Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Bear Spary/Pepper Spray Experience!

I bought a Bear Spray, I guess it was nearly 7 years ago from MEC. Never had to deploy during any hike. Just a couple of days ago I was packing for the second hike of this year and I said to myself: Why don't I see how the spray is and take it with me. So I grabbed it from my hiking item box in the garage and considering the fact that they say it expires (loses the pressure) after 3 years or so, I slightly pulled the trigger! 
Bad mistake! The content was sprayed out with a slight touch and luckily I was not in the middle of the living room or in a bedroom and the dark orange material got on the wall and railing! That was not my only mistake! The second one was even worse! I know as a fact, from my training at the CBSA College that when the pepper spray is discharged, the officer should not make any attempt to reach the subject because after the deployment there would be a poisonous cloud between the subject and officer, in my case, the wall and me(!) which is very irritating. So because I was worried that the material might make a mark on the rail and the wall, I ran back to the kitchen and came with with a piece of tissue to wipe it off! That immediately caused me irritation in the lungs and eyes and I started coughing! 
I then turn the bathroom's fan on and opened the balcony's door but I still was hurting. So I went into the bathroom and started washing my hands and face with cold water and soap. That was another mistake because I had some of the material on my hands and touching my face made it burnt! I kept washing until I felt a bit better but eventually realized that the best thing to do is go upstairs until this thing settles down. 
I waited nearly 3 hours but I still felt sick. That was when I decided to call Poison Control Centre. That, I need to stress, is a great service. I didn't wait long and a lady picked up and asked me questions. I at the end took a shower to wash off the remaining oily material and changed my cloths. I lost my appetite completely and didn't even want to drink water. The lady told me that I would be fine but she was surprised that I had discharged the spray in the house! That is a lesson for me to if I'm packing for a hike, it will be done in the garage. I now understand why they ask you to sign a paper when you buy this item! I guess in it you acknowledge the risks associated with this item if it is deployed towards someone. That in fact is a good tool if you want to hurt the one you dislike but there will be consequences! 
(Photo: A bear spray similar to the one that I had trouble with!)

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