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If you are like most people, you probably have heard about . You probably have friends or family members who carry it for self-defense. Possibly you have a canister or two yourself you carry in your pocket or vehicle or keep at home to fend off potential attackers.
Although many folks know about pepper spray, few have heard about a related self-defense tool called pepper gel. What is pepper gel? Read on for answers from the experts at SABRE to this and other burning questions.
Like pepper spray, pepper gel is made with oleoresin capsicum, or OC for short. This is an ingredient derived from the chemical in peppers that gives them their searing heat.
When used against an attacker, pepper sprays and gels can cause temporary blindness and difficulty breathing. The idea is to temporarily disable the assailant so you can get away and summon help.
Like many things in life, there are tradeoffs when using pepper sprays compared to pepper gels. Each has its pros and cons. Choosing which to use for your personal protection depends on who you are, where you go, environmental conditions and the potential safety issues you may encounter.
Whichever product you choose, make sure to pick the best one. In an emergency situation, you will only have a split-second to react, so you want the most effective and reliable defense you can find. This is no time to settle for second best.
What’s the difference between spray and gel? First, let’s look at pepper spray. This self-defense tool has gained enormous popularity because it is compact and easy to carry on a keychain or in a pocket or purse. It is less expensive than other personal safety products like . Pepper spray’s wide dispersal pattern means it can thwart multiple attackers.
The main disadvantage of pepper spray is it can blow back on you if you fire it into the wind. That’s because the liquid form it’s dispensed in as a spray or mist can be easily shifted by air currents.
It’s not surprising that pepper gel isn’t as well known as spray, because the gel is a relatively new product. Pepper gels offer many advantages. Like the spray, gel is compact and easy to carry to repel potential attackers.
But pepper gel offers several additional advantages over pepper spray. It can travel 20 percent farther than spray, meaning you can repel attacks from a greater and safer distance.
Unlike pepper spray, gel is delivered as a thicker, stickier substance. It sticks to the attacker’s skin and is harder to wipe off.
Best of all, a solid stream of gel won’t blow back in your face if the wind is against you. That makes gel particularly appropriate for defending yourself outdoors or when you are close to your attacker.
For the most reliable EPA approved results, it’s best to use a pepper spray or gel specifically designed to work on canines, like .
With their very sensitive noses, dogs can be thwarted with pepper spray, which can cause them temporary problems with their breathing and sight. Because the effects are only temporary, you should move away from the attacking animal as soon as possible and get help if necessary. Even if you, your family members or friends or your dog haven’t been hurt, the responsible thing is to notify the dog’s owner or the authorities about a dangerous canine to prevent future attacks.
Like most products, pepper sprays and pepper gels have optimal temperatures for storage or use. Avoid leaving your pepper spray or gel in a place where the temperature will drop below 32º Fahrenheit or above 120º Fahrenheit. Excessive heat or cold could cause the can to burst.
Carrying pepper spray while in your vehicle offers extra insurance against carjackers and other potential assailants. Multitools for self-defense like provide you with gel for fending off attackers as well as the additional security of a way to cut through your seat belt and escape through a stuck window in case of emergency. But it’s not a good idea to keep pepper spray or gel in your vehicle when you aren’t using it. On a hot, sunny day, the temperatures inside a car or truck can reach dangerous levels and could make a can of spray or gel burst.