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Best self defense tools for women

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Do you feel safe when you travel solo? Are you looking for a women-friendly self-defense tool to keep you safe when traveling or at home? You are not alone.

According to our annual solo female travel survey, 64% of solo female travelers worry about their safety. Additionally, women also expressed their worry about the lack of credible sources on real safety data per destination.

To keep themselves safe and be prepared for what may happen, women look for safety tips and self-defense tools that may add an extra layer of security. This is a commonly discussed topic in our women only travel community.

In this article, we will discuss self-defense tools for women we recommend and others we do not recommend to carry with you based on the expert tips and recommendations from professionals in the field via our safety, wellness and sexual wellbeing course for female travelers and from the personal experiences of the women in our group. 

Our online course tackles all the worries, challenges and tools you need to feel and be safe before a trip. There are 35+ lessons by 45+ experts from all over the world. Get access to Empowerful here.

What is a self-defense tool?

There isn’t a universally accepted definition, but for us, a self-defense tool is an item or group of items you carry for protection and personal defense. 

There’s a wide variety of self-defense tools for women, including your own body (voice, hands, arms, legs), anti-theft bags, personal alarms, safety apps, pepper spray, tasers, keychains, etc. Each of them is designed to protect you from a different threat and in a different environment. 

The best self-defense tools for women have the below characteristics in common:

  • Low / no risk of self-harm or the tool being used against you.
  • Are easy to access.
  • Will help you prevent a dangerous situation or protect yourself in case of one.

Should you carry a self-defense tool?

Despite the stranger danger we all feel, the majority of violence against women is at the hands of their partners, and yet we all feel safer and with greater peace of mind when we carry self-defense items such as personal alarms or keychains. 

I, and the entire team at Solo Female Travelers, believe that you shouldn’t carry any self-defense tools to stay safe because your voice, mind and body are powerful weapons you can use to prevent or escape from danger.

While carrying a tool such as maze or a knife may feel like great protection, if you are not regularly trained to use them, there is a great chance that an assailant will grab it and use it against you. 

Self-defense tools you are not frequently and actively trained in could provide a false sense of security and bring a weapon to a situation where there maybe wasn’t one.

At the same time, research suggests that women’s resistance can be a deterrent and stop violence and that self-defense tools can amplify resistance.

To stay safe, you need to choose the right self-defense tool, know how to use it and practice regularly to build muscle memory, which will be activated in case of danger. 

How to choose the right self-defense tool as a woman

There are many factors to take into account when choosing which self-defense tools to buy as a woman, especially if you intend to travel with them. How to choose the right self-defense tool for a woman:

  • Legal requirements, limitations and considerations
  • Features and utilities of the tool
  • Portability and accessibility

Legal restrictions or requirements

Firstly, you must understand the legalities around traveling with self-defense tools and whether they will be legal at the destination you want to visit.

Ask yourself: 

  • Is it legal to carry this tool where you are going?
  • Is it legal to use it where you are going?
  • Are there requirements to be able to?
  • Do you need a permit or license? 
  • Can you get the necessary permits to carry or use it?
  • Under what circumstances can you use it?

For example, ordering pepper spray online is illegal in some US States and carrying it or carrying a taser is not allowed in many countries in Europe.

Even in places where it is legal to buy or carry it, there are certain specifications (eg. percentage of the active component) that will determine which specific product you can carry. 

Likewise, guns are illegal to own or carry in most of Europe unless you have a license and a genuine reason for needing it (eg. hunting) and you could get severely fined or even jail time for breaking the law.

Even in cases where you can travel with them, you may not be able to bring them onboard and will most likely have to check them in with your luggage. 

In general, weapons and self-defense tools (eg. pepper spray, tazer, guns, etc.) that are designed to cause harm will have to go in your checked in luggage while other items that are designed for other purposes, are not lethal, but can be used for self-defense (eg. tactical pens, umbrellas, etc.) can go in the cabin.

Lastly, even in cases where you can bring, buy or carry an item with you, you need to ensure that you can use them as self-defense items and under what circumstance.

