How To Use Bear Spray

In 2000 I was living and training for biathlon in Canada. On July 6th I had a good friend and teammate get attacked and killed by a black bear in Quebec. One minute she was out on a run through the trees, the next minute we were all getting phone calls about Mary Beth's death. I was back in the states when I heard of the bear attack and her death. It was hard to lose a friend and teammate. It was also hard knowing that the cause of her death was a black bear. Since then I haven't been…

I Do Carry Bear Spray. Here’s Why.

A few days ago the social media world was buzzing about an article written in the High Country News by Charles Finn entitled 'I Don't Carry Bear Spray. Here's Why'. We found the story in Adventure Journal. It's fascinating, well worth the read. In it Finn admits that he is anti-bear spray because he doesn't want to be responsible for the "agony a bear goes through when it gets a snout full of capsaicin," and because he wants "to meet the wilderness on its own terms." I can't help but wonder if 'meeting wilderness on its own terms' also means that…

Hiking in Bear Country

On the trails we're obsessed with finding bear scat.  Bears are amazing animals that we hope to see from a safe distance when we're out on the trails and not in a surprising up close way. A few days ago I stumbled upon a talk given by bear expert Dr. Tom Smith at the 2012 NOLS Faculty Summit.  I was intrigued, it was fascinating.  He dispelled many common bear myths and ended the presentation with some good old fashioned bear spray fun. If you're looking for a good Saturday night date, cuddle up with the love of your life, pop…