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What made the bear stop in your case?
He turned at the last second, kicking up dirt and mud in my face. Either he was bluffing or heard the shrieks of an adult male that was about 50 yards behind me that were almost as disturbing as the charging bear! I doubt that I would have fired off any bear spray if I had it hanging around my hip as it happened so quickly and I basically just thought that I had zero chance at that point. I would only think if he started to maul me I could spray blindly and hope the cloud surrounding us would be annoying enough for it to leave.
The bear did come into our camp later that night. Tore into one tent. Managed to get my pack and eat every spec of food and all of my insect repellent, deodorant, and tooth paste. He left us alone for the remainder of the trip. I no longer sleep very well in bear country, but I do feel naked if I don't take bear spray.
Crazy story! I've had a few bear encounters but nothing quite like that myself.
I don't mean any offense but rule number one in bear country is never keep any items you've mentioned in a tent (toothpaste, deodorant, food, etc). If you do you are asking for trouble.
I knew someone who broke the cardinal rule by bringing a 6 pack of soft drinks into his tent. A grizzly walked around the gents tent that evening to the corner with the drinks. in one swipe it tore through his tent (with the gent in it), grabbed the drinks and took off with them. the gentleman was just a 'little' disturbed after the event.
Imagine if he had a pack of gum in his pocket.