It actually works out better that I do these two posts together since they both discuss two halves of one issue. Defending yourself doesn’t always have to involve physical force like a handgun or a fist. Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of chemical warfare.
“Pepper spray isn’t made to scare someone; it’s meant to disable”. Using pepper spray is an extremely effective deterrent against any criminal. It blinds while burning the eyes, nose, and lungs. It really can disable someone pretty easily. Using pepper spray correctly is essential if you want to defend without disabling yourself by mistake.
When you use pepper spray, its important that you keep it well in front of your face to prevent spraying yourself. Don’t however, reach way out in front of you with the canister. Having your arm extended can allow the attacker to disarm you and/or turn your weapon against you.
Instead, the book recommends that you “reach out your other arm and yell “Stop!” to distract your attacker”. Follow that by holding the canister “slightly below and in front of your chin”. You should aim at the face of your attacker and spray in two or three second bursts while backing away slowly.
24) Find Pepper Spray Alternatives
“A canister of wasp or hornet spray is a great stand-in for [pepper spray]”. It is fairly inexpensive, widely available, and effectively disables an assailant. But, if you can’t go out and buy some wasp spray, here’s the method the book provides to help you create your own pepper spray at home:
Step One: Mix 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder with enough rubbing alcohol to make a thin paste.
Step Two: Add 12 drops of baby oil and mix again.
Step Three: Strain the mixture through a fabric or paper filter. (A coffee filter will do the trick.)
Step Four: pour the resulting liquid into a pump bottle with an adjustable nozzle to control the spray.
Personally, I’ve never really considered using pepper spray for myself. I’ve seen it in local gun shops but I always pass it up. However, I have an extreme fear and hatred for bees, so my house is always well stocked with wasp and hornet killer. I had never really considered how it would affect a person if they were sprayed with it but it certainly makes sense that it would hurt. Perhaps I’ll relocate a few of those cans to more defensive positions inside my house.
What are your thoughts on pepper spray? Let me know in the comments below. And as always, be sure to buy a copy of Rich Johnson’s book, Urban Survival Guide, so you can have a copy of all these tips on hand should you need them.