Tactical Quick Tips – Indexing Pepper Spray and “Cover for Action”
Pepper spray is a wonderful alternative (or addition) to a firearm and provides a potent means of stunning and/or disabling an attacker. The key is having it readily available when you need it, which means it must be immediately accessible and able to be indexed without looking. The time it takes to dig through a purse, briefcase, or glove box locating your pepper spray not only may make the difference in your ability to deploy it, but it is also time you aren’t watching the threat.
You must be able to immediately access, index, and deploy your pepper spray while monitoring the threat and your surroundings.
Some smaller cans of pepper spray have finger grooves that allow proper indexing by touch. Larger cans, however, are often smooth all the way around so we need to add something to allow for us to properly index it without looking. One of the options we recommend is using a strip of Velcro with the soft “loops” side on the can. This allows us to know exactly what direction the can is pointed so we can deploy it effectively without needing to look.
We use Velcro because it’s simple and readily available, but also because of the virtually limitless mounting options it gives us. In a vehicle, for example, the can could be mounted under the armrest where it is out of view. Similarly, the “hooks” side of Velcro can be sewn in a purse or briefcase, adhered under a desk, or put anywhere you would want to mount your pepper spray. Doing this in a purse, for example, keeps the can in the same position all the time so there is no digging for it when you need it.
Location, location, location.
Where you mount your pepper spray is key too, which brings the concept of “cover for action” into the discussion. Cover for action is the concept of not having to deviate from normal or common movements to access your gear. If the pepper spray was mounted under the steering wheel it would require an uncommon movement to access it. In contrast, having it mounted near the door handle allows access to the can with the same movement as it would take to open the door. Another example would be having a pepper spray can in a jacket pocket. Putting your hand into a pocket is a common and normal movement, and yet you’re able to fully-index the can without anyone noticing.
- Be sure your pepper spray has something on it as a guide to properly index the can without looking so you can keep your eyes on the threat and surroundings.
- Mount and carry your pepper spray such that you can access it with common movements using cover for action.
The InSights Team
Content by Greg Hamilton, written by Doug Marcoux