com/CaJohns-Bumble.../dp/B00BA512GK
erig007 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 08:50 AM
  #7  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,302 Times in 817 Posts
Going on a tour thru grizzly bear country is entirely a Personal choice . I doubt it's an issue in NJ.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 09:09 AM
  #8  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 441 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Going on a tour thru grizzly bear country is entirely a Personal choice . I doubt it's an issue in NJ.
No grizzlies there, but in the Adirondacks they do have some of the most human habituated black bears of anywhere. There was even a bear in nearby New York state that could open the bear vault canisters prompting a redesign of the lid. I still wouldn't carry bear spray there though. Practicing good camping practices is sufficient.

Then again, the OP may be travelling to Alaska. I still wouldn't carry bear spray there either, but can see where it would make more sense than in the lower 48.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1

Last edited by staehpj1; 07-17-15 at 10:08 AM.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 09:29 AM
  #9  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28,821
Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12531 Post(s)
Liked 4,658 Times in 2,401 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Going on a tour thru grizzly bear country is entirely a Personal choice . I doubt it's an issue in NJ.
No grizz in NJ, but there is a healthy black bear population for a state of its size. Last year a hiker was mauled to death by one, but that was a freak occurrence.

Absent a trip into some serious grizz country I see no need for the stuff.

BTW...Did you ever see the film "Jeremiah Johnson" starring Robert Redford? The real life man the film is based on, Jack "Liver Eatin'" Johnson, was born in NJ.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 10:07 AM
  #10  
skimaxpower
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: WA
Posts: 341
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are you camping on your tour? Are you properly storing your food at night? You're much more likely to encounter a bear while you're asleep than while you're in the saddle.
skimaxpower is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 10:43 AM
  #11  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,938
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1477 Post(s)
Liked 171 Times in 114 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
There was even a bear in nearby New York state that could open the bear vault canisters prompting a redesign of the lid.
Smarter than the average bear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pqyax6gwzQ
alan s is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 10:49 AM
  #12  
ak08820
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 575

Bikes: MGX MTB, Fuji Supreme, Miyata 90 and a Trek 700 in the works

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I will try to reply to all the above responses here.

It is an issue in NJ. Actually, in 2014 a Rutgers student from my town was killed by a bear while on a hike in Apshawa Preserve in W. Milford, NJ.
https://youtu.be/taPRB-IpaGQ
Bears are a big nuisance to residents of N. NJ where they rummage through garbage cans for food. I have seen a bear cub while driving in PA thru the Poconos.
One bear strayed as far south as North Brunswick, NJ and was found close to the busy Route 1.
However, my bear concern was not focused on NJ.

From the MSDS I quoted, I did not believe that the solvent used in Wasp killer will cause permanent blindness. Yet, I understand the concern about the animal and realize that using Wasp killer may not be a good idea.

So, I may look into a refillable bottle that can be refilled (with hot sauce or something of your own concoction), easily pressurized and could squirt a stream 20' or longer. Something like the AirZound horn, which replaces the disposable canned air horns.

in response to Jargo432 "..."why would you want an alternative to bear spray?" Ask yourself, What is my life worth? Spend the money, ride safe."
Because I am not the defense dept. and don't like to pay exorbitant amounts in the name of safety.
ak08820 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 11:03 AM
  #13  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,808

Bikes: 27 speed ORYX with over 39,000Kms on it and another 14,000KMs with a BionX E-Assist on it

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 991 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
And why, exactly, do you think you might need any sort of bear repellent?
I guess you have never came face to face with one that came at you aggressively...

Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
I guess the only question I have is...."why would you want an alternative to bear spray?" Ask yourself, What is my life worth? Spend the money, ride safe.
Exactly, "if" "when" a person actually requires bear spray to defend oneself from one, the real thing may actually save your life as it's a last ditch effort at the best of times... Having had a bear charge me once it's not a small incident like a dog chasing you, believe me...
350htrr is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 11:08 AM
  #14  
corrado33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,094

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1128 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bear spray doesn't just protect against bears... Any animal or person will be similarly dissuaded. Here in MT you hear people all of the time say that they simply pulled out their bear spray and the bears go away. Some of the bears have learned to recognize the spray and go away once they see it.

Go spend the $40 and buy bear spray. It works. It's not a large price to pay for security. You've probably spent at least 10x on your bike.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 11:21 AM
  #15  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28,821
Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12531 Post(s)
Liked 4,658 Times in 2,401 Posts
Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
I guess you have never came face to face with one that came at you aggressively...
I haven't, but do think bear spray might come in handy during a tour of, say, Hawaii? Delaware? Iowa? Indiana? Ohio? Illinois? Understand what I was asking now?
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 11:34 AM
  #16  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,808

Bikes: 27 speed ORYX with over 39,000Kms on it and another 14,000KMs with a BionX E-Assist on it

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 991 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I haven't, but do think bear spray might come in handy during a tour of, say, Hawaii? Delaware? Iowa? Indiana? Ohio? Illinois? Understand what I was asking now?
Yes I understand, but...

Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Bear spray doesn't just protect against bears... Any animal or person will be similarly dissuaded. Here in MT you hear people all of the time say that they simply pulled out their bear spray and the bears go away. Some of the bears have learned to recognize the spray and go away once they see it.

Go spend the $40 and buy bear spray. It works. It's not a large price to pay for security. You've probably spent at least 10x on your bike.
350htrr is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 11:42 AM
  #17  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28,821
Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12531 Post(s)
Liked 4,658 Times in 2,401 Posts
Originally Posted by ak08820 View Post
However, my bear concern was not focused on NJ.
What was it focused on? Where will you be touring that you think you might have decent chance of a run in with a bear? I am not talking about seeing one. I have been fortunate enough to see three during my travels. I am talking about a run in. I.e., an incident where the spray might actually be useful.

