What Makes Pepper Spray A Great Self-Defense Tool?

The best option for pepper spray is one that's easy to use and one that keeps you protected. That means pepper spray needs to be able to hit your attacker right in the face from at least several feet away, and it needs to be potent enough to halt the attacker in his tracks.

Is pepper spray really an effective tool for self-defense?

Consider your options: You can either carry pepper spray on your person at all times, or carry a full-fledged weapon like a knife or gun. Unfortunately, these weapons require permits in certain states, and you can cause serious injury to yourself or another person with either one.

On the other hand, pepper spray comes in compressed containers that can fit easily into a purse, a backpack, or even a coat pocket. They come in different sizes, too. Compact ones are good for when you're out on your own at night, and bigger ones can be kept somewhere near the main entrance to your home.

Probably the best reason for why pepper spray is an effective tool for self-defense is that anyone can use it. Unlike martial arts, which require hours of dedicated training, pepper spray just requires a hand and fingers to squeeze the trigger or button. Even the idea of getting sprayed in the eyes is enough to stop most assailants, so just whipping out the can is often enough.

How does pepper spray work? 

Just so you are aware of what you are potentially spraying into someone's face, it's good to take a look at what goes into pepper spray. The key active ingredient is capsaicin, which comes from the fruit of chili plants.

If you've ever handled hot chili peppers, you know not to rub your face or eyes without washing your hands first. That's because of the capsaicin. When that chemical gets mixed with solvents for pepper spray, it becomes an effective self-defense tool.

It gets mixed with water and then injected into the aerosol-powered container. Almost all pepper spray containers are just simple point-and-shoot models so that you don't have to hesitate in a dangerous situation.

Now you need to get your own pepper spray

Knowing about pepper spray isn't enough; you have to go buy your own. Try it out at home and then keep it close. A great option for a compact container is one that hooks onto your keychain. Whichever kind you choose, you are that much more prepared to protect yourself against attackers.