While spraying someone who is attacking you with pepper spray could be measured reaction, using a more dangerous self-defense item to respond to a threat or attack is only appropriate, and will not get you in trouble in front of the law , if it a proportionate reaction.

You probably cannot stab someone with a knife if they were unarmed and cat calling you in the street.

The tools’ features and utilities

Always understand the features and functionalities of a self-defense tool so you can assess if it will be useful in the situations you foresee you could use them. 

For self-defense tools that function with sound, like whistles and alarms, check out the number of decibels it produces, so you can judge their efficacy. For reference, most alarms work at 120-130 decibels which is incredibly loud and will not only alert someone else but also make it unbearable to hear.

In the case of pepper spray, understand how far it can go and how close the person needs to be to reach them.

Portability

Needless to say but if you are intending to get a self-defense tool for your solo female travel, you need to be able to comfortably carry it with you everywhere you go and access it in case of need.

Opt for lightweight self-defense tools that are easy to access and use. Can you put it in your carry on or maybe even in your purse? Can it be clipped on your handbag so you can access it immediately? Can it be carried, safely, in your pocket?

For example, if you are looking for a tool to keep you safe when running, consider the small pepper spray cans that attach to a velcro on your arm or the alarms that hang from your t-shirt instead of the larger versions that can only be carried in your purse.

What self-defense tools for women you SHOULD NOT buy

Some self-defense tools may provide you with a false sense of security and have the potential to backfire and end up hurting you if you are not adequately trained or used to using them.

You may carry them in your purse and not find them when you actually need them and have only a second to react to an attacker.

Or worse, you may find them and hurt yourself instead of the assailant because you pointed the nozzle the wrong way or misused them.  

Self-defense items such as pepper spray, guns, knives, stun guns, tasers, are risky and unless you are adequate and regularly trained, we do not recommend you carry them.

Why you shouldn’t carry pepper spray, knives, tasers or other self-defense tools:

  • Risk of self harm: It’s very likely and proven in studies, that first-time users can easily misuse these self-defense tools and end up not hitting the target, or harm themselves. What is more, research shows there are tools like pepper sprays being sold that can actually harm the user due to poor usability or counterintuitive design. 
  • Difficult to access: Many of these tools are carried in your purse and, as a result, they are hard to find in a moment of danger, so carrying them or having them with you does not mean they will be useful in a time of need as you will most likely not even get the chance to reach for them.
  • Can be easily stolen: When you get the tool out, your attacker could quickly steal it from you and use it to attack you instead, taking a weapon-free attack to a weaponized one.
  • They are illegal to possess or travel with in most countries: Airlines prohibit most of these tools in your carry-on luggage, and some even in the checked-in baggage, and they are illegal to possess, carry or use in most of the world.
  • Provide a false sense of security: Having these kinds of tools in your purse might give you peace of mind and make you feel safe, but this sense of security is not necessarily true. As a result, you may lower your other defenses or pay less attention to your surroundings, missing on other signals because you think you are safe in case something bad happens. 
  • They require formal and regular training: Tools like these require training, licenses and constant practice to stay up to date and train your muscles and your reactions so you don’t freeze in the face of danger, just carrying them and being able to access them does not guarantee you will be able to use them.

Best self-defense tools for women we DO recommend

We recommend items that avoid all of the above risks and pitfalls. The perfect self-defense tool for women:

  • Has low or no risk of self harm.
  • Is easy to access and carry (can be carried on board).
  • Require minimal to no training or maintenance.
  • Is legal everywhere.

Some of these safety tools will help you all the way from preventing the risk to addressing a dangerous situation in case you find yourself in one, and can be used by anyone, not just those with training or force. 

1. Most important self-defense tool for women: Avoiding danger

The most useful weapon for self-defense a woman can have is her own intuition and awareness of a situation, if you don’t put yourself in a position where you can be harmed, you will increase your chances of staying safe.

There is no clearer path to safety than avoiding what could end up in a dangerous encounter.

