Former Marine Designs Backpack That Protects Hunters from Bears
OutdoorHub Reporters 03.12.15
For hunters in bear country, few things are as scary as being pinned down by a bear on your back. That is why former stuntman and Marine Billy Lucas designed the Back Attack Pack, a backpack attachment that can be activated to spray bear deterrent right when you need it most. According to its designer, the device could provide the necessary distraction to give hunters a fighting chance.
“There are no bragging rights in getting hurt,” Lucas told The Spokesman-Review. “Safety is a primary concern, especially in my business.”
Lucas said he spent more than three decades as a professional stuntman in Hollywood and that safety is always on his mind. But Lucas never gave much thought to bears until a recent fishing trip in Montana that ended with him facing down a grizzly.
“I’ve seen bears in Yellowstone Park walking around but never had one run out on me when I was fishing, and it scared me to death,” Lucas told KTVQ. “I started doing research on bear attacks and found out that most people, when they’re attacked by a bear, they do what you think a person would do. Immediate reaction was to get down and protect your vitals and get on your face on the ground. I started thinking, how can you deploy bear spray in a defensive position?”
Lucas said that the average reaction time in close bear encounters was only 1.8 seconds, which is hardly enough time for most people to decide on a course of action, much less actually respond. In the worse case scenario, the victim of a bear attack may be down on the ground unable to reach a gun or bear spray. In these kinds of cases, the Back Attack Pack works as a last defense—pull a ripcord and that bruin gets a face full of bear spray. Lucas added that the spray attachment, which can fit most backpacks, is meant to be a secondary measure in addition to traditional canned bear spray. Much like a reserve parachute, Lucas said that he hopes to never actually need it.
The bear spray itself is intended to shoot directly behind the user, but of course, with a bear nearby there is a chance that the spray will affect the user as well. Still, stinging eyes and irritation are much better than a bear mauling. The pack is listed for $149.99 online. You can see a video of how the pack works below.