I always thought the scariest part of the flare was lighting it. If you took just the brown igniter blob and the cap with the striker, you would probably get two or three good strong sparks with a lot of noise. Granted, some could get on your hand, but a second degree burn is easier to treat than a bear or cougar bite.
Come to think of it, you wouldn't make as much noise, but a knife and sparker/fire starter may be unsettling enough to make the animal think twice. As long as you stamped out any sparks on the ground afterwards!
Sorry, I got off subject