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08/05/2018 03:03PM
** NOT A DEBATE ON SHOULD YOU/SHOULDN'T YOU DO YOU/DON'T YOU PLEASE**

For those of you who use it...

I know this stuff has an expiration date.

Does anyone use their Bear Spray after the expiration date? If so, how far past?

Or do you buy new once the old can expires?
 
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Tman
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08/05/2018 03:46PM
I did some research on this awhile back. The active ingredients do not lose their effectiveness. They say that the spray pressure tends to get lower with age so it will not spray as far.

I have a can several years past expiration that I was going to test earlier this summer to train our Boy Scout Venture Crew which is currently on an Amtrak train returning from a backpacking trip in Glacier National Park. We never got around to it. I will probably try it this fall. However, I've never had the need to spray a new can before so won't have a new/old comparison unless our crew brought a can home on the Amtrak (which you are not supposed to do).

Bottom line: I would replace upon expiration, particularly in grizzly country.
08/05/2018 04:31PM
I concur.
Better to spend a few bucks and have a fully charged can than need some distance and not have it.
Jaywalker
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08/05/2018 06:37PM
If you're in Minnesota, I'd argue the main reason for bear spray is your own piece of mind. I believe that past the expiration date the can still spray well; MAYBE not 100%, but probably close. So if it's a couple years out of date, would you sleep well knowing it might be 95%, 90%, 85% as good? I don't know what the number really is, but personally would be ok in MN with a can that was a little out of date. If heading to grizzly country, I'd stick with the expiration date.

I still have a can that's about 1/4 full that expired in 2012. If I can find a good place maybe I'll test the rest of it out to see what it can do. I used the other 3/4 to stop a bison charge in the Yellowstone backcountry.

OCDave
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08/05/2018 06:52PM
Where will it be used? If going to grizzly country, I'd replace it. Anywhere else, I'd continue to use the expired can.
andym
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08/05/2018 09:47PM
I did replace this year because our newest ones were 6 years old and we had small children with us and I felt responsible. In the BW, we carry the small not sold for bear size because we are more likely to actually have it on us while the big can might be nearby but harder to access. I was glad that Piragis had the smaller size. They can sometimes be hard to find. The bear center used to sell Halt for dogs but stopped.

One of these days we will take the old ones out for practice.
mjmkjun
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08/06/2018 06:15AM
I will carry the expired ones in black bear country for up to 5 yrs after the expiration date. I also carry those expired-date canisters to deter smaller critters I don't want to get close to like aggressive dogs (biking or walking) or skunks & coons that tend to raid campsites at night in more southern regions. I know a guy who walked into the woods (not BWCA) to pee in dark of the night and in the middle of peeing discovered he was peeing on a skunk. hahaha. He fled the scene lightning-quick.

Five years after expiration year I'll empty it out in the woods in back of the house--wind at my back ;-)--then toss empty in the trash can.

I buy new whenever I go to grizzly country (Alaska or YNP). I don't exactly have to force myself to go to those places every five yrs. I love my system of replenishing. ;-)

Last place I acquired one was at REI in Anchorage, AK in June 2017! LindenTree3 got that one upon my departure. I would have donated it to a ranger station, otherwise.

When I visit Yellowstone, I get a new one and I send it back home to myself via USPS ground ship only and has to be double walled & sealed to USPS specs. Occasionally, USPS had a canister that would go off by its own and fill the station with pepper spray--so they now require double packaging & airtight sealing tape.

Sorry if I rambled too much. I blame the new brand of coffee.
Pinetree
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08/06/2018 07:21AM
Jaywalker: "If your in Minnesota, I'd argue the main reason for bear spray is your own piece of mind. I believe that past the expiration date the can still spray well; MAYBE not 100%, but probably close. So if it's a couple years out of date, would you sleep well knowing it might be 95%, 90%, 85% as good? I don't know what the number really is, but personally would be ok in MN with a can that was a little out of date. If heading to grizzly country, I'd stick with the expiration date.


I've still got a can that's about 1/4 full that expired in 2012. If I can find a good place maybe I'll test the rest of it out to see what it can do. I used the other 3/4 to stop a bison charge in the Yellowstone backcountry.


"


Kind of agree,but when I head to Griz country I want a fully charged bottle and the larger Counter Assault bottle. Also I wonder like a fire extinguisher you should pound the bottom time to time?
ozarkpaddler
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08/06/2018 10:25AM
OCDave: "Where will it be used? If going to grizzly country, I'd replace it. Anywhere else, I'd continue to use the expired can.
"


My thoughts exactly.
K
Guest Paddler
 
08/06/2018 11:49AM
I have Counter Assault that expired in 2014. I test fired it twice recently and it still fires over 30 feet.
BobDobbs
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08/06/2018 12:19PM
I wouldn't discard it the day it expires...maybe wait a year?

