Q. What exactly is pepper spray?

  • Pepper spray is primarliy made up of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) and propellant. Oleoresin Capsicum is the product of ground dried Chile peppers rendered to release capsaicin. It is also a severe inflammatory agent.
  • CRCs are the active ingredient in the OC. It is a potent compound that gives all hot peppers their fiery nature, and it is the chemical that is measured in the OC to determine the OCs potency.

Q. How do I tell if it is a good one?

  • Look at the percentage of active ingredients. The percentage of active ingredients in a spray determines its potency.
  • The greater the % of CRC, the greater the inflammatory nature of the pepper spray.
  • Capsaicin is registered by the USDA as a repellent. The EPA has determined that the appropriate CRC level for Bear deterrent sprays is between 1.0% and 2.0%. UDAP bear pepper spray is 2.0% CRC.
  • Manufactured to ISO Standards - 9001

Q. What makes UDAP Bear Deterrent different from the competitors' sprays?

  • UDAP has the most potent EPA-approved formula available. Our bear sprays are rated at 2.0%. Bear sprays must be between 1.0% and 2.0% Capsaicin and related Capsaicinoids, making UDAP Bear Spray the hottest formula available.
  • Delivers the highest amount of active ingredients in the shortest amount of time. Like using a double-barrel shotgun compared to a single barrel.
  • Discharges about twice as fast as competitors.
  • Manufactured to ISO Standards - 9001.
  • Designed by a grizzly attack survivor.
  • Formulated for lasting airborne disbursement of spray proven effective in Actual Encounters.
  • Pepper Power® Bear Deterrent has a powerful fog spray with a hissing sound.
  • Pepper Power® Bear Deterrent is equipped with specially designed holsters, so it can be sprayed directly from the hip or chest if time does not allow for removal. See Holsters Increase Effectiveness for more info.

Q. What does UDAP Pepper Power® actually do to the aggressor?

A. A one second burst to the face of the attacker will:
  • Dilate the capillaries of the eye causing temporary blindness,
  • Induce choking, coughing, and nausea,
  • Cause mucous membranes to swell, preventing all but life support breathing.
  • As you can see clearly in the Testimonials, UDAP Pepper Power® causes the attacker to stop immediately, almost as if hitting a wall, and turn in its tracks.

Q. Where should the spray be aimed before firing?

  • Always aim for the face of the attacker since this is where many of the mucous membranes effected by the pepper are located.
  • Aim slightly lower than you think because of the bellowing effect of the spray.

Q. How far does it spray?

  • The bigger the can, the further it sprays.
  • Our #9, 12 and 15-ounce products produce a 30-foot plus, with a fog blast.
  • Our 3-ounce Jogger Fogger produces a 10-foot + fog blast.
  • Wind and temperature affect distance
  • For information on each can's spray capacity, check out our Bear Products page.

Q. What is the proper size can of UDAP Pepper Power® to carry?

  • For bears and other large animals, never carry less than the 225g size.
  • For self-defense purposes against a human attacker, the smaller cans are very effective and easier to carry, However, if you ever have to use it, bigger is better.

Q. Has this product ever been proven in the real world?

  • Yes, Check out the Testimonials page for several different individual accounts of just how well UDAP Pepper Power® works. And, this is only a handful of the letters and praise Pepper PowerTM has received.

Q. Who else in the industry recommends UDAP's Pepper Power® over the competitors' sprays?

  • Those who work most intimately and frequently with bears, including park rangers in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier national park, and many others in Alaska and Canada.
  • UDAP Pepper Power® Bear Deterrent is used by National outdoor skills survivor instructors, professional guides and outfitters in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Canada, and outdoorsmen all over the world.
  • UDAP Pepper Power® Bear Deterrent is also used by many different government agencies including: U.S. Forest Service; Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; Wyoming Dept. of Game and Fish; U.S. Air Force Survival Teams, Great Falls; Montana Rescue Squad; and the NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership Schools); and many others.

Q. What is the shelf life of pepper spray?

  • All pepper sprays should have an expiration date code stamped on a sticker placed, on the bottom of the can. To safeguard your life and ensure the effectiveness of the spray, we put a three year expiration date on all of our sprays. Always check to make sure you are not carrying an expired can of spray.

Q. How does one dispose of expired or used cans of spray?

  • Move to an open area away from people, pets, and buildings. Simply empty the container before disposing of it in the regular city trash pick-up. To do this, press the valve and release all contents and pressure. Be sure to stand upwind in a well ventilated area when doing this so you won't harm yourself or others in the process. This practice is a great way to train yourself and others how to use the spray.

