So, I was at the Peters Mountain Shelter for the night a few weeks ago.
I pulled in early and got out my cooking stuff, to make whatever for dinner, and there it was. The “Wild Animal Self Defense” pepper spray. I must have been particularly freaked about the bear tracks next to my tent the week before, so I bought the spray. Not bear spray, mind you, that was too heavy. I got a smaller, about 7 inches high and 2 in diameter, can of pepper spray.
There are restrictions to how much active ingredient you can put in “Bear” spray, in order to keep it humane, but not in self defense spray. This was some potent stuff I had in my possession.
It says in the instructions that I should try it out so I know how the stream comes out. It also said to make sure I don’t shoot it into the wind.
Now what if the bear or wild animal is charging me from the up wind direction? I ask him to wait while I reposition myself? Stupid.
Well I do as instructed, check the wind, and fire away! Cool! It squirts a spreading out stream to a distance of about 10 feet! Then I remember that the instructions say to shoot “short bursts.”
So, I shoot two more short bursts. The wind shifts a little during this exercise and I get the slightest wiff of pepper spray and BOOM. I drop the bottle and run away gagging. I shit you not. My life flashes before my eyes. I die right there and the coroner sees the spray and realizes that another AT idiot bear sprayed himself to death.
After a few minutes of hell, I am, sort of, breathing normally again.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, a little of the kill juice had leaked onto my trigger finger. I rub my eye. My eye is on fire!
I get a wet wipe and clean my eye and hand, but it takes more than a wet wipe to conquer this stuff.
I need to pee. Can you picture what happened next in your imagination? The stinging down there lasted for at least 20 minutes.
Ha ha. Real funny.
Now I’m thinking. How the hell do you protect yourself with the stuff, if it is immobilizing you as you discharge the short bursts? Me and the bear rolling around in the leaves.
In my tent at night, which is when we idiots are most vulnerable, do we ask the bear to please stop about 10 feet outside my tent door so I can self defense him? Better make it 8 feet so the stream reaches. The tinyist bit of that stuff loose in my tent would do me in for sure. Imagine that demon mist in a confined space.
There you have it. I am still 100% boy. When I am doing things that I think will be fun, I have no sense of consequence or safety. Maybe it’s the ADHD? You know how when you’re a kid you like to whack all sorts of objects with a baseball bat? Remember how far a golf ball goes? I once hit a basketball with a baseball bat and the recoil knocked me unconscious.
I’m throwing away the spray.