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When it comes to bear spray, 'Hey Bear' in Big Sky asks why buy when you can rent?

Outdoor retail brand Hey Bear in Big Sky offers bear spray rentals starting at $16.
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Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 14, 2023

If you're out recreating in or around Big Sky, Hey Bear has got you covered with bear spray rentals so you can feel safe while you're outdoors.

Shelby Wilson is visiting Big Sky, and she thinks the idea of renting bear spray is great.

"I feel way more at ease carrying bear spray," says Wilson. "I think that's such a great idea because I know in the park they sell it and it's like $60 for a can. So it makes a lot of sense for people that are traveling to just come in and spend $15 instead of 60 and then be able to return it and not have to throw it away at the end."

Brand manager of Hey Bear, Conner Clemens, says they are an outdoor retail brand that gives back from their sales to Vital Ground, which is a grizzly conservation and protection nonprofit.

“So our mission is to create a more bear-responsible environment and make sure that people are safe and responsible within bear country," says Clemens. "Our main goal is to make sure people are educated. There are grizzly bears and black bears here, and our main thing is to make sure that people know that.”

They not only sell their products and educate, but Business Development Leader Addison Berry says one of their main contributions is bear spray rentals.

"What we're doing is trying to mitigate the loss of bear spray, the waste and the overall cost and trying to make something that's a little bit more effective for people as far as more convenient.” says Berry. " The bear spray comes from Teton Back Country Rentals, which is where they're based out of Jackson Hole. We have about 200 cans here in the office, and we circulate those cans every single day."

Rental costs are cheaper than buying a new can.

"The $16 starting rate is going to be two days. That's one to two days. So they can take it up for a couple of hours if they want to, or they can have it up to 48 hours," says Berry. "They are able to have it for a period of 28 days. And that is actually capped off at a $28 price range. So it's never going to exceed that unless the bear spray is used."

For tourists like Wilson, being able to rent bear spray is a lifesaver.

"I think it's incredibly important because it's just super simple. It's super lightweight and it can prevent your death," says Wilson.

Hey Bear in Big Sky is open every day from 9 to 5 and encourages people to come in if they have any questions about bear safety or rentals. They are located at 11 Lone Peak Drive.