Bear sprays are proven effective as a deterrent for almost all mammals. This is why many people bring one when camping, hiking, and other outdoor-related adventures to ensure they have something to protect themselves in case a wild boar suddenly appears and threatens to attack.
However, most bear sprays contain hazardous ingredients that make them dangerous for people. If you’re going on a trip soon and planning to bring one on a flight, read this first to know whether the bear spray is allowed on a plane. (Read Can I Bring My Nintendo Switch On A Plane)
Can You Check Bear Spray on a Plane?
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website, bear sprays are prohibited in your carry-on luggage or checked baggage. Bear spray is one of the many items TSA prohibits on board because it poses risks to passengers because of its hazardous material.
However, TSA clarifies that you can bring bear spray in your checked luggage if the spray volume is less than four ounces and the active ingredient is less than 2%. It is based on Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rules about bringing bear spray and another animal repellent on board. If the one you have passed these requirements, you can pack bear spray in your checked bag.
What is Bear Spray?
Also called pepper spray, bear spray is a liquid spray that contains oleoresin capsaicin that deters bears and most wildlife but doesn’t kill them. They are beneficial when going on outdoor adventures because they can serve as protection from unexpected bear attacks. Once you spray it on an animal, it will cause inflammatory and irritating effects on its mouth, throat, nose, lungs, eyes, and ears, which will cause them to retreat. Don’t worry about them, though, because the animal will most likely recover a few hours after you sprayed them.
How to Carry Bear Spray
When carrying bear spray, consider it your first line of protection when entering the wildlife. And since it’s somehow your self-defense spray against bears and other animals, it must be easily accessible such as in these areas:
On your hip
You can tie it around your hip to grab it once you see a bear approaching you. Think as if it’s a gun wrapped around your hip, which you can quickly get when someone attacks you.
On a coat pocket
If you have a coat with large pockets, you can place the bear spray in one to quickly grab it once a danger poses. Just ensure the pocket is large enough to get the can quickly, and you don’t have to struggle to pick it up. (Read Size 24 Will I Fit In An Airplane Seat)
In a chest holster
You may also put a chest holster around you and place the bear spray there. Since it’s easily accessible from your chest, you can quickly get it when you see a bear lurking around you.
How to Use a Bear Spray?
You’d think it’s easy to use bear spray, but it’s different when you have to use it against an animal approaching you. In case of a bear attack, here are some steps you can do:
- Stay at your place. Never run since it may only trigger the bear to chase you.
- Start removing the safety cap of the spray. Hold the can up and threaten to spray the bear. At this point, some bears will start backing off.
- If the bear approaches closer within 20-30 feet (6-10 m), you may spray it on the bear’s head and a bit downward. The critical matter here is you spray on the bear’s senses, such as its eyes and nose.
- Remember to stay out of the spray when doing this. Try to shoot downwind and away from the spray.
- Continue spraying until the bear goes away.
- Once the bear retreats, watch it walk away and get out of the area.
Alternatives to Bringing Bear Spray on a Plane
Since bear spray always comes in canisters and exceeds airline regulations, transporting bear spray on your flight is impossible. Instead of carrying bear spray in your checked bags, you can do one of these alternatives instead to make sure you still have bear spray during your trip:
Purchase bear spray at your destination
You may buy a bear spray at your destination to save you from the hassle of thinking about how you can bring your spray with you on board. If the place you’ll be visiting is a famous camping or hiking site, then stores around the area most likely sell this item.
Rent bear spray before the day of your outdoor trip
Many stores offer to rent bear spray, especially if it’s a popular outdoor location. If you only go camping or hiking occasionally, renting rather than buying a bear spray, which will most likely expire and lose its effectiveness in the long run, is ideal.
Mail bear spray to your destination
If your destination doesn’t have stores selling bear spray, you can opt to mail it instead. At least you don’t have to worry whether you’ll have bear spray on the day of your adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I check bear spray in my luggage?
You can check bear spray on your luggage if it’s less than 4oz and the active ingredient is less than 2%.
Will bear spray explode on a plane?
There’s a slight chance that bear spray can explode on a plane because it’s an aerosol. This is why most airlines don’t allow bear sprays on carry-on bags because it poses risks to the passengers.
Can you take bear spray on a small plane?
You can carry bear spray on a small aircraft if you inform the pilot beforehand. The regulation about bringing bear spray only applies to commercial flights, not general aviation.
Is bear spray stronger than pepper spray?
People often mistake bear spray for pepper spray, but they differ entirely. Regarding strength and effectivity, bear spray is more potent than consumer pepper spray. Most bear sprays contain 2.0 MC, 50 percent more than regular pepper spray, making it very effective. (Read Do Metal Detectors Detect Vapes)
Is bear spray effective?
Several studies have proved that bear sprays are effective self-defense sprays, so bringing one when exploring wildlife is recommended.
What animals does bear spray effectively work against?
Apart from bears, bear spray works against all mammals, including bobcats, wolves, coyotes, goats, sheep, elk, and deer.
Where do I store my bear spray when not in use?
It’s best to store your bear spray in a cool, dry place, such as where you store your hiking gear. It may be in the basement or garage, as long as it’s away from direct sunlight. Ensure it’s also not near any flammable material or item that may cause the spray to explode.
In summary, bear spray is allowed on checked bags if it’s less than 4oz and the active ingredient is less than 2%. But since most cans of bear spray have more contents than this, bear sprays are prohibited on board.
It’s best to purchase, rent, or mail your bear spray at your destination instead of risking carrying one on a plane. This way, you’re guaranteed to have bear spray on your wildlife adventure without worrying about how you’ll bring it on board.