Proper Storage of Bear Spray

Bear spray canister embedded in ceiling of vehicle.

This bear spray canister has exploded from the heat and lodged itself in the ceiling of the vehicle.

Bear spray is a non-lethal pepper deterrent containing active ingredients derived from capsicum. Capsicum derivatives are an extreme irritant of the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs of bears, humans, and other mammals. Bear spray containers are under high pressure and are extremely flammable. If punctured, bear spray canisters may become flying missiles with erratic flight paths. When not being used in the field, bear spray must be stored properly to avoid injury or irritation from accidental exposure.

At Home
When storing bear spray at home it should always be stored in a safety container. Do not store bear spray near open flame, fire, sparks, or heated surfaces. Exposure to temperatures above 120 degrees may cause bear spray canisters to burst.

In a Vehicle
Bear spray should never be transported or stored inside the passenger compartment of any vehicle unless it is contained in a transportation and storage safety container. In pick-up trucks bear spray should be transported and stored in the bed or the tool box, not inside the cab. Remember, the inside of a pickup or car with the windows closed can reach temperatures over 181 degrees F. Bear spray can explode at a temperature of about 120 degrees. Accidental discharge of bear spray in a car or truck could incapacitate the driver and would likely cause a crash.

In a Helicopter or Airplane
Bear spray is not allowed inside of helicopters or fixed wing aircraft. Bear spray must be transported outside of the cockpit in the baskets or sling load. Accidental discharge of bear spray in a helicopter or small plane could incapacitate the pilot and likely cause a crash.

Check the Expiration Date
The seal on bear spray canisters may fail anytime after the end of the expiration year printed on the can. Check the date and properly dispose of any expired cans of bear spray.


Safety Tip
Never store your bear spray inside the passenger compartment of your vehicle.

Did You Know?