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[at-l] Capsicum "Pepper" Spray

>Hello to all,
>I heard mentioned by several persons to carry capsicum (pepper) spray for
defensive reasons.  This can be sound advice if used properly.  For 25 years
I carried capsicum spray and before that tear gas (CS, CN)as part of my
daily uniform.  I have used and seen people use this substance and the
results were debilitating to the person or animal who was sprayed properly
on most occassions.  On the other hand if you get any back spray from using
capsicum spray your eyes will tear and you'll have a very difficult time
seeing if at all.  Besides this if any of the spray is inhaled you have a
extremly difficult time breathing depending on the amount you ingested.
These symptoms last approximently 45 minutes if left untreated depending on
the amount used.  There have been occassions when capsicum spray was used
under almost ideal circumstances and the result was nil.  There are also
reported deaths as a direct result of the spray.  Many people purchase and
carry the substance in their pockets, purses, backpacks you name it people
conceal it everywhere.  For you to be properly trained you need to do
several things. First buy at least two of the same containers make sure it's
CAPSICUM (the percentage of capsicum in each cannister is regulated by the
states) not tear gas or some other substance.  Read the label and educate
yourself.  You then need to find a well ventilated area with NO WIND at all.
Practice using the spray without dispensing any at this time.  Wear glasses
and have a large bowl of water very near and a garden hose would also be
nice.  Now extend your arm with the cannister nozzle facing away from you
and make sure your eyes are open to see what's going on.  Check again to see
if any breeze is blowing and no one is in the direction you will be using
the spray.  Shake the cannister several times with your finger off the
trigger now dispense about a one second long spray aiming at a make believe
mouth of the subject.  If after doing this you felt spray land on you hand
or any where else on you throughly rinse that area off and rinse again.
Sediment that landed on you will be reactivated repeatedly until you rinse
enough and wash the clothes (separately of course).  If by chance you got
some in your eyes DO NOT RUB THEM pour water over your face and use the
garden hose to flush your face.  You will have a burning sensation on any
skin area the spray landed after a VERY short time period. Reflush the area
until you feel comfortable.  Do not panic just flush the area.  Now did the
spray come out in a steady stream or a wide spray?  Ten feet iss usually the
maximium area you can effect with most civilian brands.  If a steady stream
this is good.  Steady streams of the substance will more than likely reach
the subject with the most volume to perform the task you wanted.  A wide
spray will probably still reach the subject but not in the desired volume
and the chance of back spray is graetly increased.  In ideal circumstances
both types will do the job.  Under any kind of circumstances I'll take the
steady stream any day.  A two second spray is what I was told was the proper
dosage and aim for the mouth.  Retreat from the area and just move on.  
>Now with all this said, you need to carry the cannister so that you can
gain quick access to use it.  Make it a habit to carry it the same place
always.  On a key ring is not advisable at all.  If the key is in the lock
you don't has time to react.  Most of us will never use this substance I
only can remember using it maybe a dozen times in 25 years or so.  It is
suggested you practice using the spray several times over a extended length
of time to become familiar with the instrument.  Shelf life is approximently
one year so change cannisters when you change your batteries for the smoke
detectors.  Airlines don't allow them onboard.  Canada the substance is
forbidden so I'm told.  Check with your local states for laws governing the
possession of the substance and size of cannisters.
>Okay after all this being said when was the last time you felt a need to
carry capsicum
>spray?  After you felt you needed it did you purchase it?  If you did where
is it now? In all our lives we have moments of fear and we move on.  My
experiences and what people have told me are that we are very safe on the AT.
>I am more concerned with the mice eating a hole in my pack than problems
where I may need capsicum spray on the journey.
>Take care,

John F. O'Mahoney    E-mail johno@mail.monmouth
Brick, New Jersey
60 miles north of Atlantic City   60 miles south of New York City

                               /  \
                              /    \
                             /Mount \
                           /  Maine   \
                          /     _      \
                         /     / \      \
                        /     /   \      \
                       /     /_____\      \
                      /     /   |   \      \
                     /          |           \
                    /        Springer        \
                   /         Mountain         \
                  /          Georgia           \

A dream that may become a reality someday by taking one step at a time    

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