Pepper spray is an aerosol spray which contains Oleoresin Capsicum mainly comprised of a variety of hot peppers including your common jalapenos and cayenne’s. Bear spray is a type of pepper spray specifically made to deter bears and to minimize the risk of injury when it comes to human-bear conflict.
It is generally comprised of the same ingredients as pepper spray. The three main ingredients that go into making bear spray are Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), base fluid (used to dilute OC), and an aerosol propellant.
Throughout this guide we will explore some of the key differences between bear and human pepper spray.
Bear Spray vs Pepper Spray: What the Difference?
The big difference between bear and pepper spray is that bear spray is more highly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure it is effective and humane.
One of the main tests the EPA conducts is to measure the CRC (Capsaicin and Related Capsaicinoids) of bear spray and pepper spray. The CRC percentage in bear deterrent is typically 2% while in pepper spray it’s only 1.33%.
The CRC indicates the strength and potency of the spray, and the higher the percentage the stronger the spray. There are actually only four bear sprays that are currently registered and approved by the EPA.
Generally bear spray shoots farther than regular pepper spray and also covers a wider area. This is mainly due to the fact that it uses a fogger spray pattern whereas pepper spray typically uses the stream pattern. However, you can still get pepper spray in a fogger spray pattern if you are looking for something that shoots at a larger distance. Most bear sprays typically shoot up to 30 feet in range.
Is Bear Spray Effective?
Bear spray is a better alternative to using firearms to deter an attack not only because it supports bear conservation buts it’s actually more effective. Once a bear is hit with the spray in the face it will automatically retreat. Firearms on the other hand are more likely to cause the bear to become aggressive and make the situation a lot more dangerous.
Bears are capable of running at high speeds nearing 50km/h so when looking to buy bear spray, it’s a smart idea to choose one with a good distance.
What Effect Does Bear Spray Have on Humans?
Bear spray can be effective as pepper spray on humans as long as it is strong and potent enough. Keep in mind that not all animal sprays are effective on humans since animals have much more delicate senses and require less OC.
On larger animals such as bears, human pepper spray could be less effective and it may be a better choice to carry bear spray especially if you are outdoors camping or hiking. Bear spray is still going to induce all of the regular pepper spray symptoms such as difficulty breathing, temporary blindness, and a burning sensation.
There may also be legal issues regarding bear spray use on humans so it’s best to check up on the laws pertaining to your specific area.
Bear Spray vs Pepper Spray Comparison Table
Click on the links to read more information, reviews, and specifications on Amazon.
|Link||Bear Spray||Pepper Spray
|Range||common 30ft||10ft - 15ft|
Should I Buy Bear Spray or Regular Pepper Spray?
Whether you should buy bear or pepper spray comes down to your own specific needs and safety requirements. If you happen to live in an area where there are a lot of bear encounters then bear deterrent is the better option. On the other hand, if you live in an area where you’re most likely to encounter a human attacker over a bear then regular pepper spray is probably the better choice.Remember, pepper spray will still be able to deter attacks from smaller animals such as dogs, cats, and raccoons.
When buying bear spray also take into consideration purchasing a holster. A holster will allow you to keep the spray accessible at all times instead of it being buried in a backpack.
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