a crucial piece of safety equipment when traveling in Bear Country
Bear Management Biologist Kerry Gunther demonstrating how to use bear spray – National Park Service
Bear spray is an aerosol in a metal canister. The active ingredient is capsaicin and capsaicinoids (1-2%). Think pepper-spray but larger and stronger. There is a nozzle that sprays the pressurized contents when the trigger is pressed down much like a fire extinguisher. The entire can is emptied in a high velocity stream in under 10 seconds. The fine cloud of spray temporarily reduces the bear’s sight, smell, and ability to breathe, allowing you leave the area safely.
Bear spray is proven highly effective in deterring bear attacks. As a non-lethal deterrent, bear spray protects you and your group from bear attacks. It has been shown to be 92% effective in deterring bear attacks. In fact, 98% of people carrying bear spray who got into close encounters with bears were uninjured. (Consequently, firearms are only 55% effective in deterring bear attacks.)
Bear spray should be carried anytime you travel in grizzly bear territory. In North America this includes Western Canada, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. While engaging in activities such as hiking, fishing, biking, and camping, it should on your body and within reach at any given moment. A bear encounter is the worst time to fumble through your backpack in search of your bear spray, nor is it the time to learn about how to use it.
why rent instead of buy?
- Expensive – $40-$50 per can and not returnable after purchase.
But with renting, we cap rentals so you never pay more than $28.
- Does not travel well – No passenger airline will allow it aboard their aircraft, checked or carry-on.
- Expires after three or four years.
- Value – Our prices start at $8 and are capped at $28 per rental!
- Environmentally friendly – allows reuse instead of in a landfill after you leave bear country.
- Receive Hands On Education with a bear rental associate.
- Convenient – multiple pick up and 24/7 drop off locations in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton and Jackson Area
- All bear spray rentals come with a holster included for convenient carrying
Pick Up and Drop off Locations all over the region
easy | affordable | convenient
With three pick up and eleven drop off locations, we make it easy! Pick up on at the Jackson Hole Airport and then drop off after you’re done in Mammoth Hot Springs. There’s no reason not to rent bear spray!
Pick Up and 24hr Drop Off
Jackson Hole Airport
Drop Off Locations
Mammoth Hot Springs
Being Smart In Bear Country
TRAVEL IN BEAR COUNTRY
- Be alert! You should not be wearing headphones or looking down at your phone the entire time. You need to be aware of your surroundings.
- Make noise! You don’t need to be shouting or screaming, but calmly having a conversation with the other members of your party is a great way to alert any bears in an area to human presence. (A good shout of “Hey, bear!” every now & again doesn’t hurt either, especially if you’re certain there are bears in the area.)
- Travel with a partner or in a group. It has been shown that bears are less likely to attack groups of people.
- Properly store all scented items if you are camping in bear country. This includes not only food, but also things like scented deodorants, lotions, toothpaste, and utensils.
- Keep your camp clean & tidy. Never leave coolers out. Believe it or not, a bear’s sense of smell is 2100x better than a human’s, so even the smallest trace of something could peak a bear’s curiosity.
EFFECTIVELY CARRYING BEAR SPRAY
- Bear spray must be attached to your body for quick access.
- DO NOT store inside a backpack. A belt holster or clip is the best option. Bear Aware offers a multiple holster options for versatility.
- Everyone in your group should have their own canister
Two Types of Carrying Holsters
Bear Aware offers a soft elastic holster with a belt loop or a hard plastic holster able to hang on pants, pockets, hip packs etc.
how to use bear spray
- If you see a bear, remove the canister from its holster.
- If the bear is moving towards you and not away, remove the safety tab on the can.
- Hold your ground, make yourself and your group look BIG!
- If the bear charges, spray so that it must pass through the cloud of spray. Aim low and in the path of the bear.
- Do not run, back away slowly.
learn more about bears of the greater yellowstone ecosystem
Take the Pledge!
The wildlife of Yellowstone is a treasure that we should all respect. As the largest intact ecosystem, we invite you to take the pledge to safely enjoy the wildlife.
BEAR SPRAY VS BULLETS
Which one is better?
Bear attacks and encounters are situations that will certainly place you in a state of elevated stress.
Guns and Bullets must be very accurate to work. Stress makes accuracy difficult.
Bear spray takes the accuracy factor out of the equation. It creates a chemical barrier between yourself and the attacking bear
A bear’s sense of smell is its strongest sense, almost 7000 times stronger than ours! When inhaled, bear spray disables its sense of smell. It cannot function until this problem is solved. This results in the bear running away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's in bear spray?
