Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
DIY PEPPER SPRAY-A Non-lethal means of self-defense
I’ve looked at a variety of blends from manufactured brands that are allowed to be sold to the public including bear repellent [expensive] and law enforcement brands are disallowed. The “poor man’s” version include name brand wasp sprays with a minimum of a 10’ spray reach/radius. We keep cans in our car and by each door in our house and cabin. Purchasing them at the end of the season usually saves a few bucks and they’re very effective.
With so many idiots [car jackers, left wing radicals, thieves] out there, it pays to be prepared. Here is a set of instructions for making your own.
It’s as simple as stocking up on dried pepper/chili or growing your own and a delivery system. You can make it to carry on your person or make a wide dispersal device for groups. You can buy them at any yourself store, nursery, garden center as or on Amazon and do a search for any of the following peppers/chili.
Selecting the Pepper/Chili:
The following are types of peppers/chili recommended and the rating heat index of each pepper/chili:
The Scoville Heat Unit is the rating or “hotness of peppers” that measures on a scale of mildest to hottest. I am going with the hottest and easiest to acquire. If you know a hotter pepper/chili and where to get it please let us know.
The lowest heat index recommended is the Red Cayenne pepper at 30,000 SHU to 60,000 SHU.
The middle heat index is the Thai or Thai Bird Chili at 50,000 SHU to 150,000 SHU.
At the top of the are the Scotch Bonnet chili and the Habanero chili at100,000 SHU to 350,000 SHU, the Red Savina Habanero at 350,000 SHU to 650,000 SHU and the Ghost Pepper or Naga Jolokia Pepper which is considered the hottest at 800,000 to 1,500,000 SHU.
The 10% Capsaicin pepper spray issued to LE can vary from 2,000,000 SHU to 6,000,000 SHU compared to store-bought pepper spray containing 2% to 10% Capsaicin vary from 500,000 SHU to 2,000,000 SHU.
You are capable of using the oil you could deliver a greater amount of Capsaicin but what I’m presenting is an effective means of delivery without having to own a pepper farm.
Homemade delivery systems can be as effective although you may not get the same results as the LE brands I’m showing you how to make up for it.
Delivery systems are as simple as a one to three ounce spray canister you get in the travel section for toiletries and up to 32 ounce spray bottles reminiscent of the glass cleaner bottles where you squeeze the trigger in a spray mist or stream. You can also make a delivery system with Garden hand pump pressure sprayers as well as the one to four gallon hand pump pressure sprayers used for gardening, pest control and weed control. Of course the larger the container the more pepper/chili you will need.
Step 1. Container preparation.
Inspect your spray bottle or pressure sprayer for leaks by filling it with water. If the device leaks when tilted, lying on its side or after excessive spraying then choose another container. You don’t want it dripping or leaking in your pack, vehicle, purse or hand.
We will be making enough for a pint of pepper spray.
Step 2. What you need.
§ Six peppers or chili’s, the hotter the chili or pepper the better. You can use more pepper/chili if you like to get it as potent as possible.
§ Garlic, two medium or one large-sized bulb or two table spoons of minced in a jar or powdered if you don’t have it (the odor repels some bugs and people)
§ A method of drying the pepper/chili (dehydrator, stove, solar oven or sun dried)
§ Rubber gloves (to handle the pepper and oils)
§ Safety glasses (to keep it out of your eyes)
§ N95 mask or other respirator (prevent inhalation especially if you are sensitive)
§ Vegetable chopper or knife and cutting board to break it down.
§ Blender, grinder or coffee grinder (crush the pepper/chili and garlic)
§ Two sealable containers (I used a 32 oz. sports drink bottle and a16.9or 20 oz. bottle)
§ Strainer or cheese cloth (to remove the pits and seeds that will block the flow to spray)
§ Funnel (allows it to flow in the container saving as much as possible and prevent a mess)
§ A well sealed container for storing unused pepper spray. Keep it in a cool place or fridge.
