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Bear Bangers or Bear Spray?

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It’s funny how a line on a map can influence your thinking.

There’s no natural barrier like a great wall of ice between Canada and the United States, just a line where the map says you are here and now you’re over there.

Nature prefers gradual transitions, I think, but the mind prefers to see sharp contrasts.

That’s why riding through ‘bear country’ in California, Oregon, and Washington somehow felt like a harmless novelty.

But, when we crossed into British Columbia, bears were now something to take very seriously.

Postcard of a woman looking back at her dog who sleeps beside a camping tent in the forest

After just the right amount of procrastination, we finally visited a sporting goods store in Prince George.

“We have bear spray and bear bangers,” the lady at the checkout counter said in answer to our question.

A local who was waiting in line behind us chimed in with important recommendations to guide our decision.

“Don’t use the bear spray into the wind or else you and the bear will both be incapacitated together,” he said.

The local, a young man named Brandon, had a marvelously long, wild beard that certainly made Greg jealous.

“And don’t spray it in your tent either,” he advised.

“What about the bear banger?” Greg asked.

“Don’t shoot it at the bear because it’ll explode behind them and then they’ll come running towards you.”

“So what do you think?” I asked Greg after considering all the information.

“Well, I prefer a good banger honestly.”

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