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Last updated on May 21st, 2024

Are you planning a backpacking trip and wondering if you can bring bear spray on an airplane?

Bear spray is a self-defense weapon that is used to deter aggressive bears. The active ingredient in bear spray is capsaicin, which is a strong irritant. When sprayed into the face of an attacking bear, capsaicin causes pain and temporary blindness, giving the victim time to escape. Bear spray is not permanent and will not kill the bear.

In most cases, the bear will simply turn away and leave the area.

However, if a bear does not respond to bear spray, it may be necessary to use lethal force. It is important to remember that bears are wild animals and should be treated with caution and respect.

Never approach a bear, even if it appears to be friendly. If you find yourself in a situation where you must use bear spray, aim for the bear’s face and discharge the entire contents of the canister.

So, can you bring bear spray on an airplane?

Related: Can You Pack a Knife in Checked Luggage?

Can you bring bear spray on an airplane?

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) prohibits bear spray on planes, both in carry-on and checked luggage.

Can you bring bear spray on an airplane? TSA rules.

Bear spray is a powerful form of pepper spray that is designed to be used against bears in case of an attack. While it is certainly effective at deterring bears, the TSA has determined that it poses too great a risk to be carried on airplanes.

Why is bear spray not allowed on planes?

While bear spray can be an effective means of self-defense in bear country, the TSA cites safety concerns as the reason for the ban.

Bear spray canisters are pressurized and can explode if they are exposed to extreme heat or cold.

Additionally, the active ingredient in bear spray (capsaicin) is an irritant that can cause coughing and difficulty breathing if it is released in a confined space like an airplane cabin, including the cargo hold where airline employees work.

For these reasons, the TSA has determined that bear spray poses a risk to both passengers and crew and must be left behind when traveling by air.

There have also been instances of bear spray containers leaking and causing injuries to people in the vicinity, and the TSA does not want to take the chance that something like this could happen on a plane. If you are planning to travel with bear spray, you will need to leave it behind.

Can you take bear spray on an airplane in Canada?

Bear spray is a powerful and effective way to deter aggressive bears. It is made of capsaicin, a naturally-occurring substance that irritates the bear’s eyes, nose, and throat. Bear spray can be an important tool for hikers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts who may encounter an aggressive bear.

In Canada, bear spray is considered a restricted weapon. As such, it cannot be carried on an airplane in carry-on baggage or checked baggage.

However, it can be shipped via courier or transported in a vehicle. For more information on the transportation of bear spray in Canada, please consult the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website.

Bear spray versus pepper spray

Bear spray and pepper spray are both designed for self-defense, but there are some key differences between the two.

Bear spray is more potent and more pressurized than pepper spray, and it is specifically designed to deter bears.

In contrast, pepper spray is less effective against bears and is not recommended as a method of bear defense. When used against humans, pepper spray is designed to cause temporary blindness and difficulty breathing. This can give you time to escape an attacker or call for help.

However, when used against a bear, pepper spray typically only angers the animal and makes the situation more dangerous. For this reason, it is best to use bear spray if you find yourself in an encounter with an aggressive bear.

Will you get caught if you put bear spray in your checked luggage?

Traveling by plane can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re worried about whether or not your belongings will make it through the airport security checkpoint. 

You may have heard that you can get away with bringing certain items in your checked luggage, but that doesn’t mean you should. Bear spray is one item that is often overlooked by TSA, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a risk.

If your bear spray is discovered, it will be confiscated, and you may be subject to a fine. Additionally, bear spray is a serious danger to other passengers and crew members if it’s accidentally discharged. For these reasons, it’s best to leave your bear spray at home when you travel.


With airlines and airports tightening restrictions on what you can and cannot bring on a plane, it’s important to be aware of the items that are banned.

While bear spray is prohibited on planes, it’s best to check with your airline before packing any type of self-defense spray in your carry-on or checked bag.

And remember, just because something is allowed doesn’t mean you should take it — common sense should prevail when packing for your flight. Can you think of any other items that are commonly taken on planes but could cause problems?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bear spray legal?

Bear spray is a type of self-defense aerosol spray designed to discourage aggressive behavior in bears. It typically consists of capsaicin and related capsaicinoids, which are the active ingredients of oleoresin capsicum (OC), a naturally occurring pepper extract.