I did try to spray an unused cannister that was several years past expiration and the pathetic stream that resulted was really an eye opener. It wouldn't have been enough to deter a trash panda, let alone a real bear.
LindenTree3
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08/06/2018 12:48PM
Pinetree
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08/06/2018 02:30PM
BobDobbs: "I wouldn't discard it the day it expires...maybe wait a year?


I did try to spray an unused cannister that was several years past expiration and the pathetic stream that resulted was really an eye opener. It wouldn't have been enough to deter a trash panda, let alone a real bear."


I had really old ones and they still worked fine,as effective?

Expiration? Not sure I just looked at one I got a few years back(time flies-so not sure) but it expires in 2019)
Pinetree
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08/06/2018 02:35PM
LindenTree3: " How long does Bear Spray last? "

4 years

4 years max. spraying distance
BuckFlicks
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08/06/2018 04:05PM
Interesting. I've never had a bear spray can go over the expiration date in my outdoor adventures. I have to buy it at the destination and I didn't know it was an option to mail it back to myself (but for what reason? I live in TX and bears aren't a thing here.) So I usually just give it to the rental desk at REI and ask them to give it to the next person who asks for bear spray. I do the same with my unused fuel canisters.

Bear Spray isn't excluded in their return policy, but they wouldn't take it back for a refund, even though I didn't crack the safety seal.
08/06/2018 04:12PM
Mine expired in 2016.... still carry it in the bwca
BAWaters
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08/06/2018 05:25PM
If it doesn't work you could just throw the can at it.
Pinetree
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08/06/2018 05:52PM
BAWaters: "If it doesn't work you could just throw the can at it."

That was actually done over a decade ago A person went to spray a black bear,it didn't work so he threw the can at it. The bear ran away.
andym
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08/06/2018 06:37PM
Pinetree: "BAWaters: "If it doesn't work you could just throw the can at it."


That was actually done over a decade ago A person went to spray a black bear,it didn't work so he threw the can at it. The bear ran away."


Yeah, but if people do this often enough one of Yellow Yellow's descendants will probably learn how to use the spray cans to scare the people away from the food.
mjmkjun
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08/06/2018 06:40PM
K: "I have Counter Assault that expired in 2014. I test fired it twice recently and it still fires over 30 feet."
Great!
08/06/2018 10:02PM
mjmkjun: "K: "I have Counter Assault that expired in 2014. I test fired it twice recently and it still fires over 30 feet."
Great!"


Glad to hear.
Not going to griz country. BWCA. Like Jaywalker said its more for peace of mind.

Glad to hear from "K" that his still works good. Mine expired this year Feb 2018, so I'm going to use it on my fall trip, and maybe get a new can for 2019 or 2020.

LOL on throwing the can at the bear, and bahahha on Yellow Yellows descendants using the spray back on us. They would.

Thanks everyone for the tips and not turning this into a debate. I really appreciate that.
Canoearoo
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08/06/2018 11:30PM
Expired ones explode and cover you and your gear in bear spray and it really hurts.

*edited to add mine was 5-6 years expired and the plastic top broke off
andym
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08/07/2018 02:20AM
And after the hurt wears off your gear is now tasty.

I really need to empty our oldest container.
08/07/2018 08:16AM
I keep the expired spray for BWCA/Quetico. When I've gone out west to Glacier and Yellowstone, I've always bought brand new spray just to be sure.
Canoearoo
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08/07/2018 10:40AM
yes it ruins gear. But searching I found if you leave it out in the sun for the summer after a few months the burning ends (you never get the red dye out). But even today if there is a just a little of it not bleached by the sun I go into a sneezing fit. I finally threw away the bag for my ccs tarp and used a different tarp bag. After years I was still sneezing when I got it out. Thankfully it didn't get on my tarp. Some gear was to expensive to replace so I left it outside for months and months. It eventually sun bleached off. But will be forever red.

Lesson learned, the metal can won't break, but the plastic top will. I think the gasket is what expires, and when the gasket goes it takes the top with it
andym
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08/07/2018 12:42PM
Were you testing it when it exploded or was it just a spontaneous occurrence?
Canoearoo
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08/07/2018 01:44PM
andym: "Were you testing it when it exploded or was it just a spontaneous occurrence?"

I was packing for a camping trip and it had just gone into a duluth pack
08/07/2018 02:11PM
Canoearoo: "andym: "Were you testing it when it exploded or was it just a spontaneous occurrence?"


I was packing for a camping trip and it had just gone into a duluth pack"



Next to your loaded gun? Haha.

