[cdt-l] Bear Spray
wandering_bob at comcast.net
Mon Apr 2 20:14:41 CDT 2007
This discussion, like those around bear canisters and dogs on the trail, is reborne anew every year.
Bottom line - it's your hike, your comfort level, and your pack weight to bear (no pun intended).
If it makes you feel better, then by all means - carry the bear spray; carry a shotgun or some other heavy caliber firearm (except in the National Parks). You're the one who has to carry the weight........and keep it handy.
As has been pointed out by far more experienced hikers than I, common sense and knowledge are weightless - the truly super ultralight approach. Going in a group through bear territory is also weightless, and gives you someone to talk to rather than just arbitraily singing or feeling foolish yelling "hey bear" as you walk down the trail. What would you say if one answered you? I'm told there has never been a documented bear attack on a group of three or more anywhere, anytime.
Know the risks inherent in the area in which you are going to hike. In a few remote places with heavy Grizzly or Polar Bear activity, you'd likely be very foolish not to carry bear spray and/or a firearm. What do the locals do? It is my impression is that the CDT does not go through any of these areas.
And yes, I used to ranch in the Yellowstone country of Idaho. I know what Grizzlies are and what they can do. I'm in more danger from the other hikers and hunters than from the bears.
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