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Frequently Asked Questions

Bear spray is only to be used as a last resort. The situations when you should use your spray are 1) when a bear is actively charging you, or 2) showing signs of aggression as if it is going to charge you. This could include making loud noises, huffing, growling, or displaying other aggressive behavior. If the bear is clearly agitated and not leaving the area, it is time to think about using bear spray. It is not to be used when you see a non-threatening bear in the wild. If you see a bear, most times there will not be a conflict and you should be able to slowly back away and remove yourself from the situation.

If a bear is charging you, hold the can firmly and remove the safety clip by placing your thumb in front of the clip and pulling back. Press the trigger and direct the spray cloud downward at the front of the bear. Continue spraying until the bear diverts its charge. If a bear is charging from within….

- 60 feet, spray 30-40 feet in front of you. The bear will meet the cloud almost simultaneously at that point.
- 30 feet, spray downward at the front of the bear until it diverts its charge.
- 15 feet, try to spray the bear but be ready to lie face down on the ground, protecting the back of your neck while holding the can and randomly spraying the area.

Bear spray and self-defense pepper spray have some key differences. It is illegal to deploy bear spray against humans. Bear spray is specifically designed to deter bears in the event of an encounter. Bear spray is formulated to have a longer range (Counter Assault Bear Spray can reach up to 40 feet) than pepper spray (designed to only reach about 10 feet). Most pepper sprays have a lower concentration of capsaicin, the active ingredient in both products, while Counter Assault has the maximum allowed at 2%. Pepper spray designed for self defense will not have the power or distance to deter a bear and they are not interchangeable.

Counter Assault Bear Spray has over 90% less global warming potential than competitor sprays. With a Global Warming Potential Rating of under 150, our sprays are significantly less harmful to the environment than competitor sprays with a Global Warming Potential Rating of over 1,000. Counter Assault is proud to be the first Bear Spray producer to comply with both the US EPA’s AIM Act and the Canadian Montreal Protocol On Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Counter Assault bear spray has a shelf life of 4 years. There is an expiration year printed on the can. After that date, we recommend replacing your bear spray with a fresh can to ensure maximum effectiveness. Bear spray cans are under pressure and like all products under pressure, it is possible the pressure will decrease over time.

Bear spray is considered hazardous waste and cannot be put into your regular garbage. We recommend contacting your local waste management company or recycling center as they have a process to safely dispose of bear spray. If you are in the Greater Yellowstone or Glacier National Park areas, there are recycling programs with designated drop-off points so the canister can be recycled.

Buy bear spray from Counter Assault for the ultimate defense in bear attacks. Boasting an extended reach in 40-foot and 32-foot sprays, our top-rated bear sprays emit a concentrated, atomized burst of potent pepper spray. Made in Montana, the heart of bear country, Counter Assault bear spray is a top choice for outdoor professionals and outdoor enthusiasts.