Do You Carry Bear Spray While Traveling In Grizzly Country?

Grizzly Bear on the Road

If you’ve spent any time in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, you know it’s a good idea to carry bear spray. But, because it’s not allowed on planes, many visitors find themselves with a dilemma: spend $50 on a can just to discard it during the airport’s security check, or hike without — a dangerous gamble.


The good news is, there’s another option: rent it from Bear Aware!. By reusing a product rather than buying it new, you’ll be making the more sustainable choice and keeping it out of the waste stream. And besides that it’s cost-effective — we set our rates so that renting bear spray is always cheaper, no matter how long you need it. Each can even comes with a holster, so you can keep it accessible at all times. 


It might sound like a hassle to plan your trip around returning bear spray (say, if you want to start in one place and end somewhere hours away). But our broad network makes it easy to pick up bear spray almost anywhere in the region, and drop it off anywhere else, from the town of Jackson to every corner of Yellowstone National Park. Many of our locations have after-hours drop boxes, so you can stop by 24/7 to return. And if your travels take you to bear country farther afield, we also offer cans for purchase. Check out our website for more detailed information about each location.


Another advantage to renting or buying from Bear Aware: We won’t just throw you to the bears, armed with a weapon you don’t know how to use. It’s essential that you practice before taking bear spray into the field. You want the process to feel like second nature, so you can deploy it at a moment’s notice relying on muscle memory. Using empty training cans, we’ll show you how to hold the can, remove the safety mechanism, and aim properly to create an effective barrier between you and the bear. With the knowledge and training our experienced team provides, you’ll be prepared to keep yourself (and the local wildlife) safe. 

For that matter, bear spray seems to be effective against just about any aggressive animal — bison, moose, mountain lions and more. George Hyde, the general manager at Counter Assault, a leading bear spray manufacturer, has said that “if it has eyes and lungs, people have sprayed it.” This works because the spray contains capsaicin, the same active ingredient as pepper spray, mixed with an accelerant to produce a broad mist. As soon as any creature gets a good whiff of it, they’ll suddenly be much more preoccupied with their own problems than with attacking you.

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