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Thread: Pepper spray?

  1. #1
    Junior Member steward's Avatar
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    Pepper spray?

    What are your thoughts for bear spray in the Northeast? I've never thought it was necessary and do not hike w it. If you take the normal precautions, bears are not a problem, humans pose more dangers. Thanks > Doug

  2. #2
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    You are correct, bear spray is not necessary in the northeast
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    Only if the bear is competing for goods at Walmart on Black Friday. In that case, you'll want a really big can.
    You donít have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things ó to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated. - Edmund Hillary

  4. #4
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Has never crossed my mind.

  5. #5
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    On a more serious note, a good friend of mine was attacked by a pit bull a few months ago. On a hiking trail and the dog's owners were completely oblivious. The dog tore his shirt. A small canister of pepper spray might have come in handy.

    In the Catskills the black bear population has been exploding the last 10 years. Another friend had her dog mauled by a bear who feared her cub was in jeopardy. And I know a number of women who carry a small canister since they often hike alone.

    I realize the post is not on topic for what the OP was asking, but the spray does have some add'l uses.
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
    to be a requisite to doing anything of consequence
    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

  6. #6
    Senior Member brianW's Avatar
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    just a question: do you need a permit to carry pepper spray?
    " The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator" -Louis Pasteur

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    Senior Member ALGonquin Bob's Avatar
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    Many dealers don't sell "Bear Spray". Smaller sizes sold for personal protection (keychain size) are commonly available. In New York State, no permit is needed to carry pepper spray, but you might need to fill out Federal paperwork to buy it.
    "It's a beautiful day!" - The final words of fellow hiker Shin Murnane (5785W), near Marcy Dam 3/28/09.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianW View Post
    just a question: do you need a permit to carry pepper spray?
    In NH, no permit is required.
    To carry pepper spray in your possession in MA, you must have a Massachusetts FID card issued and approved by your local MA police department.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Bear spray is a weaker version of pepper spray. Pepper spray requires a permit in some jurisdictions. I've gotten across the Canadian border, and back, acknowledging I had bear spray ... pepper spray designed to fend off human attackers would be treated like a weapon subject to similar regulation.

    Bear spray is effective on bears, temporarily, because they have such a great sensitivity to smells that this weak dose does the job.

    I don't normally carry it in the Northeast unless I'm backpacking or paddle camping. I figure if a bear, even a black bear, decided to acclimate itself to my human presence, it would receive a dose that might prevent it from associating campers with easy food ... perhaps helping to prevent it from becoming a nuisance.

    ... another reason, when camping once in Maine we heard coyotes within a few hundred feet from our tent. The Eastern Coyote is actually part wolf and larger than its western counterpart. Felt rather helpless unarmed in the tent and coyote attacks do happen, especially when normal prey is hard to come by.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Bear spray is a weaker version of pepper spray.
    Yup, bear spray is regulated by the EPA and is 1-2% capsaicin, whereas personal pepper spray products are state-regulated and generally 10% capsaicin.

    In Massachusetts, it is illegal for anyone, with or without permit, to use bear spray on a person.

    I should also point out that while I'm not a lawyer, it appears that while a MA resident with license to carry pepper spray can take it to NH, a NH resident *cannot* legally carry pepper spray in Massachusetts.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Senior Member DSettahr's Avatar
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    Why is pepper spray/bear spray regulated? After all, it's nothing more than a food product...

  12. #12
    Senior Member ALGonquin Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
    Why is pepper spray/bear spray regulated? After all, it's nothing more than a food product...
    I seem to have heard that sentiment before......
    "It's a beautiful day!" - The final words of fellow hiker Shin Murnane (5785W), near Marcy Dam 3/28/09.
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    Check out ALGonquin Bob's Paddle Guide

  13. #13
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    In New York, most of the regulations on pepper spray for personal defense are related to the sale of pepper spray and not possession. Basically, it has to be purchased from a licensed firearms dealer or a pharmacy and you cannot have it mailed into NY from an outside state. Possession is totally legal though (absent circumstances such as mental illness or felony convictions). As for bear spray, the restrictions may be a bit more lax and I think it can be mailed into NY.

    As for why it's regulated ... because this is the Northeast and everything is regulated.
    Last edited by Puma concolor; 12-05-2011 at 07:39 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Adk_dib's Avatar
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    I like to have mine in my tent with me, makes me feel safer at nignt.
    It doesn't take up much weight so a small one couldnt hurt

  15. #15
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Look just for those that are new to hiking in the northeast Ill give you the bottem line as far as wildlife. There is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING in regards to animals, mammals, fish, snakes or anything at all that can hurt you or you should be afraid in the White Mtns. Carrying bear spray in the Whites is not only a waste of time its showing a high degree of ignorance, no matter how light it is. Ive been around and up close to many black bears, Ive chased everyone of them off myself, once even winging a stick at a stubborn bear on the falling waters trail that wouldnt move out of my way, he moved. Now you go out west where the big boys (and big girls) play, then thats a different story.

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