Because I live in Serbia, I don’t always have a lot of options for backpacking gear (most brands won’t ship here!). So, while I was able to find bear spray, I wasn’t able to find a holster for it. A holster is incredibly important for carrying bear spray. If you can’t access the spray immediately, then you might as well not be carrying it!
So, I decided to make my own bear spray holster out of paracord. I figured that a paracord “bottle wrap” would also work for holding a bear canister.
First, I tried using “vertical rib hitching” to make the holster. It looked pretty and held the canister securely. The problem was that the wrap would lose its shape each time I took the bear spray canister out. It was a pain to get the bear spray back into the holder. I actually remove my bear spray frequently (I encounter feral dogs a lot), so this wasn’t a good option.
I considered the “chain sinnet” wrap, but it uses a lot of paracord. The holster would end up heavy and bulky.
Next, I tried the “cow hitch” wrap. It worked perfectly and met all of these requirements:
- Quick and easy to get canister out
- Lightweight (lighter than a storebought holster!)
- Wrap holds its shape (even without the bear spray in it)
- Can carry on hip or backpack strap
For bear spray, you will need:
- 1 short piece (at least 6 inches) of paracord to go around the neck of the bear spray
- 1 sliding “spring cord lock” (I just took one off of a cheap drawstring bag I wasn’t using)
- Approximately 20 feet of 2mm paracord. You’ll use more/less depending on how big you make the hitches
- I used a Celtic button knot for the drawstring
- I put a tiny dot of super glue on the first and last hitch to ensure it wouldn’t ever unravel.
- To attach to my belt, I simply slid two carabiners into the wrap (it wobbled a bit with just one carabiner)
- You could also just put a small piece of Velcro webbing through the wrap to attach it to your pack/belt.
Below are the video instructions.