When most people hear personal protection, they think of a gun. Guns are certainly one of the best ways to protect yourself, but what if you’re not trained on how to use one or don’t carry one?
Don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to protect yourself without a gun, such as using a short or extended baton or even a durable tactical flashlight. Let’s explore some of the self-defense items you can use to stay safe and even protect others.
Situational awareness is something many people forget because they’re focused on self-defense weapons. But a critical part of self-defense is situational awareness.
So, what is situational awareness? It’s simply being aware of your surroundings by noting what’s going on around you and understanding those things that can affect you. Horrible things can happen anytime with little or no advanced warning.
While you can’t always see what’s coming around the corner, you can plan so you’re more prepared. Your plan can be as simple as noting where all the exits are in a building or location and planning the best evacuation route.
The good news is you can train to improve your situational awareness by practicing the main elements of this type of awareness:
- Peripheral vision
- Threat identification
- Event prediction
- Always watch your six
- Listening to your gut instinct
- Reducing your reaction time
- Avoiding complacency
Practice these regularly and you’ll improve your situational awareness.
These probably aren’t the tips that you were expecting, but avoiding confrontation is key.
You only want to use a weapon as a last resort, considering it usually requires close combat. If you’re not trained on that weapon, it can be taken and used against you. Unfortunately, many people buy a self-defense weapon and never learn how to use it.
The number one way to stay safe is to avoid a confrontation. If you see a large van parked next to your vehicle in a dark parking lot and no other cars are around, go to a well-lit area. Call someone to meet you and see you safely to your car. At the very least, be careful when approaching your vehicle. Someone may have evil intentions, and staying safe is critical.
If someone tries to assault you, turn around and run to a public place to get help. Standing your ground for a fight should be a last resort. Who cares if someone calls you a wimp for running. Your safety is more important than what people think about you.
Pepper spray is something that’s easy to use since it doesn’t require much training. You should still practice using it so you know how it works when and if you need it. The more you practice, the more it becomes muscle memory and you use it correctly without even thinking about it.
Pepper spray comes in several delivery methods–stream, spray and foam. The spray is the best for inexperienced users because it’s easier to disperse and cover your assailant. Weapons like this are meant to buy you time to run to safety.
This self-defense item is one you must be careful with because it’s easier to take from you. Plus, you need to be in close combat to defend using one.
But knives are great because they are easier to conceal (if you get a folding blade) and they can completely stop the threat. You can keep one in your purse (as long as it’s not buried at the bottom of it) or in a convenient pocket.
Stabbing someone with a knife can severely injure or kill them, so you must have the right mindset. Some people don’t carry guns because they don’t want to take a life. Carrying a knife can have the same consequences.
There are also legal restrictions to consider, so always check with your local and state regulations.
You should probably take a tactical flashlight wherever you go because it doesn’t just illuminate dark areas. It can help you protect yourself. A tactical flashlight can help you identify a threat, whether animal or human. You can also use it to blind your attacker or even use it as an impact weapon, like a baton, depending on the size. Learning how to use a tactical flashlight for self-defense is a great way to protect yourself.
Your car keys make the perfect weapon of opportunity because they’re always with you when you’re driving. They’re convenient and you can hold them between your fingers and jab your assailant. Since they aren’t sharp, you may need to use a little more force–but in an emergency, they can work.
Law enforcement officers and the military use telescoping batons, and they are quite effective. The baton stores collapsed so it’s easier to carry, and when you need it, the baton extends. There are smaller batons that citizens can carry and use easier.
Batons are an excellent impact weapon, but like a knife, you need to train with them to use them safely and correctly. Also, some areas may prohibit them. Always check your local and state regulations.
The nice thing about carrying a tactical pen is that it doubles as a self-defense weapon, and you can still use it as a pen. These pens are tough and durable with sharp ends, so you can use them to stab your opponent. Aim for the eyes, face, neck, arms or any vulnerable spots. When you’re in a fight for your life, everything is fair game.
Store one in your pocket or purse so it’s handy when you need it.
Sometimes, protecting yourself isn’t just about carrying a weapon. Everyone should carry a self-defense weapon, but they should also work on situational awareness and avoidance tactics.
Always be prepared for the unexpected, be aware of what’s happening around you and carry one of the self-defense weapons on this list. Or you may choose an alternative one that you’ve been trained to use. This combination ensures you can protect yourself well.