Jackson Hole News and Guide writer Brielle Schaeffer has assembled a collection of stories about “Bear spray gone bad,” detailing incidents of exploding cans, bad aim, and simply poor judgment.
Jackie Skaggs was in the camper fixing sandwiches when her husband tried out his bear spray outside. A gust of wind just then wafted the caustic aerosol into the van.
“I got the cloud of pepper spray in the van and came out choking. Of course, then you can imagine there were some words that were shared,” Jackie said.
A visitor at Grand Teton National Park left a bear spray canister on the dashboard of a car. The heat exploded caused the aerosol can, cracking the windshield and contaminating the vehicle interior–thus requiring an expensive “detailing” job.
At Grand Teton Colter Bay Visitor Center, a visitor sat down on the trigger of a canister, which issued just a small spritz that got taken up by the air conditioning system and thus spread throughout the building, prompting an evacuation.
Some people have tried to use spray like insect repellent, spraying it onto tents, clothing, and themselves, presumably hoping to preemptively ward off bears.