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A Safety “Must Have” For Backpackers and Hikers

Whenever I fill my backpack for any outdoor activity and especially where I will spend a considerable amount of time in remote wooded areas, I always toss in some form of personal protection. This personal protection is mainly for the unfriendly wildlife that is lurking out there, such as Bears. Sure I guess you could try to bang two rocks together to ward off a hungry bear but personally I prefer the “sure thing”, like a canister of Bear repellent.

Bear repellent is a form of pepper spray and is a great and humane way to fight off possible bear attacks. These defense sprays are usually available in a canister form which are lightweight, compact and normally have a range of 15-30 feet. I prefer the 30 ft. range because that is as close as I need to come to a Grizzly! I have never had to use my sprays but I can tell you it is a very inexpensive, and more reliable protection device than the two rock technique!

There is also Dog Repellent products on the market that are also a spray version of pepper formula that is designed to protect against canine attacks. These sprays are also great to pack in your gear because all canines out there, and especially ones wondering around in the woods, do not roll over on command! I have encountered more wild dogs on my excursions than bears, and never used these sprays either but have had them out and ready on a few stare downs. These sprays are a very handy form of protection on trips where space is limited, such as mountain biking, hiking and walks along less traveled roads. These products are available in many sizes and are available online or through outdoor retailers. Be safe!