Whether you love or hate the idea of trusting Tabasco sauce on steroids to stop a charging bear, bear spray is proven to work. It gives a good coverage area and I have never heard of a bear that refused to break off when hit in the face with spray. Bear spray is easy to use and pretty safe when other people are in the area. With a little practice, and a bit of familiarization, nearly anyone can effectively carry and use bear spray. One of the downfalls however, is that bear spray's effectiveness is largely dependent on the weather, especially wind conditions.