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The Best Bear Spray You Can Find In 2018 – The First Line of Defense

Animals are often misunderstood by humans in many ways. One of the biggest problems in humans’ encounters with animals is that they think that animal want’s to kill them and eat them in 100% cases. This is simply not true, and that way of thinking led to countless animal lives lost for simple misinformation.

Animals work on reflexes, and they experience fear just as you do. When you encounter them, most of the time they think you want to harm them, not the other way around. As the last resort, instead of shooting the animal dead, you can use the spray repellent, so you and the animals stay safe. I looked into this topic a bit, and I selected few pieces to find the best bear spray you can get.

If you are in a rush, then take a look at these two models listed below. One is a smaller package, the other is a big one, both of which are very strong and effective.


The point of the bear spray is to disable the animal completely for a limited time, so you have plenty of time to retreat to safety.

The aerosol can spray the content up to eight meters, although the bigger the distance, the less effective the spray will be.

The content of the can is filled with capsaicin which is a substance from cayenne pepper. After you spray the bear’s face, it will be temporarily blind, and it will have breathing difficulties.

Why Spray Over Guns?

Bears are one of the toughest animals, and to take it down with a gun, you will have to aim straight to its head. Now imagine a situation where the bear catches you off-guard, there’s a really small chance you will manage to take it down with a gun.

Gun or Bear Spray

The statistics say that only 50% of the time guns can help in this situation, not to mention that also animal dies in that successful 50%. The guns are specifically dangerous if you’re not alone. If you miss the bear, it will only make him angry, and you and your company are probably doomed at that point.

Bear sprays are proved to be more effective, and it doesn’t kill the animal, so it’s a win-win situation.

The spray completely disables the bear, and all of you involved in that misfortunate encounter can leave without being harmed. Furthermore, in that kind of adrenalin rush situation you can hurt some of your companions by accident which can be fatal.

If you spray someone by accident, they will be absolutely fine after a couple of minutes; you will just need to guide them since their vision will be impaired. And if you still think that guns will do better, then I think you haven’t watched The Revenant movie.

What is actually in the Spray?

Even though some think that it’s the same as the regular pepper spray, it’s not. If you think the regular pepper spray can save you, well you better learn how to climb a tree because you will have a better chance.

How to know that pepper spray is useless in defense against bears? Check its ingredients, both regular pepper spray and bear spray are made of oleoresin capsicum; the difference is in the content of the bear spray, it contains capsaicin which is much more powerful.

What Makes One Bear Spray Better Than the Other?

There are several things that can vary in bear spray products, be on a lookout for the following things when you’re trying to find the best one:

What Makes One Bear Spray Better Than the Other?

How to Properly Use a Bear Spray?

One would think that there isn’t a wrong way to use the spray, how complicated can it be, right?

Use a Bear Spray


Well, it’s not the issue of the difficulty level of use, it’s the safety precautions. For example, the minimum spraying distance should be 25 feet. It’s advisable that the distance is even farther, so you can start spraying on time and so you can disable the bear before it comes to near.

The minimum duration of spraying should be six seconds. That time period is enough to incapacitate the bear, and you will have some of the spray left just in case that bear was not alone. Maybe it was the mother, and the cubs were near, you have to think in advance.

Also, try to stay calm as much as you can, panicking can only make you miss and end up in the worst possible scenario.

When the bear is disabled, get to safety as quickly as possible. And watch your step!

You’re in the wilds, you can trip over something and get hurt, and then the bear might get you if he comes after you once the effect of the spray has passed.

Also, consider the spray as a last resort, you should prepare and take the precautions needed to avoid animal contact before you go backpacking. Also be sure to have some kind of lighting with you if something like this happens in the middle of the night.

When it’s Time to Replace It?

If you go on a backpacking trip with a spray that will malfunction, then better, don’t go at all, since you risk to put yourself in direct danger.

The spray should be replaced if it’s past its expiry date, all sprays last around four years. It should be replaced when the container is almost empty and when it was exposed to very low or very high temperatures.

The Few Picked Bear Sprays That Deserved My Attention

There are a lot of brand names and products to choose from, but I selected these few that might be the best choice based on their popularity and feedback from buyers.

1. Guard Alaska® Combo Pack - Bear Defense Pepper Spray Repellant

Guard Alaska® Combo Pack! - Bear Defense Pepper Spray Repellant


With the contents of 1.34% of capsaicinoid, this repellent proved to be very effective while tested. It’s completely EPA approved, and it can cover the face of the bear in nine ounces. As you can tell it’s not the strongest one out there, but it goes over the 1% minimum required.

Its delivery range is from 15-20ft, way above the minimum recommended.

This repellent is for anyone that makes his trips to the wild where it is known for bears to reside. Hopefully, no one will ever use it, but better to have one with you than wondering around bear territory with no kind of protection in the last resort.

It is tested on all species of bears, so you can be sure that no matter what kind of bear you encounter, you will be able to defend yourself effectively.

There’s a 30-day full refund guarantee; it’s always good to have some assurance of the quality of the product.

One more great addition to it is that it comes with a free holster, so you can carry it with you with no hassle.

Although the manufacturer guarantees that it will be fine even after 4 years being left on the shelf, some users found that after such long period of time it had discharges and leaks. Which is not a small issue, these products are something that you should be counting on once you’re in the wild.

