Self defense substances

What is Bear Spray Made of?

February 16, 2019September 3, 2019

If you don’t know what is bear spray made of you have to read this post. Just like regular self-defense pepper spray a bear spray is composed out of the similar ingredients.

Bear sprays have proven to be quite capable, so it is natural to wonder what is bear spray made of. As per studies, only 2% of people who used bear spray have been injured by the animal. In contrast, around 50% of people who tried to protect themselves using a gun have incurred injuries owing to the attack.

The most important bear spray ingredient is oleoresin capsicum.

OC is a derivate extracted out of pepper plant. It is all-natural, effective and safe to use. Of course, there are some other ingredients, which will be discussed in the following sentences.

What is bear spray made of?

Bear spray ingredients

Let me provide you with a list of ingredients that bear sprays comprise of. Like I mentioned before, first and the most important on the list is oleoresin capsicum, these sprays also consist of carrier and propellant, let’s have a closer look at these ingredients.

Oleoresin Capsicum

This is an extract of hot peppers, which has a texture similar to wax. The extract is highly potent owing to which its use is highly regulated. According to EPA, the bear sprays are not allowed to exceed the limit of 2% of the extract.

Capsicum is quite sticky in addition to being tenacious, so much so that if you discharge it in the ground, the area has to be sealed off for 24 hours. The items sprayed with this product, such as clothing cannot be used again. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind that it cannot be used in place of DEET, something which people tend to try all too often.


The spray also comprises a carrier which is responsible for holding the capsicum in a liquid state. Thus, the spray does not have to be shaken prior to use. Around 8% of the carrier is present in bear spray. This is also referred to as the base fluid.


The propellant ensures that the ingredients eject from the can. Most manufacturers of bear sprays used R134a for the purpose. This propellant is also used in asthma inhalers. R134a boils as it leaves the can.

Owing to this, the chemicals that are mixed with the propellant are atomized to form a cloud. The bear sprays can be fired out at a rate of 75 miles per hour as they are pressurized to approximately 80 pounds per square inch.

It is owing to the propellant that bear spray cans have an expiration period of four years. The seal between the can and the plastic nozzle can be topnotch. However, even then the cans will stand to lose pressure with time.

How it works

As the spray find its way to the bear’s face, its eyes close while there is constriction of lungs. As a defense mechanism, the body increases the production of mucus for the expulsion of the pepper at the earlier. Thus, the bear cries, wheezes and coughs following which it tends to run blindly.

Can bear pepper spray explode?

Propellants can also cause an explosion of the cans when left in a hot car for long durations. Therefore, if you want to leave the can in a car, it is advisable to keep them in a cooler.

How long does bear spray last in the air?

The presence of bear spray and its durability in the air depends on the circulation created by air in the area where it is sprayed. If it is sprayed in a room with a proper ventilation system or exhaust fans or if the room has windows that ventilate air, or at any open air place like backyard of the house, streets, park or forests then the existence of spray will vanish from the air within few minutes.

But if it is sprayed in a room with little space or improper ventilation system, then it can last for a little longer time like 30 to 35 minutes.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *