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Does Bleach Repel Bears?

I'm going fishing in the Trinity Forest rivers, and there are a lot of bears there at this time of year. I can't afford an expensive bear deterrent: What can I use to assist me? I was told to use regular pepper spray or bleach.

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Question:

I’m going fishing in the Trinity Forest rivers, and there are a lot of bears there at this time of year. I can’t afford an expensive bear deterrent: What can I use to assist me? I was told to use regular pepper spray or bleach.

Submitted by – Henry, Santa Clara, CA

Answer:

Although bleach is commonly used to remove odors that might attract bears, I have never heard of using bleach to repel the bears themselves. I wouldn’t count on pepper spray intended for use against people, either, because it is likely much weaker than bear spray. My best advice is to practice bear safety in bear country–stay out of areas with obvious bear signs (tracks, claw marks, scat, half-eaten carcasses), hang all your food and other scented items, cook and eat well away from your tent (some experts recommend 300 yards away), make noise when you hike, and don’t go out there alone.