Things I Liked

  • Tested in the wild terrain
  • It has a 30-day guarantee
  • It comes with a free holster
  • Effective on all species of bears
  • EPA approved

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Some users complained about leaks
  • The range is above the minimum, but below some other products out there

Frontiersman Bear Spray


The Frontiersman is stronger than the minimum required. The capsaicinoid content is 2% in the container, and it makes it a top choice of effective ones you can get.

The canister is 9.2 ounces, and with it, it can achieve 35 feet range, which is just amazing. That’s a lot of space for maneuvering and a great distance to keep from the bear.

It comes with a free holster which enables you to trigger the spray right from the belt, which can be excellent if one more sudden attack happens. It’s an excellent ‘quick-draw’ solution for the fastest reaction possible.

The user feedback on the Frontiersman is great, and most of them praise his effectiveness.

Some also noted that the build quality could be better, but nothing that would be categorized as a design flaw. After we take all the things into consideration, this bear spray is good enough to qualify for one of the best ones currently available.

The drawback of this bear repellent is that it goes empty in a matter of five seconds, which is one second less than the recommended by the experts to be the minimum.

Things I Liked

  • The strength is amazing, 2% of capsaicinoid content
  • Great range coverage, up to 35ft
  • Field tested and approved
  • Comes with a chest holster

Things I Didn’t Like

  • No warranty
  • Some people complained about the flimsiness

Counter Assault 10.2 oz. Bear Deterrent

With a 2% capsaicinoid strength and 12 to 32ft of spraying range, the Counter Assault is one more runner for the best spray out there.

It has a 9.22 second spraying time which surpasses the time of the Frontiersman. It can create a big fog cloud which can deter the bear charging, and it can be used more than one in case of the animal attacks again.

It’s the best choice if you want to have a double security and safety. The range coverage is a bit less than the one the Frontiersman has, but the spraying time is over the top.

It features the safety cap, and it is a great addition to prevent the accidental triggering, and at the same time, it prolongs its lifetime.

There are a lot of stories regarding this spray online on how it saved numerous people from vicious attacks. This is a very good thing, it encouraging to see documented real-life situations of the performance of the spray.

This one also is packed with a holster which is so tight, it holds the spray so firmly, that you might have a tough time getting out the spray quickly.

Things I Liked

  • 2% capsaicinoid content for maximum strength
  • Very long spray duration
  • Great range of up to 32ft
  • Safety cap for prevention of accidental sprays

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Too tight holster

UDAP Bear Spray

Now, this is a small package that can give the punch. 2% strength in the small size of 7.9 ounces with a range of 30 feet.

This one also has the safety cap just like the previous one; the difference is that the cap on UDAP spray is glowing in the dark. It lasts for only four seconds because it’s designed to shoot a strong single spray.

If you would like to carry something compact that can still give a punch, this one is great for the description. Easy to carry, small in dimensions but without reduced performance.

I’ve come across a few people that claim it proved to last long even though it sprays only for four seconds.

There are few people that had bear encounters in Alaska, and they used this spray to stay intact and without any injuries. The bear was deterred, and everyone stayed safe.

The trigger on the UDAP spray isn’t very suitable for burst fire. The manual triggering mechanism requires some time to get used to.

What is a nice addition to the whole package is the free booklet that can educate you on bear safety and a small bag for easier carrying.

Things I Liked

  • 2% strength
  • Good range of 30 feet
  • Free booklet and a bag
  • Small, but powerful

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Not the best trigger for burst fire

UDAP 18HP Super Magnum Bear Spray 13.4 Ounces


UDAP came with the smallest and with the largest sprays available. This one lived up to the name Magnum. It has 13.4 ounces, and it’s the largest one you can possibly find right now.

The crazy big container is filled with 2% strong spray, and it delivers a very dense fog that can go up to 35ft far.

However, it empties in seven seconds, which is little bit low. Even though it has a big container, it is a one time use. It releases the content completely.

Even though the spray duration is seven seconds, UDAP’s largest bear spray option can be great for people who want to be sure that enough content will be sprayed on the bear's face. Some people stated that they are unsure that they will get it on the bear's face, mainly because they have issues with aiming.

With the canister of this size, I think it would be better than it can be used for more than just once. It would provide a sustained defense and even from multiple attacks. But, apparently, the aim here was to give the maximum strength in the less time as possible.

Just as with the smaller UDAP spray, this one has the same trigger. It is unusable for burst fire. When you press down the trigger, it has to be manually depressed to cut the spray off. Which can be a bit of a challenge in an encounter.

Things I Liked

  • Very strong
  • Excellent range up to 35ft
  • Largest canister ever results in a denser fog
  • Includes bear safety booklet and a bag

Things I Didn’t Like

  • A bit pricey
  • minus-circle
    Trigger prevents burst fire


Remember, the first thing you should cover is to research the area you are heading into. The information will be crucial to avoid any bear encounters. After that, and only after that get you a proper defense in the form of best bear spray you can find, which in my opinion is UDAP 18HP Super Magnum Bear Spray.

It gives an extra confidence with a large canister in case you tend to miss out of fear. The dense fog it creates will surely cover the bear face and keep you away from harm.

The Best Bear Spray You Can Find In 2018 – The First Line of Defense
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I am Melanie Campbell, an outdoor and professional camping enthusiast that will give you the best expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. I’m here to give you expert advice and proven tips on how to make the most out of your camping adventure.

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