Bear spray is generally propelled by compressed gases such as propane or carbon dioxide. Bear spray is legal in most countries, with the notable exception of Canada, where it is classified as a restricted weapon and must be labeled as bear spray for legal use. In the United States, bear spray is considered a type of pesticide and is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, there are some exceptions; for example, bear spray is illegal in Denmark and Norway.

While bear attacks on humans are rare, they can be deadly. In order to reduce the risk of an attack, it is recommended that people who live in or visit areas with a high population of bears carry bear spray with them at all times. Bear safety courses are also available in some areas, which teach people how to properly use bear spray in the event of an encounter.

Is bear spray stronger than pepper spray?

Bear spray and pepper spray are both designed to be used as a means of self-defense. Bear spray is specifically designed to be used against bears, while pepper spray can be used against a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, and humans.

Unlike pepper spray, which is designed to cause temporary blindness and difficulty breathing, bear spray is designed to create a strong burning sensation that will deter a bear from attacking.

In addition, bear spray typically has a greater range than pepper spray, making it more effective at deterring an attack. Overall, bear spray is generally considered to be more effective than pepper spray at deterring an animal attack.

How far does bear spray shoot?

Bear spray is a pepper-based repellent that is used to deter aggressive bears. Bear spray can be purchased in canisters that range in size from 7.9 to 16 ounces. High-quality bear spray canisters will have a maximum discharge range of about 30 to 35 feet. Some brands of bear spray may have a slightly shorter or longer discharge range.

When using bear spray, it is important to aim for the bear’s face, as this will be the most effective in deterring the bear. Bear spray is not 100% effective, but it is one of the best tools that humans have for deterring aggressive bears.

What is the best way to carry bear spray on a mountain bike?

When biking in bear country, it is important to be prepared in case you encounter a bear. One way to do this is to carry bear spray. Bear spray is a type of pepper spray that is designed to stop a bear in its tracks, giving you time to escape.

The best way to carry bear spray on a mountain bike is in a holster that attaches to the frame. This way, the spray is within easy reach if you need it but is not so readily accessible that it could be accidentally discharged.

Another option is to carry the spray in a backpack, but this can make it more difficult to access in an emergency. Whichever method you choose, be sure to practice using the bear spray before heading out on your ride.

Can you use bear spray on humans for self-defense?

Bear spray is designed to be used as a self-defense measure against aggressive bears. The spray typically contains a strong capsaicin-based pepper solution, which causes irritation and temporary blindness when it comes into contact with the eyes or mucous membranes. Bear spray is highly effective at deterring bear attacks, and can even be used to drive bears away after an attack has already begun.

However, bear spray is not intended for use on humans, and can actually cause more harm than good if used for this purpose. The high concentration of capsaicin in bear spray can cause extreme burning and inflammation if it comes into contact with human skin, and can also cause serious respiratory distress if inhaled. For these reasons, it is best to leave bear spray for its intended use: as a defense against aggressive bears.

Will bear spray explode on a plane?

Bear spray is a can of pepper spray that is used to deter bears. The canisters are pressurized and contain a high concentration of capsaicin, which is an irritant that causes burning and inflammation.

When bear spray is exposed to heat, such as on a plane, the pressure in the canister can build up and cause the canister to explode. This can be dangerous for both passengers and crew members, as capsaicin can cause severe respiratory distress.

In addition, the explosion can also damage the plane and cause a fire. As a result, most airport authorities ban bear spray on planes.

Can you check bear spray on a plane?

Bear attacks are on the rise as human populations expand into bear territory. As a result, many people who live in or travel to areas with bears carry bear spray as a form of self-defense.

However, both the TSA in the United States and CATSA in Canada prohibit bear spray on planes, regardless of whether it is in carry-on or checked luggage. This is because bear spray can be unpredictable and may pose a danger to other passengers if it is released accidentally.

If you are traveling with bear spray, you will need to leave it at home or find another way to transport it.

Liya Kravchenkin
About the Author: Liya Kravchenkin

Liya Kravchenkin is an experienced portrait photographer. She has worked with clients worldwide and has even traveled to more than 50 countries. Liya loves photography because it allows her to capture a moment that can never be repeated. Liya also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, and seeing the world’s unique natural wonders. Her favorite travel memories are from swimming with dolphins in the Galapagos and eating cheesecake in New York City.

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