If you ever get out west to somewhere like Yellowstone N.P. and Wind Cave N.P. and Custer State Park in SD, you might want to bring some bison spray.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...7655263744881/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...7655263744881/


In Yellowstone, bison injure far more people than bears. Four people have been injured in Yellowstone already this year:

Two More People Injured After Approaching Bison - Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

BTW...I have ridden through the NJ portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area several times during day rides and multi-day tours. Still hoping to see a bear. Just missed one a few years ago during the Black Bear Century. Only trace of him I saw were the muddy paw prints he left behind as he went about his business.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 02:38 PM
  #18  
Vintage_Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Vintage_Cyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Big Apple
Posts: 1,414

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 416 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 123 Times in 64 Posts
Safe camping practices aren't enough to deter bears. Those hairy bastards are getting smarter all the time. You also have to be on the watch while cruising down the road or one of them might sneak up on you.

Vintage_Cyclist is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 02:49 PM
  #19  
ak08820
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 575

Bikes: MGX MTB, Fuji Supreme, Miyata 90 and a Trek 700 in the works

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
He does have a snarl like many road bikers (especially those with dark glasses and colorful jerseys)!
ak08820 is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 05:20 PM
  #20  
Joe Minton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 588

Bikes: Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe, Giant Stance, Cannondale Synapse, Diamondback 8sp IGH, 1989 Merckx

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I always carry pepper spray, in my pocket and on my bikes. I have found the need to use them four times in the past twenty years or so; three against dogs and one against a human (barely human at the time). No one was hurt, although one was arrested (thanks to witnesses).

Given that you are probably a reasonable and emotionally stable person -- I recommend that you carry pepper spray. It does not have to be 'bear spray' (which is pepper spray) which because of its size is inconvenient. Instead get a directional foam spray from some 2nd amendment-advocating store (Amazon -- LOL). Said spray will not blow back in your face and does stick to whatever it hits. Although 'bear spray' shoots farther and delivers more volume.

Pepper spray does no permanent damage and will make any animal, especially bears, consider another line of work!

Been there, Done that,

Joe
Joe Minton is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 06:37 PM
  #21  
Redhatter
Senior Member
 
Redhatter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Posts: 364

Bikes: Dahon fold-up, '12 Giant Talon 29 ER 0, '16 Giant Toughroad SLR1.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 36 Posts
I'm not sure this is the sort of thing where you want to pay substitutes. Longer range would be an advantage even against a dog.

Going the cheap option here might just have unbearable results that lead to a grizzly end.
Redhatter is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 07:20 PM
  #22  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,773

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1816 Post(s)
Liked 532 Times in 351 Posts
Here's what Montana has to say:

In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear confrontations, the Montana Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and be alert for bears while in the field. ...We advise that outdoorsmen wear small bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren't expecting them, and to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter....

It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain lots of berries and fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in it and smell like pepper.


Steve B. is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 07:39 PM
  #23  
BigAura
 
BigAura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chapin, SC
Posts: 3,423

Bikes: all steel stable: surly world troller, paris sport fixed, fuji ss

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 621 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 29 Posts
Hornet & wasp spray is poison to kill insects.

Bear spray is a pepper based irritant to repel bears.
BigAura is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 09:20 PM
  #24  
GravelMN
Senior Member
 
GravelMN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Rural Minnesota
Posts: 1,604
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Bears are even becoming a concern in NW MN. One of the rail to trail routes I have used runs right through an area where there have been several black bear sightings and it's lined with wild berry bushes and dense brush. My mid-ride snack could be equally enticing to a bear and I'd rather not meet one up close and personal, trailside while hunting raspberries. I also ride in the Maple Lake area where there have been reports of bears coming into backyards and occupied campgrounds. I don't carry bear spray but have a medium size can of 5% (2,000,000 SHU) pepper spray (range of 20+ feet droplet cone pattern) on the frame and a personal size spray (approx 10 feet in a splatter pattern) in my jersey pocket because of increasing numbers of encounters with feral or near-feral dogs along rural roads. I've had a couple of encounters with pairs or groups of three dogs exhibiting pack behavior. It's still rare, but frequent enough that I started carrying spray. I can think of two dog incidents in the past four years where I really wish I had been carrying pepper spray. I can only imagine the same situation with a bear and I don't know if my spray in a 2 oz canister would be sufficiently effective. Luckily, no grizzlies in this area.

Last edited by GravelMN; 07-17-15 at 09:33 PM.
GravelMN is offline  
Old 07-17-15, 10:04 PM
  #25  
plumberroy
Senior Member
 
plumberroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ohio
Posts: 791

Bikes: Surly long haul trucker, Surly steamroller,Huffy Catalina, Univega Alpina 501. Gravity deadeye monster, Raliegh sport , Electra loft 1

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
There are times to save money by do it yourself fixes and times to spend the money for the right stuff , this is a get the right stuff time
Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Umm... pepper or bear spray will temporarily blind the animal while that other stuff will permanently blind them, ie. a death sentence to a wild animal. You might as well shoot them if you're going that path
Exactly if you are going to kill something do it humanely use a 870

Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
I guess you have never came face to face with one that came at you aggressively...



Exactly, "if" "when" a person actually requires bear spray to defend oneself from one, the real thing may actually save your life as it's a last ditch effort at the best of times... Having had a bear charge me once it's not a small incident like a dog chasing you, believe me...
Evidently you haven't had a feral dog that is serious about doing harm . Twice the only thing that kept feral dogs from eating me was an 12 gauge.

Disclaimer I went looking for these dogs, so someone else less capable than I was not hurt. Both times they had killed livestock and been aggressive toward people
I was assisting animal control both times
plumberroy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.