I bear sprayed myself – How not to use Bear Spray

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CDT Day 145

9th September

28.2 miles

Dearborn creek (2410.9) to Sth fork Sun River (2439.1)

It was still dark when I started to cook breakfast at 6.20am. The days are getting shorter. I felt warm overnight but the layer of ice on my tent was telling me it was rather cold.

The trail followed the Dearborn river for about 10 miles and water was plentiful. A lot of the woodlands surrounding the trail was scarred by fire. Some areas had no large trees left and little evidence of a new generation growing. Other areas were crowded with new trees all competing for advantage.

The trail crossed a total of three river valleys today. For the most part the views were good but not stunning like they were yesterday. The weather was much nicer than yesterday, blue skies, light winds and a comfortable temperature during the day.

I had loads of energy today. Much more than I’ve had in a long time. I’m not sure why. Maybe the rest days that I’ve taken lately, maybe the protein powder with added vitamins, maybe more hours of sleep due to the ever shortening days. Either way I feel better. Let’s hope it continues.

I set up camp next to the South fork of the Sun River. While setting up the tent I accidentally stood on my bear spray. I lost the safety latch a while ago. A short burst of spray filled the air. And my lungs. I started to cough and had trouble breathing as the capsaicin took affect. My nose started to run and my eyes water. I’ve been sprayed by capsicum spray before in my previous life as a Police Officer. It was no fun then and it was no fun today! Epic camping fail in bear country!

Ice on the tent montana
Nice trail
Blown dow trees
dead trees
Nice easy trail
Hanging backpack in bear country

Next – Day 146 Walking the Chinese Wall

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  1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone actually using bear spray on a bear but it does seem that every bear spray carrier has at least one story of getting sprayed accidentally. I think the bears are getting the last laugh on that one. ;-) Glad the effects were short!

  2. Hilarious post! When I go backpacking, my non LE hiking partners always want me to bring OC to use as bear spray. I tell them I’ll bring it but they have to carry it for just this reason! Hope it wears off quickly!

  3. Well Shepherd those are 2 warning signs of dementia in a hiker, forgotten tent poles and stepping on bear spray can. You had better remember to pay extra attention to yourself ……………Stay safe

  4. Hey Brad. After thirty years I finally got to Campo to check out the Sourhern Monument although it took some convincing to get Miss 10 yr old to walk down the track to the Mile one marker.

    A rather spiritual experience! TimTams are in the mail

    Regards Ross

    1. That’s great, when I was there it was special because I’d seen so many photos of other hikers there. I completely understand the spiritual experience. When I was there I really wanted to hike the first mile alone to take it all in. Thanks again for the Tim tams, I’m on my way to the post office

  5. Having to go through OC training as a LEO…worst moment of my life!!! Horrible to accidentally do it again in the woods…eek.

    Sounds like you are having an amazing last few weeks; the scenery is stunning.

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