Q. Should I test fire the spray before taking it out?

  • Yes, as a matter of fact we highly recommend you give each new can a short test spray before taking it out with you, this test fire is to be done only once in the cans lifetime, mainly to familiarize you with the spray and check for proper function of the spray.
  • After the test, you can clean the nozzle with a mild dish soap and warm water to remove any residue.

Q. I know bear pepper spray works, but isn't a gun a better weapon to carry?

  • NO! UDAP Pepper Power's® wide fog spray is far more effective than a pencil-sized bullet in stopping a fast aggressive attack.
  • A bear is very difficult to hit and kill with a bullet fast enough to stop a severe mauling or even your death because bears can run for a while on their adrenaline rush from the attack.
  • UDAP Pepper Power® is non-lethal.
  • Also, UDAP Pepper Power® is lighter, safer, and easier to carry than a gun.

Q. Is UDAP Bear Deterrent from the United States allowed to cross the Canadian Border?

  • Yes. Hiker's are allowed to enter Canada (and re-enter the USA) with US EPA registered bear deterrents for their own use/protection against bear attacks. (The product must return to the US and cannot be sold or remain in Canada)
  • If you live in Canada or traveling to Canada by airplane you may purchase Canadian Registered UDAP Bear Deterrent in Canada. Please click here for more information

Q. Can you take this on an airline?

  • No, the FAA prohibits the transport of aerosol products. Some airlines will allow up to a 4 ounce size (Personal defense sprays) in checked luggage, You should check with the airline that you are flying with.

Q. How can I get pepper spray to where I'm going if I'm flying to my destination?

  • Pepper Power® is sold in many retail locations in and around Yellowstone Nat. Park, Grand Teton Nat. Park, and across the U.S. and Canada. Contact us for a retailer in the location of your travel destination. (1-406-494-9292)
  • We will drop ship to any U.S. destination in the lower 48 with a UPS address. Or you can ship the product by UPS ground to yourself, either to or from your destination.

Q. Will it work in freezing temperatures?

  • Yes, UDAP Pepper Power® has been tested at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. However, for best performance in freezing temperatures we recommend the chest holster system for carrying the spray.

Q. Is it any good after freezing?

  • Yes, but we recommend storage above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, repeated freezing may weaken the product.

Q. Once the canister is sprayed, can it be used again?

  • Yes, it is not like a fire extinguisher. UDAP Pepper Sprays will still be good after firing for the three year shelf life.


Bozeman Daily Chronicle October 8, 1999 - Bozeman hunter stops charging grizzly with pepper spray by Joan Haines

Eric Burge has worked as a whitewater stunt man and is accustomed to living on the edge, but he said he came a little too close to the edge Wednesday.
Burge, 40, had been looking for elk for a month this bowhunting season. An experienced hunter, this was his first time out with a bow. He was in Tom Miner Basin Wednesday near Steamboat Mountain in a whitebark pine stand at 9200 feet.
He was dressed in camouflage and walking softly. He had seen grizzly scat in the area. He was alone.
"I was stealthing into the wind," the Bozeman hunter said. He knew he was not following the safety rules for preventing encounters with bears.
"I've been hunting and fishing all my life," Burge said. "I knew it was grizzly habitat. I knew a guy had been mauled at Black Butte Creek. I knew there were elk in the area. I was willing to take the chance."
George Terry Langley Jr. of Seattle was badly injured by a sow grizzly in Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 22. That sow was with two other grizzlies, probably cubs, that were about the same size as the sow.
As Burge walked up a hill, he saw three grizzly bears coming over a rise, possibly a sow with two cubs of similar size. They were only 40 to 45 yards away.
The three grizzlies charged immediately until they were about 15 yards away from him. One bear continued toward him, head down, ears back.
"I clicked into auto pilot," Burge said. He sprayed the sow three times, first when she was 20 feet away, next at 15 feet and finally at about 10 feet.
"She was trying to get around the cloud," Burge said. "I was just hoping that it worked as it was advertised." He had bought the largest size and strongest mixture of UDAP, a pepper spray manufactured in Bozeman.
At about 7 feet, the grizzly stopped. "I got her good in the face," he said. The sow bolted in the opposite direction, followed by the two other bears.
"If I would have had a gun , I would have used it," said Burge, who had considered taking a gun on the hunt. However, he said if he had shot at the bear and missed, he probably would have been attacked and injured. If he hadn't missed, the bear could have been killed.
He estimated the entire encounter lasted 20 seconds. He used only about half of the spray's container.
When the encounter was over, Burge was able to find and alternate three-mile route back to his truck with a Global Positioning System.
Burge intends to go into the backcountry again soon. "I'm out there, but probably not in the same whitebark pine stand," he said.
Grizzly specialist Kevin Fry, who works for the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said because bowhunters are hunting quietly and since elk and bears use the same habitat, archers put themselves at higher risk.
"About the only thing they can do is be very alert to their surroundings," he said. "Two sets of eyes are better than one."

