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Bear SPRAY is NOT the same as Dog Repellent or Police Spray and what did you train staff on?

As the spring and summer work comes into play for 2017 plus in Canada we are gearing up for a HUGE tourist season because all our NATION PARKS are free in Canada this year to visit, what training have you given people and what do they understand.

When it comes to BEAR SPRAY it is definitely not the same as dog repellent or police pepper spray and when your teams go out what training have you given them on this subject! Personal protection is a necessity when living, working, or recreating in bear country. We only stock the products recommended by the leading bear professionals.  Bear spray, also known as pepper spray, is a combination of a propellant and an active ingredient called oleoresin capsicum. Oleoresin capsicum (OC) is usually derived from cayenne pepper, one of the hottest peppers in the world. It is an inflammatory agent that, upon contact with mucous membranes, causes immediate dilation of the capillaries. It can cause burning, tearing, and swelling in the eyes and nose, and instant inflammation of throat and lung tissues, which temporarily restricts breathing to short shallow gasps. OC can also create an intense burning sensation on the surface of the skin.

The effects usually last from 15 to 60 minutes. However, OC causes no permanent damage to people or bears. What should I look for when buying bear spray?

  • Check the expiry date
  • Does it have a safety clip?
  • Does it say bear spray or bear repellent? To be legal in Canada, the label must clearly show that it is intended for use on animals; the package volume cannot exceed 500 ml.
  • Size and strength: a 225 ml can (about 10 seconds worth) with 0.75%-1% capsaicin is recommended.

So did you buy or purchase the right stuff for your teams!

It starts with pepper, usually oleoresin of capsicum—a waxlike extract of hot peppers. Most manufacturers, says Smith, use the same stuff found in nearly every nonboutique brand of spicy food, from Tabasco to Hormel chili. Undiluted, it ranks on the Scoville heat unit scale at 3.2 million to 3.6 million. For reference, habanero peppers hit between 80,000 to 200,000. Because capsicum is so potent, the EPA, which regulates the sprays, says bear spray cannot contain more than 2 percent of the stuff.

First Aid Treatment for Bear Spray Anyone who’s been accidentally sprayed should be moved from the contaminated area to fresh air as quickly as possible. They should stay still, breathe normally, and relax. Most major effects of the spray should dissipate in 30 to 45 minutes. To help relieve discomfort sooner, flush exposed areas with cool water and, if possible, use soap. You can also wash affected areas with vegetable-based oil, then remove the oil with denatured alcohol. Don’t rub washed areas; pat them dry with a towel. To flush spray out of your eyes, place your head under water and open your eyes every few seconds. Do not rub your eyes! Remove contact lenses and affected clothing (they will need to be disposed of or thoroughly cleaned). Do not apply lotions or creams as they can trap the pepper against the skin. Wet towels and ice packs can also be used to reduce inflammation. If a victim continues to show signs of physical distress such as chest pains, cold sweats, or shallow breathing past the usual 45-minute recovery time (this can be the case with asthmatics), immediately seek medical attention. The canister releases a cone-shaped cloud of pepper spray to a distance of approximately 10 m and at a speed of over 100 km/h. When a bear walks into the spray, its eyes and skin will sting and it will have difficulty breathing—symptoms nasty enough to prompt a retreat.

When it comes to issuing BEAR SPRAY to workers or any one you must look for featuring the highest capsaicin concentration and will stop a bear in its tracks. It needs a quick release trigger and wide spray radius make it easy to deploy in an emergency, effectively disabling and aggressive animal. You’ll need to know exactly how to use bear spray effectively in a real life situation beforehand, so you can defend yourself adequately if you are misfortunate enough to cross paths with an angry bear one day!

The canister should also be carried somewhere easily accessible. Another important thing to be aware of is knowing where the spray will go when you use it.

“If you point high and [a bear] is racing toward you, there’s a probability that you might actually spray over the bear, as opposed to, if [the spray] is down and it’s running toward you, it has to run through that cloud in order to get to you,” he said. If a bear is charging, begin spraying when it gets within 40 feet. It will run into the fog. If a bear is coming at you along with a strong wind, you may wish to wait until it is quite close before spraying. Carry your canister in a holster on your belt or chest, with nozzle pointing away from you. Aim for the face or spray a cloud that the bear has to run through to get to you.

