How to Use Bear Spray - Detailed Explanation

How to Use Bear Spray - Detailed Explanation


TO ARM AND APPLY: This product is designed for one-hand operation.  Place forefinger through hole in handle, with thumb on safety clip curl. Pull safety clip straight back and off using thumb (Figure 1).  Depress actuator tab for burst of spray (Figure 2). Aim at the face and eyes of bear. Press trigger for 1-3 seconds in order to create a barrier of spray between you and the bear.  Stop to evaluate the impact of wind and other factors and adjust your aim if needed before spraying again. The maximum effective range is 9 metres (30 feet).  Each bear spray has a different effective range.  Ensure you read your bear spray label to know your effective range and spray duration. Spray is most effective at short range.  Avoid discharging upwind and, after discharging, move away to avoid exposure to spray.

TO DISARM: Replace safety clip by firmly pushing with thumb until audible “snap” is heard (Figure 3). Check to see if safety clip is securely in place. No gap should be visible between the actuator handle and the safety clip.

PRECAUTIONS: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Capsaicin sprays have been proven effective in repelling bears only when sprayed directly in the eyes or on the nose. This product should be used only as a last resort. There is no guaranteed method of responding to a bear encounter, each encounter is unique. Strict attention to the advice of wildlife professionals on safety is advised. Severe irritation to eyes, nose, respiratory and skin areas can occur. Use only in outdoor areas. Persons with respiratory problems or wearing contact lenses should not use this product. Avoid contact with skin and eyes and avoid inhalation of spray. Wash hands before touching eyes or face and prior to using the washroom. WHEN TRAVELLING DO NOT STORE IN PASSENGER COMPARTMENT.

FIRST AID: If in eyes: hold eye open and rinse slowly and gently with water for 15–20 minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present, after the first 5 minutes, then continue rinsing eye. Call a poison control centre or doctor for treatment advice. If on skin or clothing: take off contaminated clothing. Rinse skin immediately with plenty of water for 15–20 minutes. Call a poison control centre or doctor for treatment advice. If inhaled: move person to fresh air. If person is not breathing, call 911 or an ambulance, then give artificial respiration, preferably by mouth-to-mouth, if possible. Call a poison control centre or doctor for further treatment advice. If swallowed: call a poison control centre or doctor immediately for treatment advice. Have person sip a glass of water if able to swallow. Do not induce vomiting unless told to do so by a poison control centre or doctor. Do not give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Take container, label or product name and Pest Control Product Registration Number with you when seeking medical attention.

DISPOSAL: When the container is empty, press valve to release all remaining pressure. Dispose of empty container in accordance with Provincial requirements. For information on the disposal of unused, unwanted products, contact your Provincial Regulatory Agency or the Manufacturer. Contact the manufacturer and the provincial regulatory agency in case of a spill, and for clean-up of spills.


In the rare case of an aggressive confrontation, bear spray is your best defense. Recent reports show bear spray to be more effective than a bullet in diverting or stopping a charging bear.

Bear pepper spray is useless in a backpack. It needs to be carried in a holster or attached directly to a pack strap that is within easy reach. Keep it in your tent at night and in your cooking area, always readily available should a surprise encounter occur.  Keep the safety clip on at all times and remove only in the event of an encounter with a bear.

Never spray bear pepper spray on camping gear, tents and backpacks to repel bears. Used in this manner, once the irritating and volatile components have broken down, the remaining pepper residue will actually attract bears.

Do not plan to transport bear pepper spray on commercial airlines. Also be aware that extreme heat or cold may affect the performance of the product. Canisters have been known to explode if left in a vehicle in the summer.

Remember, bear spray is your last defense - avoid an encounter altogether by making lots of noise, being aware of your surroundings and watching for signs of bears in the area.