Originally Posted By: hikermor
That's four attacks. How many fatal falls during this period? How many drowning? How many fatal bee attacks? Attacks by dogs? Automobile accidents while en route to the outdoors?

I haven't seen any mention of Steve Herrero's work on bear attacks, either in the cited article or in the subsequent discussion. I believe he concluded that bear spray was pretty effective. One take away from his book that impressed me was the need to keep a clean camp; that seemed to trigger many incidents.

I've never heard of him nor his works. Do any of them refute the above? The point I made in posting is that the most cited "evidence" that bear spray is 98% effect never actually stated that at all. In driving off curious but non-aggressive bears (ie 'hazing') spray is effective. But in driving off bears that are already attacking it's startling ineffective, as in it works 1 in 3 times! eek That doesn't mean it's useless, just that a lot of folks have a false sense of security not borne out by facts.

As for other threats- yeah, they exist. But what of it? It's not as though you're only allowed to address a specific number of potential problems! Using seatbelts doesn't use up one "safety slot" that requires you to discard your fire extinguisher. wink That's the point of being Equipped To Survive! And ignoring bears isn't likely to protect from bees any more than it will prevent a car crash. Safety shouldn't be a zero-sum exercise.

Also FWIW there may not be a lot of bear attacks in the lower 48 but they're clustered within 30 miles of my house. I spend a lot of time in areas with lots of bears. That makes it interesting to me. One of my best friends has to kill one black bear and one mountain lion in self defense so I know it happens occasionally. And no, it wasn't both on the same hike. grin
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman