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What Is Bear Mace?

What Is Bear Mace?


Bear mace, an essential tool for outdoor enthusiasts, is a powerful and effective bear repellent spray designed to protect humans from bear attacks. It is specifically designed to deter aggressive bears and ensure the safety of both humans and the bear population. This comprehensive guide will delve into the features, benefits, and proper usage of bear mace, helping outdoor adventurers stay safe in bear country. Carry and use bear spray that contain capsaicin and related capsaicinoids. These essentially are active ingredients in bear spray.  Bear spray is available online and bear spray is sold in most sporting goods stores. carries Guard Alaska Bear Spray which is an ultra-hot pepper spray. It’s effective on all species of bear bear to include both a grizzly bear and black bear.

Understanding Bear Mace: The Basics

What is Bear Mace Made Of?

Bear mace is essentially a highly concentrated form of pepper spray, with its primary ingredient being Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). OC is derived from hot peppers, which contain capsaicinoids – the compounds responsible for the heat in chili peppers. Bear mace typically contains 20% OC and 1.34 capsaicinoids, making it significantly more potent than regular pepper spray used for self-defense against human threats.

How Does Bear Mace Work?

When sprayed, bear mace forms a dense fog with a range of up to 20 feet, creating a barrier between the user and the approaching bear. The high concentration of OC and capsaicinoids irritates the bear’s eyes, nose, and respiratory system, causing temporary discomfort and disorientation. This gives the user enough time to escape the situation safely. It is important to note that bear mace is a non-lethal deterrent, designed to discourage aggressive behavior without causing long-term harm to the animal. Bear spray work against an attacking bear or charging bear wanting to protect a nearby cub. And is an effective option to using a firearm. Bear spray is a highly effective and the bear spray is a non-lethal tool when used correctly.

Choosing the Right Bear Mace

Environmental Considerations

When selecting a bear mace product, it is crucial to choose one that is environmentally safe and does not contain flammable or ozone-depleting substances. Guard Alaska® Bear Spray, for example, is a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts as it meets these criteria and is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a repellent for all species of bears. Fish and wildlife suffer no long term from bear pepper spray. Both bear spray and pepper spray may cause inflammatory and irritating effects to the mouth. Always carry bear spray with you and be ready to deploy a 30 feet wall of spray. The fish and wildlife service along with bear biologists believe bear spray will keep you safe. If you buy bear spray.  It’s very important to learn how to use and deploy the spray. Deploy bear spray cloud. The bear spray has about 9 seconds of spray. Bear safety must be kept in mind. So avoid spraying a passive bear. Try to get it to leave. It’s only to be used on charging or attacking bear. Be ready to spray effectively includes the bear spray in a place that is readily accessible, removing the safety clip and hold the canister firmly. To deploy just be sure to place your thumb on the trigger as you direct it slightly downward, to be sprayed into the face of the attacking bear.

Canister Size and Spray Duration

The size of the bear mace canister and the duration of spray are essential factors to consider when selecting a product. A larger canister with a longer spray duration ensures that there is enough repellent to deter an aggressive bear. Guard Alaska® Bear Spray‘s power fogger design, for instance, empties the can in just 9 seconds, providing adequate coverage and protection during a bear encounter.

Spray Range

The spray range is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a bear mace product. A longer spray range allows users to create a barrier between themselves and an approaching bear from a safer distance. Products like Guard Alaska® Bear Spray offer a spray range of up to 20 feet, providing ample distance for the user to react and deter the animal effectively.

Using Bear Mace: Proper Techniques and Safety Measures

Carrying Bear Mace

When venturing into bear country, it is essential to have your bear mace readily accessible. Many products come with a nylon holster and belt loop for easy carrying and quick access during an emergency. Ensure that the bear mace is securely stored in its holster and within reach, should you need to use it.

Testing Your Bear Mace

Before heading out on your outdoor adventure, it is a good idea to test your bear mace to ensure it is functioning correctly. To do this, go to an open area with no wind, aim the canister away from your face, and spray a short burst. This will also give you a feel for the spray range and pattern, allowing you to be better prepared for a real-life encounter.

Identifying a Bear Encounter

Knowing when to use bear mace is just as important as knowing how to use it. There are several signs that a bear may be in the area, such as tracks, scat, or markings on trees. If you see a bear in the distance, try to avoid it and give it plenty of space to move away. However, if a bear approaches you, it is essential to know when and how to use your bear mace effectively.

Using Bear Mace During an Encounter

If a bear is approaching you and shows signs of aggression, such as swaying its head, huffing, or stomping its feet, it is time to use your bear mace. Follow these steps for effective use:

  1. Remove the safety cap from the canister.
  2. Hold the canister with both hands, using the finger loop handle for a secure grip.
  3. Aim the canister slightly downward and towards the approaching bear, taking into consideration the wind direction to avoid spray blowback.
  4. Spray a continuous burst until the bear is deterred or the canister is empty.

Post-Encounter Precautions

Once the bear has been deterred and has retreated, it is essential to leave the area immediately and report the incident to local authorities or park rangers. This not only ensures your continued safety but also helps wildlife professionals monitor and manage bear activity in the area.

Bear Mace Effectiveness and Limitations

Effectiveness on Wet Bears

Some bear mace products, like Guard Alaska® Bear Spray, are designed to work effectively on wet bears. The specific gravity of the carrier in these sprays is heavier than water, allowing the formula to adhere to the bear’s wet fur and skin and provide the intended deterrent effect.

Limitations of Bear Mace

While bear mace is a valuable tool for deterring aggressive bears, it is not a guarantee for complete protection. Users should always take additional precautions, such as making noise, traveling in groups, and carrying bear bells, to minimize the risk of a bear encounter. Additionally, it is essential to remember that bear mace is not intended for use on humans or other wildlife and should be used exclusively as a bear deterrent.

Bear Mace Regulations

Bear mace regulations vary depending on the location. In some areas, such as national parks, bear mace may be required by law for visitors hiking in bear country. In other locations, there may be restrictions on the size or potency of bear mace allowed. It is essential to research and adhere to local regulations when choosing and using bear mace.

Bear Mace Storage and Maintenance

Proper storage and maintenance of your bear mace are crucial to ensure its effectiveness and longevity. Store your bear mace in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Check the expiration date on the canister, as the potency of the spray may diminish over time. Replace expired or nearly empty canisters to ensure you have an effective bear deterrent when needed.


Bear mace is a vital tool for outdoor enthusiasts venturing into bear country. Understanding its features, benefits, and proper usage can significantly increase your safety and the safety of the bears you may encounter. By choosing the right product, using proper techniques, and following safety measures, you can enjoy your outdoor adventures with peace of mind, knowing you are prepared to handle a bear encounter.


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