Is Bear Spray Better Than A Gun

Hiking in a bear country like Alaska, Canada, or North America is always risky. You always have to be cautious and keep an eye on the trail if any dangerous signs like torn-up logs, fresh footmarks, trackway, digging soil, claw scratches are visible anywhere.

Incautiousness for a moment can make you stand in front of a bear. Sometimes it leads to death. But the risk never can stop adventurous hikers. If you are one of them, you may need some protection kits to avoid any unwanted situation.

While packing the backpack, a hiker is always confused between bear spray and a gun. What do you think? Which can give your better protection?


What Bear Spray Is

Before starting the discussion, we need to know what bear spray is. Bear spray is an active and robust pepper spray. It is a mixture of chili pepper extract, diluting fluid, a forcing propellant in proper ratio.

How to use it

The spray is contained in a canister. It might have a cable tie around the neck of the can. Cut it before starting hiking. If you face a critical situation, take off the safety clips, point the nozzle to the Bear’s face and press the trigger to spray it to the targeted point.

It will create orange clouds and start working. You can handle the canister in one hand. It is designed in an easy way to make using it easy. It works better if the Bear is in 60 to 25 feet distance.

How it works

The face is one of the most sensitive parts of an animal’s body. A bear has a vast body and furious behavior. But when it is about the face part, it is as week as other species. The spray creates busting irritation all over the face, including eyes, nose, and mouth.

Thus it stops the Bear just at the moment. The bitter feelings make it run away from the place and create a chance for the hikers to leave.

Bear Spray or a Gun – Which is Better?

Now let’s talk about the complex point-

  • Protection: You may think it is a foolish question. Who doesn’t know a gun is the best out of any weapons. Yes, of course. But when it is about a charging bear, the answer varies. In research, it is found that about 50% of people escaped unharmed using firearms. The other 50% had to face injury. On the other hand, 98% of people ran uncut from the attacking Bear using bear spray.
  • Targeting: Do you still find it unbelievable! Here is another reason. Gun needs a clear targeted shot. Imagine a growling bear is in a few yards’ distances, running toward you with its unbelievable speed. A few people can stay calm at this moment. It is much challenging to target and shoot on time in this situation. Even the professional bear hunters having still nerve find it difficult when the Bear is in a charging mood. On the other hand, you can easily target with a bear spray without having much experience.
  • Working method: Another thing is gunshot makes the Bear more furious and more attacking. Even if you target the right mark, the Bear will remain still alive for a while. In the meantime, it can attack you. It will be dead eventually, but you can’t escape uncut.

Now think about using bear spray in the same situation. The first advantage of bear spray is it is much easier spraying on the charging bear than shooting with a gun. Most importantly, it works instantly and makes the Bear either immobile or runs back instead of attacking. Hence you will get enough time to leave the place.

It is the main reason being bear spray is a better option than a gun.

  • Training: You do not need to be trained or professional to use a bear spray. To be a better shooter, you must need certified training. On the other hand, if you read the description on the spray bottle, you can use the bear spray easily.
  • License: If you want to keep any firearm with you, you must apply for a permit. But you don’t need to have permission to hold a bear spray.
  • Fatality: Bear is one of the endangered species. It is decreasing day by day for hunting and calamity changes. If you are a nature lover, you can understand its importance better. If you want to escape from that situation but not be harmful to the Bear’s life, it would be better to use bear spray instead of a gun. Using bear spray also leaves the hikers uncut in this situation.
  • Prohibition: in some places, authority forbids killing bears in any situation. If you kill any bear in those areas, you will be subject to penalty. It is much safer to use the bear spray but not the firearm everywhere.

Showed the objects in a nutshell-

ObjectsBear SprayGun
ProtectionEnsure better protectionProvide less protection
TargetingEasy to targetDifficult to target
Working methodWork instantlyTake time to work
TrainingNo need for trainingMust be expert
LicenseNo needMust have
FatalityCreate irritation, but not fetal to anyoneFetal for one or both side
ProhibitionNo, forbid to use on BearIt might be ban in some places


No arms can ensure complete protection in front of a charging bear. It is a very critical situation. Practice using spray several times before going the hike. Keep the bear spray at your arm’s length, either in the belt holster or in the chest holster. If needed, take the gun for extra protection.

Don’t hesitate to spray several times until it runs away. Do not be late to leave the place.

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