Suggestions requested


Active member
Geeezzzz ...... next time I'll make sure to include knives, axes, sling shots, bow and arrows, fireworks, bikes, hammers, fires, stoves, trampolines, lawn mowers and 110V electricity.

I've had a gun license for many years. Since the days it was called a Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) here in Canada.
Apologies if that wasn’t your intent. Saying something like “make sure you understand and follow proper gun safety” would have been less likely to be misinterpreted.

You don’t usually hear people say stuff like “using a chainsaw is more dangerous than being blocked on a trail”, or “having a lighter is more dangerous than possibly freezing to death”, or “carrying extra gas with you is more dangerous than running out in the middle of nowhere.” Wait, we did have one of those... ;)

Regarding the actual danger of bears, I had assumed it was something that people who don’t live around them were fearful of, and was no big deal to locals. I’m from Florida so alligators, sharks, etc, are that way. However, from what I’ve seen that’s not the case, and the more encounters/experience people have with them, the more seriously they take it.
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No packing guns in national or provincial parks - it needs to stay locked up.

As to bears in general, in BC. They are not really that much of a threat, your biggest issue will be human habituated garbage/camp ground bears. These are not generally an issue in big provincial/national camp grounds but can be in small sites.

A couple of things you can do to minimize issues :

  • Watch for bears on the way into a campsite - particularly cubs and moms they are close to the camp area you may want to move on
  • When you get in walk the site, if there is a lot of garbage or bear sign (crap) move on
  • Cook and clean up immediately, keep your food in air tight containers and clean the outside
If you really want to use a firearm for bear defense, practice a lot you are going to be trying to hit a fast moving target at very short range and only get 1 shot maybe 2. In BC you can not kill a bear because it is close it has to represent a danger, that means showing obvious aggression. Rooting around in your cooler does not count, I asked a Conservation officer
Bear spray works, with exceptions noted above but get a big can about size of a can of raid.

Finally find and read a book call Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance it is bit dated but has very solid info


Yes no PACKING guns in BCs provincial parks they can be there though but not for use ie no ammo in it . National parks they ALL (non restricted ) must be locked , ie trigger lock or the such not just pistols.


Gentleman Adventurer
Folks, request that we keep this thread focused on making firearm recommendations for us? I have decided to get one and now need to focus on picking out one. Prefer if we don't start going on tangents regarding guns vs. no guns.

I also appreciate the advice on the bear bangers, bear horn, bear spray, camp cleanliness, food safety, etc, so please keep those coming.

What arrangements have you made for firearms safety classes and marksmanship?


You guys forgot the steak decoy know, throw a steak under the camper 2 sites over and when you hear the commotion you have some time to pack up and high tail it.

Sorry...just thought a little levity would be appropriate. :) I think you've gotten solid advice about stopping to eat early, then move your make camp, have bear spray, etc. I would have an 870 but I do agree with the comments that the likelihood of you taking down a charging bear is not likely, but it could buy you some time to get away, or stop an attack in progress. Best of luck, sounds like a great trip.

What are the range of ages of try the kids? I know when we did a trip out west when the kids ranged from 5-12 it was hard keeping a decent line hiking where I felt confident I had them all under close watch. Good luck. Hope you do a trip report after.


instead of a gun just bring a friend, one you don't like very much preferably with a limp :)

anyway check out this guys channel. he has a lot of great info on firearms:

also forbidden fruit is the tastiest fruit and kids love tasty fruit. train your kids just like you train yourself to handle firearms otherwise they will hunt them down to play with them when your not around.


A Son of the Purple Sage
You guys forgot the steak decoy know, throw a steak under the camper 2 sites over and when you hear the commotion you have some time to pack up and high tail it.
Good thinking, but the bacon decoy strategy actually can often work better...bears can better smell it, from miles away too.

In any campground in bear country, I’ll pick the most irritating but not too close neighbor, sneak over after dark or when they’re out exploring, and use a staple gun to fix several pieces of old, rancid bacon to the backside of a tree or two in their camp.


Now, on a more serious note...

There is an air powered (so not a firearm) handgun you can buy that shoots big, paint ball sized balls of pepper gas. Using this would let you try to discourage any animal from entering your camp before it gets too close. But I’d want to still also have bear spray for any closer encounters.


But, knowing how restrictive Canada is about use or possession of “handguns“ or pepper spray, you’d of course have to check on this first.
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Scott Brady

I think you will be ok with Bear spray and some caution. I have been to Tuk a few times, and not experienced any issues. We have seen bear prints and the locals told us there are some nearby, but no sightings. I did see some wolves eating a Caribou, which was amazing. The only time we have carried a shotgun with slugs was crossing Greenland, as it was required for the permit.