Bear Aware primarily rents UDAP brand bear sprays. They use Oleoresin Capsicum as their active ingredient & are EPA-rated to be between 1.0% & 2.0% capsaicin & related capsaicinoids. So don’t spray it on yourself like bug repellent!!
Does it hurt the bear?
Bear spray is non-lethal to both bears and humans, but it is extremely irritating. Its effects are temporary but does make the bear very uncomfortable to the point it will no longer pay any attention to you.
Why do bears attack people?
Bears, especially grizzly bears, may attack to neutralize a threat. Most negative bear encounters happen because people got between a bear and her food source or cubs, or because people surprised the bear. 40% of negative bear encounters occur because the people involved didn’t make enough noise to properly alert the bear to their presence.
I just need to not be the slowest runner in the group, right?
It’s genuinely suggested that you not run from a bear. This makes you look like prey, and possibly tasty. Instead, you should stand your ground, but don’t make eye contact, and put your arms out wide to make yourself look bigger to the bear. If the bear encounter continues to escalate, it could be appropriate to deploy your bear spray.
What is Bear Aware's relationship with Teton Backcountry Rentals?
Teton Backcountry Rentals acquired Bear Aware LLC in late 2021. With the acquisition of Bear Aware we are able to offer bear spray rental pick up and drop off inside of Yellowstone National Park in addition to Jackson and other locations. Our bear spray rental network is greatly expanded providing customers with additional options for one-way rentals.
Teton Backcountry Rentals uses the Bear Aware brand and marketing for the bear spray rentals arm of the business.
What is included with a bear spray rental?
All bear spray rentals come with a holster for convenient carrying. We carry multiple styles of holsters (hard-sided plastic and soft-sided elastic style) to ensure compatibility with belts, pants without belts, backpack sternum/chest straps, etc.
How many bear sprays do we need for our group?
We recommend having one canister per adult in the group. This way everyone is protected in the event that there is separation within the cohort. In general, it is recommended to travel in larger groups when hiking in bear country.
Still Uneasy or Unsure about Bear Spray?
Our rental staff are experts when it comes to bear spray and safety. They will answer any questions you have about carrying bear spray when you pick up from your rental. Additionally, you will have the chance to practice with an inert/empty can at our locations.
Rest assured that you will walk away confident about safely traveling in Bear Country!
How To Reserve Bear Spray
- Review the important rental andsafety information above.
- Add Bear Spray to the Cart with the dates you intend to use. Don’t worry if you don’t know the exact days, you can modify when picking up.
- Specify the location that you intend to pick up and drop off.
- Enter your information, payment, agree to our rental terms, and check out.
- A confirmation email will be sent to your email inbox.
On Day of Pick Up
Arrive at one of our locations during business hours. A rental clerk will answer any questions and give you an opportunity to practice with an inert/empty canister.
After you’re done, return the bear spray one of our drop off locations throughout the region. Note some locations offer drop off only during business hours. See our Locations page for more info
1 Day | $8
2 Days | $16
3 Days | $20
4 Days | $24
5 Days | $28
+5 Days | $28!
Maximum rental period is 28 days.
The Fine Print: Stuff You Should Know Before You Rent
- All rental returns will be weighed and assessed for any damage or contents sprayed. We do not send back out any previously half-sprayed canisters.
- What if you have you use it? Any canister that is sprayed or damaged for any reason will be charged $50, any rental fees associated will be credited towards the total.
- All renters must agree and sign our terms of service and release of liability.
- Our multiple pick up locations offer maximum convenience for you, make sure to specify in during check out where you plan to pick up.
- Pick up is offered at our regional locations during store hours, please check ahead for the most up-to-date information.
- Drop off can be done anytime via our after hours drop boxes located at in Town of Jackson – Teton Backcountry Rentals shop, Jackson Hole Airport – Bear Aware Kiosk, and in West Yellowstone – Freeheel and Wheel shop. Bear spray returns must be dropped off during business hours at all Yellowstone Service Stations, Madison Campground, and Cooke City Visitor’s Center. Seeour locations pagefor more details.
Click add to cart below to start your reservation!
Looking for more than just bear spray?
Teton Backcountry Rentals is co-located with Bear Aware in Jackson. We offer year round rental gear for exploring the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. Pick up your camping gear when you pick up bear spray, only at our Bear Aware Jackson location
Bring home bear aware
Take home a piece of bear aware with a bear aware t-shirt
Looking for more than just bear spray?
Teton Backcountry Rentals offers year round rental gear for exploring the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.
*Most offerings available only at our shop in Jackson WY