Unfortunately, not all bears are as friendly as Winnie the Pooh.
For anyone traveling through bear country, the UDAP Back Attack Pack is an absolute necessity. The backpack protects the wearer by emitting a cloud of spray from behind or on the ground — so you’ll never get caught off guard by a bear.
Mark Matheney invented bear spray after surviving a bear attack during a hunting trip in 1992. Matheney credits being alive for his hunting partner’s quick thinking to thwart the bear with pepper spray.
Bear spray works by releasing capsicum derivatives, a deterrent formulated to stop aggressive behavior. It’s a non-lethal spray but temporarily makes it difficult for the bear to breathe, see and smell, giving humans enough time to escape.
The spray is also effective because it stops humans from instinctively running away, which triggers the bear’s natural inclination to chase and attack. The loud hissing sound and fog can also disarm and startle the bear.
The Back Attack Pack integrates the spray into the back of a camping backpack. To activate it, the user will pull the orange shoulder strap cover down to expose the spray release ball and then pull the ball a few times to start spraying.
The National Park Service recommends carrying bear spray and using it if you encounter a bear — but only if the animal becomes predatory or hostile.
If walking or standing, stay upright and lead slightly backward to direct the bear spray, continuing to spray until the bear fully retreats. If you’re attacked while on the ground, wait until the bear is standing over the backpack before releasing the spray. Sway side-to-side to increase cloud coverage until the bear flees.
If you enjoy this article, you might also want to check out this flock of sheep who took over an empty McDonald’s franchise in Wales.
More from In The Know: