Using Everyday Objects to Protect Yourself

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Using Everyday Objects to Protect Yourself

Being able to improvise a weapon may just save your life. Just because you're not buying these off the shelf from your local gun shop doesn't reduce their deadliness, and if you're trapped and an intruder is in your home, you will need every possible advantage to get out alive. It's up to you to protect your family and yourself, especially in the aftermath of a disaster where everyone on your street is cold, hungry and thirsty and are willing to do anything to survive. Are you ready to fight off someone who is intent on taking what you have? Today, we'll teach you how to turn some of the common items around your home into effective weapons, that you can use in a pinch to defend your life. But before we get into all of this, know that our primary recommendation is to run. Getting yourself as far from danger as you can is the best weapon you can use, because avoiding the intruders completely is the only way you can guarantee your safety. Keep calm, and get out of your home without losing your cool. If you're not able to effectively escape, don't worry, the key now is to stay calm and in control. There's plenty around your home you can use as a weapon, if you just know where to look.

Living Room

Anything large and heavy can be swung at your attacker like an improvised club, including table legs, vases, statues or the large bowl that's sitting on your coffee table. Use your laptop or smartphone charger as a cord to strangle, or pick up a chair and use the legs to pin your attacker against the wall while you disarm them. Perhaps there's a lamp you could wield, an iron fire poker, or even a hat stand can be used like a spear.


The amount of sharp objects in your kitchen make it a perfect room to arm yourself, so grab the largest and most intimidating knife you have, but be ready to use it if they rush you. You can swing large frying pans, jars, mugs and rolling pins like a club, and you have plenty of glassware to use as projectiles to throw. If you need a distraction to escape, use oven cleaner (or any chemical available) sprayed directly into your attackers eyes to cause immediate pain and temporary blindness.


When you're hiding out one of the first places many people run is the bathroom with its lockable door, but there's plenty of items here you can also use to fight back. Hairspray to the eyes can blind an attacker, or combine it with a lighter to make an impromptu flamethrower. Hot curling irons can be used to burn, or take the ceramic lid off your toilet and use it like a massive club. Reaction is all well and good, and these first examples are ways you can arm yourself on the fly. But let's say you want to plan in advance. Perhaps you're more comfortable knowing you have the means to defend yourself without needing to destroy any of your belongings, so we've got four of our favorite projects you can use to build some creative defensive weapons.

Pepper Spray

There's a reason the police use pepper spray to subdue criminals, and you can make a relatively potent version at home that will generate similar results should you ever need to defend yourself. You will need:
  • Ground chili pepper (pick the version that has the highest Scoville Heat Unit)
  • Rubbing alcohol (used to extract the capsaicin, the active ingredient in the spray)
  • Baby oil
  • Clean white cloth (or a coffee filter)
  • Glass containers x 2
  • Spray bottle (be very sure this will not leak once it is full)
Place 5-7 tablespoons of chili pepper in a bowl, and add an ounce of the alcohol. Stir the mixture continuously for 2 minutes, then let it sit overnight. Add an ounce of baby oil, and stir for another 2 minutes, and then filter the mix into your second glass container. Be careful to remove all the impurities, because these will block the nozzle of your homemade pepper spray. Place the mixture into your spray bottle, and remember to give it a couple of good shakes before you use it.

Stun gun

To stop an attacker in their tracks, sometimes a little more power is necessary. This next instructable will teach you how to turn an ordinary disposable camera into a weapon. Personally I liked this one for the novelty and have a couple of working versions of this stun gun at home which I made after first seeing this video a few years ago, but I do still carry my heavy-duty Vipertek stun gun with me, as it's easier to recharge. Because of the complexity (and shock danger), you can check out the how-to steps on this video which I followed to make my own:


Traditionally these clubs were made out of wood, and the police today now use extendable steel batons. For the survivalist who wants to make their own, this will provide a handy weapon should you ever need to fight off an attacker. You will need:
  • 1/2 inch PVC pipe (about 2-3 feet)
  • 1 T joint that fits your pipe
  • 3 end caps that fit your pipe
  • 1/2 pound of small metal sinkers, loose nuts and bolts, or anything that will add weight.
  • Glue
  • Hacksaw
Cut your PVC pipe into three lengths. The T-grip should be about an inch wider than your hand, the handle about 4 inches long, and the baton a bit longer than your forearm. Glue each section to the T-joint, and then fill the hollow pipes with a combination of glue and lead sinkers to add the weight to your nightstick. Place an end cap on each open end, and glue these on too, then let it rest for 48 hours so the glue sets.


For added range, a slingshot is an ideal weapon because it is quiet, and if properly constructed it can do a great deal of damage when you're using small lead sinkers or ball bearings as ammunition. Plus, if your food supplies are running low you can use it to hunt small game. You will need:
  • A piece of wood or metal that has a Y shaped fork (with a fork wider than 30 degrees)
  • 1/4 inch latex tubing (around 1 foot)
  • Leather strip (about 4 inches wide and 2 inches high)
  • Dental floss
Finding the fork is the first challenge, and if you cut a branch from a live tree you will need to dry the wood before you can use it, otherwise the slingshot motion will bend the forks. Set it by a campfire and heat it for a couple of hours. Once the wood stops hissing it's now dry. Carve two notches where the bands will go, about 3/4 of an inch from each end. Cut your tubing into two equal lengths for each side. Wrap the tubing around the notch in the fork, and use the dental floss to tie it off. Tie both pieces of tubing to your fork. Trim the corners off your leather strip and punch a hole in the two edges (for the tubing to thread through), using the dental floss again to tie off the edges. You're now ready to go, but be sure to spend some time practicing first to improve your aim. Small pebbles make for great practice ammunition, or you could use any of the leftover sinkers from your homemade nightstick. With a little ingenuity you can either improvise weapons in your home when you need to, or take some steps to prepare and you'll have a wide range of options available if you do need to defend yourself. Which of these homemade survival weapons will you be making first?