Sports Afield September 1998 - Calling the Grizzly's Bluff by Ted Kerasote
"UDAP's Pepper Power® has all the necessary features."

Field & Stream October 1998 - Being Bear Aware by Thomas McIntyre
"Pepper Spray is the best means of driving off a charging bear."

Bow Masters September 1998 - Self Defense For Archers by Mike Lapinski
"This time when the big cat had stalked to within 40 feet, I sprayed it with Matheny's [UDAP] pepper spray."

Bowhunter Big Game Issue 1998 - Trouble at Torrent Creek by Dave Nyreen "The bear spray I used is called Pepper Power®, made by Universal Defense Alternative Products, UDAP,..."

Field & Stream August 1998 - High Country by Keith McCafferty
"Cayenne pepper spray is the Prozac of the mountain hunter who roams in grizzly country, but unless it's on a belt holster where you can get to it quickly, the practical value is nil."

Bears Magazine Fall 1995 - Grizzly Attack by Gary Kelty
"The spray, made of oleoresin capsicum--the hottest part of cayenne pepper, did its job."

Bears Magazine Winter 1996 - Bear Deterrent Sprays by Drew Ross
"Before you go out, test your spray and familiarize yourself with how to spray it and the distance it will spray. Matheny [Mark Matheny of UDAP Pepper Power®] suggests after you spray it, walk through the fading cloud of burnt amber spray to get a whiff of this stuff (remove your contact lenses first; the spray is impossible to remove from the pores)."

Backpacker August 1997 - Grizzly Encounters by Terry Krautwurst
"If you surprise a bear, you need to fire the spray quickly. Most bear charges are bluffs, but you can't take the chance. Carry your canister [pepper spray] in a holster on your hip belt or chest strap with the nozzle pointing away."

Bowhunter February/March 1997 - When Hunting in Bear Country by Kathy Butt
"Keep in mind that most bear attacks happen within the blink of an eye and you'll not have time to search your pockets for your spray. Your life may depend on how quickly you are able to aim and spray."

Bowhunter April/May 1998 - Pepper Spray--or a Big Pistol by M.R. James
"After being mauled I [Mark Matheny] always carried a big gun and pepper spray whenever I went into grizzly country. But today I carry only the spray. I know it'll stop or turn any bear I meet."

Peterson's 4-Wheel & Off-Road July 1997 - Scary Tales from Bear Country by Bob Sarber
"Soon after the attack, Mark [Mark Matheny] dedicated himself to developing his own pepper spray, hoping it would do an even better job of allowing humans to protect themselves from dangerous wildlife. The result is UDAP Pepper Power®."

Fur-Fish-Game June 1997 - Predator Attack! What you need to know to survive. by Mike Lapinki
Men's Journal October 1997 - Fall Bear Attacks. Think you know the drill? It's time to rethink it. by Anthony Acerrano

Ansom July 1996 - Personal Security Products by Arline Zatz
"UDAP products are practical as well as unique..." Wild Trout Journal Winter 1997 - The Right Stuff "The Teton Park rangers, YNP crews, Glacier rangers - to mention a few - all pack Mark's bear spray."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle February 27, 1995 - Survivors of 1992 grizzly attacks have joined forces in pepper spray business by Joan Haines
" `People have to trust a product', Matheny said. `If you know you bought it from a grizzly survivor, you have a lot more faith in it.' "

The Denver Post September 8, 1996 - Too Close an Encounter by Todd Wilkinson
"Three autumns ago during a hunting trip in the mountains, a 400 lb. bruin held Matheny's head clinched in its jaws."

The Tri-City Herald Washington State - Pepper spray a hot answer to crime in the Tri-Cities by Dave Schafer
"When a group of gang members clashed in a Columbia Center store, an officer single-handedly sent them scattering with a blast of the stuff."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle April 9, 1998 - Grizzly bear experts come out in favor of certain pepper sprays by Joan Haines
"Those that work best put down a powerful fog accompanied by a loud hissing sound."

Pinedale Roundup April 2, 1998 - Spray `em, don't slay `em by Cat Urbigkit
"The spray causes the animal to choke, cough, temporary loss of sight, and causes all but life sustaining breathing to stop..."

