Why haven’t I carried pepper spray? Because I couldn’t find a suitable carry option.
But I’m working to change that.
I have long wanted to carry pepper spray. Why? Because it’s useful, and because sometimes it’s the better – only (?), right (?) – option.
For example, I’ve had more than enough times when 4-legged critters were more the issue, and spray would certainly be more appropriate for the situation. Just the other day I was crossing the street and a drunk homeless guy started yelling at me. I politely and firmly dened him, he didn’t like it, started cussing me out; should he have opted to escalate, pepper spray likely would have been an appropriate option.
But I haven’t carried any? Why? Because I can’t find an option that works for me.
I carry enough stuff on my belt. I really don’t have room for more stuff.
In my pocket? The main worry I have is accidental discharge.
We do have a lot of Fox Labs products around the house. The Mrs. and Daughter have keychain sprays. We have some larger canisters for use and carry at other times (e.g. walking to the mailbox).
But the Fox Labs keychain model (or any of those types, as most keychain sprays are the same style) just never felt good in my pocket. Last week I was on vacation and the only things I was able to carry were my Spyderco Delicas and a Fox Labs keychain spray. The spray was in my pocket, and too many times the tab was flipped around. I kept fearing a discharge in my pocket.
That said, carrying the spray for a week finally made me get off my butt. The trip made me think a lot about sprays, including learning that yes you can bring pepper spray on an airplane in your checked luggage (there are limits and restrictions, but ultimately you can). So the whole trip I spent a lot of brain cycles thinking about spray. This is as opposed to “normal” where I think about it, struggle to come up with a suitable option, then put it back on the backburner until it comes up again; lather, rinse, repeat, remain unsatisfied.
Well, I’m hoping my luck will change.
I just purchased an ASP Key Defender. It looks like it will have a good chance of being something I could carry, that should have minimal chance of accidental discharge, and could be effective and useful. Plus it should be sturdy enough to be a striking implement too. Yes, I avoided this in the past because I just wasn’t sure about deployment under pressure. I’m still not, but I do hope to put it through some paces. The indications I’ve seen from people’s whose opinions I trust seem that the ASP Defender should be workable; not ideal, but workable.
The Palm Defender seems too small (capacity, distance, and size in the hand for striking). The Street Defender is probably going to be a little too big. Some videos of the Key Defender in action seem reasonable so…. it’s what I’m going to try. I picked up a couple refills of the OC spray, as well as a couple inert cans too.