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    • It is my understanding that pepper spray and bear spray are similar but different enough that only bear spray is proven effective, both by volume (bear spray is a much larger canister) and by delivery (bear spray is designed to hold a stream to 30 ft, while pepper spray is a close-quarter deterrent.)

      According to this Yellowstone page,

      Where to Buy
      Bear spray is sold at gift shops, outdoor stores, service stations, and bookstores inside the park, as well as in local communities. Always select an EPA-approved product that is specifically designed to stop bears. Personal defense, jogger defense, law enforcement or military defense sprays may not contain the correct ingredients, or have the proper delivery system, to stop a charging bear.

    • Fortunately, it would appear that both the cougar and the humans reacted in a way which produced minimum fear, and which evoked the best possible outcome to that story.

    • The Dirtbag Diaries podcast had a man on who described a mountain lion that followed him for multiple hours alone on a trail. Apparently, this is something that is not too rare in the PNW. Cats are interested in peoples' headlights and like to follow. My god, that is my worst nightmare scenario, being followed by a cat. That is scarier than a close grizzly bear or rattlesnake encounter.

      He had nothing to defend him, so he put his jells and waterbottles around his neck. Never thought of this, but so smart. Cats most commonly kill people by an ambush attack to the neck from behind.

    • Bear spray is less effective with moutains lions for two reasons. First, they usually attack from behind, often striking with no warning. Second, they don't charge in a straight line. They're more likely to make they're way around a cloud of bear spray.

      The most effective defense is avoidance: a talkative group of people with you in the wilderness bulletproof safety. Cats almost never attack people in groups of three or more.

      If I ever live to defend against an initial mountain lion attack, I plan to use my trekking poles that are almost always in my hands in the wilderness.