Can Bear Spray Kill a Human? [Is It Dangerous For Humans?

There are a ton of sprays that people can carry around as protection. The standard pepper spray is quite popular nowadays because it is convenient and effective at protecting people. But when you hit the hiking trail, you will need something more substantial to protect you from the wild animals. Something like a can of bear spray!

The name of the bear spray indicates what this spray is meant for. Many people decide to get this spray for their trips to the wilderness, but they wonder if they can use the same spray on a person.

I will tell you this – bear spray cannot kill a human, so you should not worry about that. It will cause them quite a bit of unpleasantness, maybe even more serious problems, but it will not be lethal in most cases. The same goes for pepper spray, which is also weaker than the bear spray.

If that is clear, I want to give you more information on these two types of sprays and what you can use them for. Before you get either bear or pepper spray, make sure that you learn all about them. You can do that using this guide, so let’s get into it!


Is Bear Spray Dangerous to People

Is Bear Spray Dangerous to People?

Bear spray is quite dangerous as it is. Since most such sprays are created to keep a large, aggressive bear from charging right at you, you would expect the spray to be powerful. Imagine what such a spray can do to a human being that is so much smaller and less powerful than an aggressive bear.

So, what is it that makes this spray so dangerous? Is it more dangerous than a regular pepper spray?

You bet – any type of bear repellent spray is more dangerous and powerful than a regular pepper spray. The can of spray contains more liquid than the pepper spray can, which is usually much smaller. There is a difference in the liquid the cans contain, so let’s talk about that too.

A mixture of cayenne pepper powder and water is in a can of pepper spray. No matter how dangerous that solution is, the one in the can of bear spray will be up to 50% more powerful. A higher concentration of cayenne pepper powder makes this liquid quite aggressive.

As if that was not enough, yet another thing makes bear spray more dangerous. That is the stream output. You can make a short spritz with the pepper spray, but the bear spray takes it to another level. The stream output on it is quite long and emits a lot of spray.

If you ask me, I believe whoever or whatever is on the receiving end of that spritz will be in excruciating pain. If it is a bear, try to get away from it as soon as possible. You do not want to stand there and wait for it to come charging at you again.

I recommend calling authorities and having them deal with them if it is a person. Your decision to use the spray might be justified if that person threatened you or put your safety in danger. After all, your safety should always come first to you.

Is it Legal to Use Bear Spray on Humans?

It is not a common sight for humans to go around carrying bear sprays. These sprays are more common for hikers or camping enthusiasts who want to feel more protected during their trips. But there are some cases when having a can of bear spray can come in handy.

This type of spray should not be used on humans. If you can avoid it, you should! The strong bear deterring solution can cause serious issues for the human on the receiving end. This spray has not caused human deaths, but you should not risk it.

Use this spray for what it is meant for – deterring a bear. Even then, you should not overuse it or misuse the spray. Since you are the one going into the natural habitat of the bear and other wild animals, you are the one that is the intruder. Be careful on the trip and use the spray in self-defense only if you have to.

That said, I want to point out that civilian pepper sprays are more suitable for those who want to feel more protected in their daily lives. As I mentioned, the can of pepper spray is smaller, and it is not difficult to carry around. You can put it in a backpack or a purse and always have it within reach.

So, on the question of whether the bear spray is legal to use on humans or not, I would have to say that you need to ask law enforcement in your area. Chances are that there are no laws against its use, but you might still get involved in a sticky situation. I recommend you do your best to avoid such situations because legal and medical fees can be a real nightmare.

Stick to the pepper spray for humans, using the bear spray only in areas where you would expect to come across a bear.

Can Bear Spray Be Used for Self-Defense?

Bear sprays are a great way to defend yourself from dangerous animals. You can use the spray on the bear’s eyes or spray it while it has still not reached you. Since the spray has a 30 feet range, ensure the bear is at least 30 feet away from you.

If you use the spray on an animal, it will return to normal within an hour and experience only mild pain. If you use it on humans, you can cause them quite a few problems. The problems range from chest pain to shallow breathing and irreversible physical eye damage. If the person experiences any of these problems, get them or tell them to get some medical attention.

The bear spray can harm humans’ eyes quite severely. The effects can range from mild burning to temporary blindness. If they get some in their nose, they might also get some burning in the sinuses. So, do not play around with this spray – use it only if there is no other option and your life is in danger.


I recommend you carry bear spray on all outdoor trips to places where you might encounter bears. If you are not taking such a trip but want to feel more secure, I do not recommend using the bear spray. It would be better to get a separate pepper spray you use if you have to.

That said, both the pepper and bear sprays are very effective and can help you deter any predator. When using them, ensure you do not get any of the liquid on your face or eyes. As long as you do that, you will be all right.

Let me know in the comments below if you have ever used a bear spray and what kind you found to be most effective? Would you consider buying it for your next outdoor trip if you do not have one yet? I would love to know about it, so make sure you share the information with me.

Andrew Mullen

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