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[cdt-l] Packing Pepper Spray



I am of the opposite opinion on this. I lived in MT for 5 years, have
spent a perty large amount of time in GNP and the Bob as well as
yellowstone. I have never carried pepper spray at any time and I did alot
of solo trips. I carried bear bells for a while but those get really
annoying fast so I keep them as backup for when my voice goes hoarse,
plus I doubt they are really that effective.
My opinion is that you just have to be smart about it. A bear dosent want
a confrontation, it just wants food and wants to not feel threatened. If
you can see well in front of you and arround you and there is no griz then
you are safe. It you are walking through the forest or going around a bend
in the trail where you cant see you had better be making some noise. Also
keep the wind in mind. If the wind is at your back it is helping to warn
bears down the trail that you are coming by providing your scent and
sound. If the wind is blowing the other way or blowing really hard you've
got to be really cautious. As far as making noise, a combination of
clapping and loud talking helps save the voice. Any kind of noise maker is
a good idea especially if it's another person.. going solo is hard on the
voice.
I still remember this one time I was coming down from Hole-in-the-wall in
GNP, the day after seeing a momma griz and two cubs, and I was rapping the
lyrics of a sublime song perty loudly for my entertainment and that of the
bears when these other hikers appeared around the bend in the trail... so
embarassing! A few days later on that trip, at fifty mountain, some idiot
who had bear spray saw a griz about 300 yards from camp. He was so freaked
out that he ran back to camp and was shouting how he saw a bear with his
arms up as he accidentally pulled the trigger for an instant, an instant
that sent a cloud of cayenne right at me and my tent. He's lucky I didnt
maul him when I was able to breathe right again.
Call me an idealist but I think attitude (and smarts) is everything. If
you are terrified of the bear the bear will know something is wrong. If
you are calm the bear will be too. I guess the most important thing is to
make sure you feel safe, if the spray does it for you then great.
Also note that if you plan on going into Canada, they have regulations on
which bear sprays they will allow across the border. If you drive to
Waterton you may have to leave your spray at cheif mountain customs. Thats
a pain in the ass if you're planning on crossing the lake to Goat Haunt to
start your trip. I could be wrong but I think counter assualt is one they
dont let in... a friend of mine had to leave his counter assualt
there. You'll want to check with customs to believe me on this one.
best wishes
J

On Sun, 6 Apr 2003, Dave Fales wrote:

> you should have it for all secttion if you get malled by a bear or have
> problms the ranger we make you there joke.  When  I worked in
> yellowsoten park we alwys laughed at idiots that got atacked with out
> bear spray you can clip it on the outside of the pack and then you never
> have to worry you have it.
>
> Doug and Sue wrote:
>
> >Do most CDT hikers pack pepper spray for the Yellowstone/MT section of the
> >trail?  If so, what brand?
> >
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