§ Vinegar or Ispropyl Rubbing Alcohol (this is used as the delivery system and it keeps the pepper and Capsaicin in tact longer than water would as well as already contains an irritant to the senses)
§ Baby oil or mineral oil (this is used to latch on to the body or clothes)
NOTE: If you are using this around plants, trees and vegetables to fend off pests and animals ordon’t have it, you can substitute the vinegar, alcohol and baby oil with water. If you are running low on vinegar or alcohol you can add water to makeup the difference in measurements.
Step 3. Preparing the pepper/chili.
I am giving instructions for those with and without a blender or grinder.
1. Dry the peppers/chili by means of a dehydrator, sun-dried, solar oven or set in the oven at a low temp.
2. a. Place the peppers/chili in the blender.
3. b. Cut, chop or grind the peppers/chili as fine as possible then place in a bowl.
4. a. Place the garlic bulb or bulbs in the blender.
5. b. Mince, chop or grind the garlic and place in the bowl.
6. a. Two table spoons of baby or mineral oil into the blender.
7. b. Two table spoons of baby or mineral oil into the bowl.
8. a. Add twelve ounces of alcohol or vinegar into the blender. Blend on high for two to three minutes until purged.
9. b. Add twelve ounces of vinegar or alcohol and mash and grind until it’s as close to being smooth as possible. You can slowly add the alcohol or white vinegar as you blend it to avoid splashing.
10. Pour it into the larger bottle with a funnel to let it sit overnight in a cool place to react and increase the effectiveness of the solution.
11. When ready get your funnel, strainer or cheese cloth and water bottle. Place the funnel in the smaller16.9 oz. to 20 oz. water bottle then place the strainer or cheese cloth over the funnel.
12. Pour the pepper/chili mixture into the water bottle using a funnel and strainer. Any left over remnants from the strainer can be used in the garden or trash area to keep pests and animals away.
13. You now have pepper spray and can store it in the refrigerator or a cool place and it’s readyto pour in your sprayers at any time. Since it is sitting in vinegar or alcohol it should last anywhere from a month to three months. I sprayed an opossum in my trash can with a garden pressure sprayer and he darted out of there. I haven’t seen him in two weeks. I used a solution around my garden and theneighbor’s dog won’t go near the fence.
Step 4. Cleaning the container and blender/grinder after use.
A solution of bleach and water will counter the oils left behind in the container. Mineral Oil and soap and hot water can be used to clean out the blender or grinder. Use caution when cleaning the containers by wearing safety glasses and gloves.
NOTE: You can make pepper spray with powdered/ground pepper instead of home-grown or store bought dried peppers/chili but the intent is to get the maximum use of the pepper/chili and garlic. If you do store Cayenne or hotter pepper/chili powder here are the instructions:
1. Take eight tablespoons of Cayenne pepper or four table spoons of habanero pepper and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle
2. Take two tablespoons of powdered or minced jars garlic and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle.
3. Add two table spoons of baby or mineral oil and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle.
4. Add 14 ounces of alcohol, vinegar or water and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle.
5. Shake bottle well and let it sit overnight in a cool place to react and increase the effectiveness of the solution.
6. With a funnel and cheese cloth or towel you can pour it into the 16.9 oz. to 20 oz. water bottle and you are ready to store or place it in your dispenser.
7. In a pinch, a spray bottle filled with ammonia will deter many attackers.
P.S. In response to a reader question about water…
I always recommend considering your pool or hot tub as a bonus water source, but don’t completely depend on it in an emergency — it’s no substitute for being prepared.
What I mean is a treated hot tub full of water can absolutely be used as drinking water — if you use a filter. But you should also have a supply of drinking water stored in your home. I like the WaterBrick water storage system. Each unit is light, strong and stackable, so they’re easy to store.
WaterBricks also have many practical and recreational uses. Click here to find out how to get your own set of these amazing containers so you can be ready for any emergency.
Bruce ‘the Poor Man’
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