In the highly praised and recommended book The Gift of Fear, Gavin Becker explains all the often unconscious signals our body and gut send us when we are in what feels like a dangerous situation. Even before our brains can process a situation, our intuition, this gift of fear, will know that we should stay away. 

Awareness is indeed a powerful and underestimated tool.

When you’re walking alone, pay careful attention to your surroundings and make sure to be in full possession of your capabilities. 

Never have both of your headphones on or the music so loud that you can’t hear the traffic, or people nearby or be so engrossed in your mobile device that you lose sight of cars crossing the road or of someone following you. 

Keep an eye on the back of your neck and pay attention to see if someone is acting strange around you or something feels off. If that happens, get into a commercial establishment and wait until they’re gone, if they don’t, ask for help.

Important note: This great reminder is not victim-blaming, we do not consider it is the victim’s fault to put themselves in danger, blame is always on the perpetrator. However, there are situations that are predictably risky and our bodies are able to signal this to us, listening is the first line of defense.

Conclusion: Read the book The gift of fear and start training yourself to listen to your intuition where you live and in your day to day.

2. Most underrated self-defense tool: Preparation

Safety is one of the main concerns of solo female travelers but the risk of something happening is not the same across the world. Danger takes a lot of definitions.

In some places, the risk of theft may be high while in others, scams are widely spread. Some destinations suffer from high violent crime. The severity of danger is not the same everywhere.

The first step to keeping safe is understanding what kind of risk you may face so you can better prepare.

For that purpose, you may find our Safety Index useful. This solo female travel safety index ranks 220 destinations based on how safe they are for solo female travelers according to 7 variables and is built with first-hand reviews of other women.

Take the experiences of others and plan your trip accordingly. For example, familiarise yourself with common scams so you can identify them when they are happening; learn what are the more dangerous parts of a country or city and try to avoid them or put measures in place to explore them safely; understand how other women felt and put together a safety plan based on that.  

Conclusion: Knowledge is and always has been, power and you can equip yourself with that power by preparing for a trip and getting to know the kinds of dangers you will face and an action-plan to face them.

3. Most invaluable self-defense tool for: Your voice

ProsCons
It’s free, it’s always with you and it’s always available, without the need for any trainingIt does not prevent a serious attack or helps you defend yourself from it
It can be enough of a deterrent in low-risk attacks of opportunity or in cases which escalate

Your voice is a powerful tool, use it to set boundaries in a dangerous situation. 

“Most assailants are not looking for a fight, they are looking to commit an attack as fast as they can. When we use our voice, by being loud and yelling NO!, we interrupt their pattern of thinking and how they’re expecting things to go. We can use our voice as a great deterrent”, shared Nicole Snell, C.E.O of Girls Fight Back in one of our Empowerful sessions.

“The best self-defense tool is your ability to say “No” without worrying that you’ll offend someone. Most attacks don’t start as full-blown attacks. Rather, they start with someone gradually crossing boundaries”, agrees Diane Vukovic from Primal Survivor.

Using your voice has the added benefit of calling others’ attention to the situation and making it clear to the assailant and those around, that what is happening is not ok and that you are in danger.

Conclusion: The best part of using your voice as a self-defense tool is that it is free, easy to access, available at any time and legal anywhere in the world. Make sure to practice using it in front of the mirror so you are ready to yell if you are ever in danger.

4. Self-defense tool for women in disguise: A tactical pen

ProsCons
Looks, and works, like an actual pen, so it doesn’t draw attention from othersIt is not as intimidating as other self-defense items on this list and it might not stop an attacker
It’s very small, durable and can be carried in a purse or bagYou need to open your purse and reach out to use it
Requires no training for useYou have to practice striking with the pen, so you can be prepared in case you need to use it
It can cause damage by striking a person with it, but it’s unlikely to permanently injure or kill someone Some might be expensive and quite heavy for a pen
It can be used to break glass, i.e. if you want to escape through a car windowIt is not allowed in carry-on bags, just in checked baggage (according to TSA)
Some have a set of mini tools inside them like a flashlight, small wrench, screwdriver, or bottle opener

We talked about avoiding weapons like knives, stun guns and tasers, because they could get you into trouble legally, and be used against you. 

