Mainers Give Tips on How to Fight Off Bears to Campers From Away
The warmer weather, slowly but surely, is getting here. And regardless of all the teases of high-60s/low-70s weather we've had a few times so far this spring, only to be followed up by plunging temperatures into the 50s, it's right around the corner to stay. Which means camping season will officially begin.
Enter Reddit user Pristine_Waltz_6435, who has either a reminder or a heads up for visitors to Maine for away trying their hand at camping (or "glamping," as Pristine_Waltz_6435 called it) -- how to appropriately ward off bears the CORRECT way with bear spray.
How do you use bear spray?
According to Backpacker.com, rookie campers tend to get confused on how to properly use bear spray should they be encountered by a bear. There have been lots of cases where inexperienced campers treat it as a preventative, like bug spray, and spray it on themselves before an outing. In actuality, bear spray is to be used if you're being approached in an aggressive way by a bear, and not on yourself, but on the bear.
But the tips about bear spray go even further than the whole "don't spray it on yourself, silly" advice. Bear spray also tends to linger in the air, so you need to watch where you're spraying and remember where you've sprayed, as well, since it's basically a super mega high-grade pepper spray. Reddit user _stupendousman_ elaborated on something they saw with their own eyes, once.
"Bear spray also lingers in the air. I can remember a few years back, a certain backcountry trail crew in Maine got a can of bear spray because a nuisance bear had been hanging around their camp. They decided to try it out by spraying it in the air. Then, satisfied that it would spray, they put their packs on and headed for the work site, walking right through the area that they had sprayed. It wasn’t pretty."
The general consensus, too, amongst skilled and experienced Maine campers -- you don't really need it around this area. But if you feel the need to carry it with you, do NOT spray it on yourself or someone in your camping party. Don't spray it on your tent, since there's a chance it could actually attract bears and, according to Backpacker.com, you could wake up to a bear licking it off your tent. And do NOT spray it in the air and walk through that exact spot.
That said, happy camping!