The Billings Gazette March 26, 1995 - Bear victim now sells repellent by Matt Bender
"My life was nearly snuffed out. I'm grateful that I'm here to share the experience with people."

Bear News Spring 1995 - Grizzly attack survivor credits his good friend and pepper spray for saving his life by Tom Shand
"Since being attacked, Mark Matheny has developed a line of pepper spray products to help prevent such incidents."

Lone Peak Lookout August 15, 1998 - Matheny takes bully pulpit to preach Great Bear safety by Todd Wilkinson
"Mark Matheny's gospel of preaching safe travel in bear country has taken him tens of thousands of miles across North America..."

Greater Yellowstone Report Fall 1997 - Grizz Mortality Alarming and Avoidable by Tim Stevens
"Hunters and other people who spend time in grizzly country need to take steps to reduce encounters with grizzlies, including carrying pepper spray, keeping clean camps and following proper food storage procedures. The future of grizzly bears depends upon it."

Bugle September/October 1998 - Different Squares for Different Bears by Roland Cheek
"Vance [Nate Vance] said he has been charged twice by grizzly bears while butchering elk. `I turned both of `em around with pepper spray, though. Stopped one at six feet and one at 10. They just ran into the cloud and turned right around.' "

Bozeman Daily Chronicle September 27, 1992 - Bear spray works by Joan Haines
Hunters credit repellent with saving their lives "The two men have this advice for hunters. Take enough deterrent."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle December 6, 1997 - Peppered grizzly stopped in tracks by Joan Haines
"I [Gary Clutter] caught it full in the face when it was four feet away. It was like it hit a wall."

Jackson Hole Daily Guide September 26-28, 1997 - Pepper spray makes grizzly bear run away by David Simpson
"The hunter was carrying a loaded rifle on his shoulder and pepper spray on his belt..." Grizzly charges into Forest Service camp west of Cody by David Simpson "A member of the crew sprayed the bear with pepper spray as it got to within 15 feet of them..."

Anchorage Daily News September 29, 1996 - A can of spray, a lot of luck by Craig Medred
"It was just incredible, I think, that we survived that. The pepper spray, I think is what saved us - and some divine intervention"

The Billings Gazette September 11,1997 - Bow hunting in bear country can be a bit grizzly by Mark Henckel
"And what do bowhunters have to defend themselves? Sticks and strings--just sticks and strings."

Knight Ridder (date unknown) - Pepper spray effective against aggressive animals by Dru Wilson
"There may not be time to call for help, so the next best thing is to carry a can of pepper spray..."

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Bozeman Daily Chronicle September 27, 1995 - Survivors tell of night of terror AP
"Six people were injured in the attack, which park wardens [Banff National Park, Alberta] say was unprovoked."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle June 16, 1994 - Medical student survives mauling Seattle AP
"His [Matthias Ruppert] girlfriend, Claudia Garschhammer, had fought off the 350-pound black bear with a hatchet..."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle September 17, 1995 - Bursting with bears? by Scott McMillion
"Yellowstone may have all the grizzlies it can handle, bear managers say."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Montana by Joan Haines
"In the split second that I [Sarah Muller] was trying to decide what to do, the cubs started shrieking."

Great Falls Tribune Great Falls, Montana - Lions losing battle over living space by Mark Downey
"More mountain lions plus more Montanans equals trouble that shows no signs of going away."

New York Times News Service August 4, 1996 - Fatal mauling by park grizzly raises bear debate in Canada by Clyde H. Farnsworth
"The killing of an experienced backpacker by a grizzly bear in a big national park near here on July 5 has raised some questions about this coexistence -- and also about the advice Canadian parks give those who encounter grizzlies."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle August 29, 1995 - `Mom, I think it's a bear' by Joan Haines Mother and kids stand ground; charging grizzly leaves them alone "He [the father] felt horrible that he wasn't there; he had the pepper spray... The parents thought there would be no need to use it in such a heavily traveled area."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle November 10, 1996 - Grizzly attack - Lucky to be alive by Scott McMillion
"The incident began when Heimer and Sonya Crowley crossed a little hump, their mind focused on elk, and a grizzly charged. It ended moments later, leaving both people seriously injured, the bear dead and three cubs motherless."

Bozeman Daily Chronicle June 5, 1997 - Close call with black bear by Joan Haines
"I know you're not supposed to run. I was running as fast as I could." - Ryan Turpin

We are dedicated to safeguarding people and helping them better coexist with wildlife.