Let me start by saying what this post is not… first off, this is not a post about guns. I want to cover something a bit different for you. Fact is not everyone in the family (especially if you have little ones) can use a gun, and unless you are going to buy an armory of 5 or 6 guns, you cannot have a gun with you in every key location when you need it.
Here are the top five solutions I found to add an additional layer of defense for the family from bears, weirdos, weirdo-bears with big hair and everything in between while full-timing.
We specifically purchased these items (and a bunch more I am not covering here) because it is important to me we always have something ready in the case of an emergency. For me this means, we have something on every set of keys, in the truck, in the trailer and on our person. At all times. We are always armed in some way, shape or form.
Here are my list of favorites, in no particular order:
#1: The Kubaton
I wanted something on all our sets of keys – truck keys, trailer keys and backup keys. The Kubaton is solid black, made of steel and pretty dang intimidating to any onlookers. It also very naturally fits into your hand any time you grab your keys. Ready to strike instantly. Whether you know how to throw a punch or not, you’re going to do damage in a threatening situation.
#2: MACE Brand Pepper Spray Gun
Here’s what I like about it. It’s a non-lethal solution you can carry any place, any time without worrying about the local “carry and conceal laws”. It’s accurate up to 20 feet. Take this scenario. You and the fam are on a nice summery stroll. Wow, beautiful weather out here. Listen to those sweet little birds. Hey, what’s that!? It’s a gnarly raccoon looking to pick a fight. Yikes, he’s charging your loved ones!
What do you do? How do you respond? Lets hope this never happens to any of you, but lets get real. Unless you are a seasoned marksman, your odds of hitting anything moving at you fast are slim to none. The MACE Brand Pepper Spray Gun sprays a stream accurate up to 20 feet. Plus it marks our rowdy raccoon with UV dye so you can identify him or her in a rodent lineup later. Pretty handy item to have in your arsenal.
#3: Bear Bells
Really, bells!?! Hey, I am not looking to start a fight in the woods. If I can avoid trouble, I want to do that. It’s a hiking safety basic. Make noise to let the animals know you’re coming. Bear Bells are simple and fun for the kids. We’ll be strapping them on each of our kiddo’s back packs. Bonus, it’s a nice way to keep track of our little ones.
#4: Kid’s Personal Emergency Alarm
Easy, cheap and effective. Found this online. It’s a cute little Lady Bug. Pull the string and it unleashes an ear piercing 130 db siren. It gives our kids a way to alert us or others of danger in the case of an emergency. What I love most of all is this is something so simple even our little 3-year old can learn to use it and has something in her arsenal in the case of an emergency.
#5: The Women’s Defense Company
Ok, so this list is in no particular order, but if it was this would be my favorite. As we prepared to hit the road I wanted to cover all our bases. I did a little research and found this place right by our home. Cool thing is they teach all their stuff in workshops, so you don’t have to commit to ongoing classes, which was great for us since we were pretty busy packing and moving.
Mom went for their (Rape and Abduction) A.R.R.T. high-intensity course. It’s 6-hours of training, tactics and simulation. And these guys go the distance! At the end they do a full-on simulation where each woman is placed in a dark room, alone and attacked. She had to defend herself to survive! My wife is a pretty tough cookie to begin with. She came home from just a 1-day workshop with some new killer moves (I mean literally, two of the moves she learned can kill an attacker!). She also returned home incredibly aware and confident of how to protect herself. Insanely effective.
My only regret is I didn’t know about this place sooner as I would have purchased many a Christmas and Valentine’s present to the Womens’ Defense Company to build up her skills over the years. (Ok, seriously I do get my wife real gifts, but she did have a blast at the Women’s Defense Company)
HONORABLE MENTION: The SALT Gun
This didn’t make my list only because it is currently sold out, so we haven’t added one to our collection yet. It’s a new innovation in home protection allowing you to shoot non-lethal, incapacitating bullets. What’s really nice about SALT is this – a traditional gun, you need to keep it locked up, locked down and super hidden. Not easily accessible when you need it most. Because the SALT Gun is non-lethal you can safely keep it more readily available (not that you want your little one getting blasted in the eye with a proprietary blend of incapacitating chemicals) but you get the point.
Best of all, one of the big downsides with a regular gun is the risk of missing your target. With the SALT gun even if you hit a wall, door or nearby tree the Smart Bullet creates a 4-5 foot incapacitating chemical cloud. Pretty sweet (for you, not them or those dang rowdy raccoons). The SALT Gun even comes with practice rounds so you can fire a whole bunch to make sure you are 100% comfortable before an actual emergency situation.
I have to be honest, I thought thinking about family safety and self defense would be a stressful thing. I feel kinda good knowing I’m taking steps to help protect my family in different ways and different situations. It is comforting knowing we have a variety of solutions for different scenarios in every place we may need them. And best of all the whole family can be a part of the solution. Now lets get out there and attack someone (or something). JK