Bear Spray will be in a close surprise encounter. Practice, at least seven times going for your spray, or until you can reach it in a split second’s time when needed. You may want to practice actually shooting from your holster with one of our inert cans. These cans have the same spraying power as our regular sprays without the hot pepper. The first requirement is one that simply can’t be stressed enough: you could be holding the most potent bear spray when faced with a bear, and you would still fail at deterring the bear if you can’t handle the situation in a calm and composed manner.

There are multiple examples of workers getting mauled because they didn’t react to a sudden bear attack the way they had been trained. Newbies who haven’t faced off with a bear before are liable to losing their nerves and shouting and running in panic – something that can set the bear off even more – even when they’re packing bear repellent. The only remedy – practice again and again until the whole spraying maneuver is ingrained in muscle memory.

Having a convenient holster in which to place you bear spray can is recommended by many seasoned safety people; it leaves you free to use both hands, and makes the spray easily accessible in the event of a bear charge.

Please REMEMBER, Some bears may not be aggressive (at least at first) – you or one of your party members may have agitated or surprised them in some manner. Such a bear may run from side to side; advance, retreat and advance again (aka bluff charges); or encircle your party. While it may eventually leave the area without posing a threat, the other outcome is also a distinct possibility. To dissuade the bear from any threatening behavior, fire a single burst of spray towards it and assess its response. In most cases, the beast will retreat. Remember though that these steps aren’t rules set in stone: ultimately, bears – and their natural habitat – are both highly unpredictable; you can’t know the mood the bear is in (whether it’s hunting for food or protecting its cubs, for instance), nor the exact environmental conditions (wind speed, wind direction, ambient temperature etc.).

In any kind of attack situation you have to react under pressure. Attacks can be fast, often leaving you no time to think, only time to react. We strongly recommend you take time to familiarize yourself with this product’s operation.

  • Test fire – downwind – outside – pointed safely away from people and pets Contents may travel and/or linger longer than expected. Using a quick half-second burst will increase safety and confidence with this product.
  • To prevent loss of safety clip, we tie the safety clip to the handle. (Please leave attached)
  • DO NOT carry bear spray in your pocket, fanny pack, or backpack. For quick silent access in a close encounter attack it is best to carry
  • Keep loose clothing out of the way.

Transporting Pepper Spray to your Destination or Work sites is just as important in your training!

Care should be taken when transporting pepper spray. When the spray is not in use, the safety clip should be in place. When packing the spray be aware of other items that might possibly crush or puncture the can. When transporting pepper spray in a vehicle, utilize trunk space or a chest cooler. Never leave in direct sunlight. Do not leave in vehicle or where temperatures can reach extremes very quickly.

SPECIAL NOTE TO SELF AND FELLOW WORKERS long before you head out!

Bear spray is a last-resort device. Your best defense is to avoid a bear encounter. Precautions you should take: • Never intentionally feed a bear. • Never cook, eat, or store food in a tent. • Keep your campsite clean. Avoid burning food scraps or letting fat drip into the fire. • Keep food and toiletries (including toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreens, soap, shampoo, and anything scented such as makeup or feminine hygiene products) in the trunk of a vehicle. Use a bear cache, or hang your food at least four meters off the ground between two trees, well away from your camp. • Be alert for bears and signs of bear activity (bear scat) in case previous campers have attracted them.

Bears are creatures of habit; even when an attractant has been removed, it may take several days or weeks for them to stop visiting a particular area. • Avoid pitching your tent near a natural food source, such as berry patches, or rivers or creeks during fish spawning season. • Have your bear spray readily accessible at all times (on your belt, not in your pack). To reduce the chance of a surprise encounter with a bear: • Make noise when travelling on trails or through the bush. • Avoid wearing perfume or other scented products such as deodorants, scented sunscreens, or bug repellents. • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch and listen for signs of bears. • Be very careful and alert when crouching over for extended periods of time.

The active ingredient, extracted from cayenne peppers, is the same pepper that makes spicy foods so tasty. Bears also like the taste of cayenne (in small doses). Never try to use bear spray as a bear repellent by spraying it on people, or items such as tents or packs. Anything that has been accidentally sprayed should be washed as soon as possible. The nozzle of the spray can should also be cleaned after use. Although bear spray is legal to sell and carry, it is illegal to use for any purpose other than defending yourself from an animal attack. You should never spray it at or around any other person. If practicing with bear spray, stay well away from others, and spray downwind to avoid painful blow-back. It is illegal to carry bear spray on board a commercial aircraft. Consult with the pilot if you need to transport the spray on a small plane or helicopter

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