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OUTSIDE REVIEWS SCAT BELT

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By Wes Siler - Outside Online

Bear spray is only going to work if you have it with you, and if you can deploy it quickly and surely. But carrying a big, awkward can of pressurized capsaicin can prove challenging, particularly if you’re wearing lighter clothing during the summer. Enter the Scat Belt, which solves this problem elegantly. My girlfriend, Virginia, and I have spent plenty of time in bear country. On camping trips, I’d strap a can to my belt, opposite my handgun, and she’d throw a can of the stuff in one of her pack’s water-bottle pouches. But that meant she always had to carry the pack. She's got an oversized, 10-ounce can of Counter Assault in there, so the belt probably looks bigger than it would with a normal size spray. (Wes Siler) Thing is, the holster I carry is pretty terrible, too, allowing the can to bounce around on my hip as I move and catching brush in tight quarters. One of those things that's so simple and effective, you can't believe no one's thought of it before. Enter the $35 Scat Belt Cub. It's a simple product—just a stretchy neoprene sleeve sewn to what looks like the waist belt off a light technical pack. That puts breathable mesh against your body, while the outside is an abrasion-resistant nylon. It secures at the front with a quick-release buckle. And there’s a Velcro tab that stretches over the top of the can to add security. Just flip the belt over depending on which side you want to be able to draw the spray from. There’s also the $40 Grizz, which includes pockets for your phone and keys. But to keep those pockets upright, you can only draw the can with your left hand. Virginia reports that the belt fits comfortably and rides securely, without any bouncing around. I’ve watched her use it on the trail, and have never once seen her fiddling with it. It’s just there, out of the way, in case she ever needs it. Test draws have proven it’s fast and easy to get the can out. The Scat Belt is a simple, cheap product. But also one that now adds an immense amount of safety and peace of mind to our everyday lives. If you live in or plan on visiting bear country, you should get one.

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