I think in bear spray the expiration date may be because of the after this date this can can be a little unpredictable category. So you just wouldn't know. BTW, I thought throwing it at the bear was sop. Haha.
Canoearoo
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08/07/2018 02:22PM
Lol we don't bring our guns into the Bwca anymore. With 3 kids it didn't feel safe for us. The only time I have ever reached for my bear mace in the BWCA was because of people.

I only use bears spray 2-3 years after expiration date
Canoearoo
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08/07/2018 03:59PM
testing to see if I fixed the quote problem
LindenTree3
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08/07/2018 06:30PM
MN_Lindsey:

Thanks everyone for the tips and not turning this into a debate. I really appreciate that."


You can thank riverrunner for not following the gear thread forum.
BAWaters
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08/07/2018 08:33PM
andym: "Pinetree: "BAWaters: "If it doesn't work you could just throw the can at it."



That was actually done over a decade ago A person went to spray a black bear,it didn't work so he threw the can at it. The bear ran away."



Yeah, but if people do this often enough one of Yellow Yellow's descendants will probably learn how to use the spray cans to scare the people away from the food."


Maybe catch the can and spray the people.
Pinetree
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08/09/2018 11:36AM
Pinetree
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08/09/2018 11:38AM
review

I will say I like counter assault,but sure some others rank right up there.

If you have any what brand?
andym
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08/09/2018 04:59PM
The large one we have (and should get emptied as it is very old) is Counter Assault. Our new small ones are also Counter Assault and we have some slightly older ones that are Halt. Can't say that I have a preference except for what I can actually get in MN so that I am not trying to fly with it or ship it.
Jaywalker
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08/09/2018 06:10PM
I have carried and used UDAP's 7.9 oz can in Yellowstone. Honestly, I did have a trigger problem in that when i let go of the trigger it did not stop spraying as I expected, but pushing it forward stopped it. That meant I deployed more than I needed to, and it left me less to continue solo hiking 3 miles back to my car at dusk. I would, however, carry it again with confidence despite that.

I currently have CA's 8.1 oz can and also have high confidence it in. The review above says CA has a better trigger system which may prevent what happened to me, but I have both cans here and have to say the can and trigger systems - at least on the outside - look absolutely identical to me down to the most minor detail. I went with CA this time just because it was at REI when I needed a can. I did also notice in Yellowstone it was in the pockets of most of the rangers I saw. I don't know if that means its any better or not, but I do know it was about $1-2 cheaper in the stores so that could be it too. My personal opinion - its like which pick up is better; Ford or Chevy. People like one or the other, but really both do just about the same thing and both do it well.

I can't comment on Frontiersman, MACE brand, or any other bear spray.

HALT - to ANDYM's point - is not bear spray, it is dog spray. It is only 0.35% OC (vs 2.0%), and spray's only about 10 feet in a single stream (vs 30+ feet in a cone). I carry it mountain biking in farm country in case of very unfriendly dogs. I see the Bear Center promotes it, but does not cite the research they rely on that I can see, making me think it is their founder - - who also encouraged children to feed wild bears by hand. People can do their research and draw their own conclusions. To me, it very well may be just enough to stop a bear that is not dissuaded by pots and pans banging together, but I personally have no confidence in it to stop any bear that has decided to challenge you for your food.
andym
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08/09/2018 06:50PM
Yes, in my first post on this thread I specified that we carry the non-bear sprays because their small size means that they are easier to always have on us rather than simply nearby. They are in every measure less powerful than the full size, true bear sprays.

In grizzly country such as Yellowstone, I would carry one of the true bear sprays.
Canoearoo
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08/09/2018 08:02PM
Apparently old cans leak or explode enough in cars that there is a company dedicated to cleaning it up

Car mace cleanup
mjmkjun
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08/10/2018 05:45AM
Canoearoo: "Apparently old cans leak or explode enough in cars that there is a company dedicated to cleaning it up


Car mace cleanup "

That's it! Expelling contents on the 5 yrs. expired today.
Canoearoo
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08/10/2018 08:29AM
I'm just happy there is a company that will do it. If there is ever a next time I may call them.
mastertangler
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08/10/2018 02:56PM
Geez, expiration date? Who knew? I never really thought about it. I will have to peek at mine.

And a smaller can? That would sort of be awesome. I did watch a black bear video however where the guy would blast the bear and yell at it.......it would paw its face but would soon resume steadily pursuing the guy. He would turn around and blast it again all while yelling at it. This happened 3 times and fortunately the guy made it to his vehicle. Not sure how this was filmed but it was definitely not faked.

I still really like the idea of a smaller can in canoe country. I have heard that the pepper spray is very effective against moose as well.
 
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