Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Let my experience with BEAR SPRAY be a lesson to everyone...
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 > Let my experience with BEAR SPRAY be a lesson to everyone...

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Eastern Idaho

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Posted: 06/23/13 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Although I'm embarrassed and ashamed to admit this, I'm posting about my experience in order to spare others the pain and inconvenience caused by my stupidity...

We live in close proximity to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, hence we spend most of our camping days out there. As most of you know, grizzly bears are found in good numbers here so we ALWAYS carry our Bear Spray in the backcountry. For the past year, we have kept our bear spray in our new pickup with no thought as to the consequences of an unintended discharge in the cab (we kept it in it's holster on the dashboard). Last week, it got up to 93F on one day. I noticed a huge "bullseye" fracture on my windshield and thought someone hurled a beer bottle at it. When I opened the drivers side door, I immediately got a lungful of an irritant that burned my lungs. It was then that I realized that the heat had caused the bear spray canister to explode, raining pieces and parts of the can and it's holster throughout the cab. The active ingredients had pooled on the dashboard but the miniscule droplets that were invisible coated everything inside. My insurance had me get the cab detailed to remove the irritants as best possible. They charged $250 for the detail because they were getting burned in the process and actually had to wear respirators to avoid inhaling the droplets stirred up by the shampooing machine. I had to get the windshield replaced, and there is still damage to the dashboard that will have to be repaired. As much as they scrubbed the interior, there will probably always be remnants of spray that remain. I know this because i have rubbed my face, nose, and eyes, and immediately the burning starts.

As much of a pain in the butt as this unfortunate incident has been, how much worse would it have been if the spray had deployed while I was driving on the interstate at 75 mph? There is no way I would have been able to maintain control of the truck if that had happened, as the pain and discomfort is immediate and intense. Talking to my coworkers has turned up similar stories, so this was not an isolated occurrence. I sure would hate to be a bear who got a faceful of this stuff. People tell me that there are boxes available that are designed to prevent this kind of thing from happening. I'll be sure to pick one up when I purchase a new can of bear spray here soon.


Upland, CA USA

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Posted: 06/23/13 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW! Glad to hear you're OK and thanks for sharing this important info.

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Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 06/23/13 12:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


I'm glad you WEREN'T in the truck doing 75 down the freeway, too. Wow, talk about a cautionary tale!

Now, just to put this all into perspective, folks need to know that the inside of a car or truck parked in the sun can easily reach 160 degrees F, a temperature that is dangerous to ANYTHING IN AN AEROSOL CAN. Deodorant, hairspray, bear spray (as the OP found), spray paint, you name it. And any of those things bursting on the dashboard at 75 on the freeway is going to cause a wreck. Of course, had you been driving, you'd have not tolerated 160 in the driver's seat.

But the lesson here is that it is a really bad idea to leave any such product INSIDE your vehicle when it's parked in the sun.


On the Road

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Posted: 06/23/13 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank god that didn't go off while you were driving glad you are ok.

But don't be ashamed to admit it! You are NOT the lone ranger!

I had a can of mace under the drivers seat. Was there for a couple of years then one afternoon I let someone else drive the car that day.

He started adjusting the seat back and forth and the can went off. He slammed on the brakes and jumped out and within seconds the remaining 4 of us jumped out of that car in the middle of an intersection with burning eyes and throats. Looked like a Chinese fire drill gone bad.

Glad you posted about it though. I probably wouldn't have thought about the heat exploding one. Sorry about all the damage to your truck.

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South Carolina

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Posted: 06/23/13 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the bright side, bears probably will not be trying to get into your truck

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Traverse City ,Mi.

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Posted: 06/23/13 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hate to burst your bubble....but...I would be willing to bet....it got on the Heater Core.......May want to seriously consider...Replacing the heater core.or,bail Everytime heat is on.. Sorry......it most likely got on all those fins....remember,it was pressurized in the cab.......did they clean,or replace the plastic ....heat tubes,runs....?

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Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 06/23/13 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dtaylor wrote:

On the bright side, bears probably will not be trying to get into your truck


This might be something you want to store outside the cab....in a box in the back of the truck?

Glad you were OK,....and no bears were injured during this Public Service Commercial

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Salt Lake City, Utah

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Posted: 06/23/13 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't be embarrassed, you might have just saved me a similar incident in my new truck. I often carry bear spray in my vehicle but will now take much greater care to avoid exposing it to sunlight or heat.

I'm sorry for your painful lesson, but many thanks for sharing.

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Columbus, IN

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Posted: 06/23/13 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From my experience don't leave anything on the dashboard that you do not want destroyed from the heat, i.e. glasses, anything plastic, or sensitive to heat as the temps inside closed vehicles in the sun often reach 110-120+ degrees. I once had a plastic cigarette plug on the floor melt, so I could not install it in the cigarette lighter for my Radar Detector. Lesson learned.

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On the Road Again and Again and Again...

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Posted: 06/23/13 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for letting us know. Your courage to share that knowledge is much appreciated.

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