Using Air Horns as an Animal Deterrent and for Personal Safety

Here’s a scenario you may have encountered: you are hiking in the forest and 50 or 70 metres up the trail you see a bear. A bear’s eyesight is about the same as ours, so maybe it has or hasn’t seen you yet, but it’s coming your way. What do you do?

Most encounters like this occur by chance and are a surprise to both human and animal. Research and experience in the wild tell us that bears (and most other large animals) would prefer to avoid any encounter with a human, and bear experts agree the best/safest bear encounter is one that never happened.

Bears have hearing twice as sensitive as ours, which can actually work to our advantage. A loud, startling sound, even from a distance of 50 to 70 metres, will often be sufficient to alert a bear to your presence, and to cause the bear to alter its course away from you. It’s much safer for both you and the animal if you deal with the situation at this distance rather than waiting until you are inside the 10-metre range of bear spray.

Using an Air Horn Before You See a Bear

Other equally common scenarios are that you are hiking and come upon fresh bear scat on the trail, hear a rustle in the bushes ahead or are venturing through known bear country. In each of these situations, studies have shown that making a loud, startling sound to announce your presence is a good strategy. Bears and other wild animals will be alerted to your presence from a long way off and generally move away in advance of you.

Weighing the Effectiveness of Air Horn Options

The Hornet rechargeable air horn, from Canadian manufacturer WoodsCan Industries, is ideal for all of the above situations. Being battery powered, it will reliably deliver 121 decibels of sound for over 35 minutes per battery charge, even in cold weather. A disposable compressed gas air horn, by contrast, will last a minute at best, cannot be used consistently for more than about 10 seconds before it freezes up, and may not work well or at all in colder temperatures.

Air Horns for Personal Safety

Also imagine how useful an air horn would be that, depending on the terrain, can be heard from a kilometre away if you need help or are injured or lost. There is still a lot of geography without cell phone coverage, so a search party’s efforts would be much more effective if people had an air horn to aid in being found when lost, stranded or injured in the wilderness.

Again, the Hornet air horn is the perfect choice as it works even in cold weather, and it will deliver over 2,000 one-second toots on a single battery charge. That’s a lot of SOS distress signals!

Other Applications for Air Horns

The Hornet rechargeable air horn is patented and has proven itself for over a decade in the very demanding construction safety industry. In addition, Canadian and US Coast Guards require that a sound signalling device be onboard boats under 20 metres in length. With its reliability, and the fact that the rechargeable batteries don’t need charging for well over a year when unused, the Hornet is the perfect solution.

Air Horns and the Environment

Finally, from an environmental perspective, the Hornet air horn replaces disposable gas air horns that use a manmade propellant. This propellant is a very potent greenhouse gas, many times more potent than CO2, and one Hornet can replace thousands of disposable cans over its useful life.

This article was sponsored by WoodsCan
WoodsCan Industries Inc., based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, manufactures the finest rechargeable electric air horns in the world.
WoodsCan’s value proposition is based on the improved performance, safety and reliability of our air horns vs. buying disposable compressed gas air horn refills. Being rechargeable allows for the recovery of the initial cost within a few weeks of purchase, with even greater savings thereafter.