Bear Spray And Blizzards: Nouria Newman Ventures Into The Backcountry (Video)

"Oh s***, this is not people who come here. It's definitely bears"

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o stranger to adventure, Nouria Newman recently embarked on an epic trip to the mountains of Squamish, British Columbia to be the first person to paddle the Pitt River. The remote river required a solo hike over a mountain pass—in the middle of winter.

As if trudging through the snowy wilderness with her kayak wasn’t enough of an adventure, she managed to run into some big, furry friends along the way.

Navigating fierce winds and dumping snow made day one a tough one. But day two was even rowdier; it involved climbing up and over a steep, snow-covered mountain with a fully packed kayak in tow. For obvious reasons, when she finally reached the end of the snow and spotted a path along a sub-alpine lake, immediate relief set it.

Phew–this hiking trail was super convenient albeit a little peculiar, she thought.

As she walked down the path Quasimodo style ducking away from the multiple low-hanging branches that slapped at her face and gear she came face-to-face with an unwelcome epiphany: “Oh s***, it’s not people who come here. It’s definitely bears.”

Thankfully, her friend had lent her some bear spray for the trip. She decided now was a good time to clip it to her PFD and keep it handy. It didn’t take long for the bear spray to fall victim to said pesky branches and the safety latch to come loose.

“It burns!” said Newman as she recounted the event in the video. “The problem with a loaded kayak in the forest is that you cannot really go anywhere if you’re not looking and breathing.”

Remarkably, despite the literal obstacles in her path, she was still able to deliver her gluey-eyed self to the river. She even ran into a bear when she got there–unfortunately, the only ‘repellant’ at this point was to splash around in the water. Thankfully the bear didn’t seem too interested in her after all.


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A post shared by Nouria Newman (@nourianewman)

The Pitt wasn’t the best whitewater but with the right flow it has potential,” Nouria reflected. Despite the fear, the pain, the unfulfilled river expectations, Newman still rates the trip as “a very good mission” and is scheming up her next adventure. Watch the video recap here.

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  1. Nouria appears to be not wearing a helmet at all while solo whitewater kayaking in a remote location. Duh?! Never mind wandering through bear country without knowing how bear spray works. Duh… again?! Should you be promoting such stupidity?

  2. Practice using bear spray. Also, make sure you look under can for expiry date…usually 3 years. The potency of ingredients diminish over time. So bring two is smart for many reasons.


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