A good alternative to this is a self-defense tool in disguise: a tactical pen.

This is highly recommended by Yunquan from Kapap Academy, a martial artist and self-defense teacher, who specializes in training the most vulnerable (women, children and the elder) how to protect themselves. 

A tactical pen is easy to carry in your purse and it works as a regular pen, so it can also help you fill those immigration forms, but it’s also a self-defense item you can use in case you have to stab someone or shatter windows to escape a vehicle. 

The tip of a tactical pen is made of metal and is really strong and resistant, but it is unlikely that you would cause fatal injuries to anyone with it, which is why it is a preferred alternative to a lethal weapon such as a knife. 

In case you get abducted or end up at the back of a taxi taking you somewhere against your will, tactical pens can also be used to break windows without hurting yourself.

You don’t need any permits or licenses to carry or use a tactical pen, but your airline may prefer to pack it in your checked luggage so always confirm.

Conclusion: Tactical pens are a great self-defense tool to carry, not just as a tool to keep you safe but also as a pen to write with. If you are in a situation where you think security needs to be heightened (eg. walking at night in a desolate area) just grab it. Make sure to practice with it and watching videos on how to hold it properly. Hint: your thumb should be on the pen’s top.

5. Low-key self-defense tool for women: A cat keychain 

ProsCons
They are durable and very hard to breakIt may be illegal or regulated in some places
They are discreet, and look like a regular keychain to the untrained eyeIt is not allowed in carry-on bags, just in checked baggage (according to TSA)
They are typically non-lethal (unless used in critical posts), but you can cause some damage to your attacker and escapeYou could badly hurt yourself if you don’t wear it properly when using in the case of an attack as the sharp metal could cut your finger
No preparation or training is required to use them, though we recommend practising at home to hold them without hurting yourself

The Kitty Keychain is a version of brass knuckles that has become seriously popular thanks to tik tok videos and other social media content that showcases them as cute items that could save your life.

It’s important to remember that, like the regular brass knuckles, they are illegal in some states and countries and that if you do not use them properly (and even if you do) you could break a few fingers and hurt yourself badly, making yourself the perfect victim.

Conclusion: Cat keychains are a useful, generally innocuous self-defense tool but you should practice at home to make sure you know how to hold and use them in case of need to avoid hurting yourself.

6. Smartest self-defense tool for women: Kubotan keychain

ProsCons
It’s small, durable and fits easily in a keychain, purse or pants pocketIt is not allowed in carry-on bags, just in checked baggage (according to TSA)
It can be carried in checked luggageIf used in a wrong way or body part, it can permanently wound or harm someone
It can stop your attacker, but it’s a non-lethal weapon if used well hitting on pressure points Training to use and learn techniques and pressure points is required

This self-defense weapon was developed by Japanese karate master Takayuki Kubota. It’s usually made of hard plastic or metal and it is similar in size to a pen, about 5.5 inches long and half an inch thick. It is usually attached to a keychain for easy access.

The Kubotan keychain was created to train female officers to confront dangerous situations by striking the attacker in strategic pressure points.

This is a very practical tool, you can carry it in your pocket or in your purse and have it ready to use rapidly, in case you feel unsafe walking alone or find yourself under attack. In a way, it works just like a tactical pen, though it is less sharp and designed to be used on pressure points rather than to break things.

It’s extremely important to learn some Kubotan skills and the pressure points to hit on, you can do this by watching Youtube tutorial videos and practicing at home, or reading the technique manual written by the inventor of this tool.

Hitting a pressure point can stop your attacker by causing pain and disrupting balance, even loss of consciousness. The best pressure point targets for self-defense purposes, according to experts, are: eyes, ears, temple, nose, chin, back of neck, throat.

The Kubotan can’t be taken in carry-on luggage, but the TSA does approve it for checked baggage.

Conclusion: This is an extremely easy and smart self-defense tool that poses limited risk to you because its use does not come from the item itself but from the knowledge of the pressure points and how to use it. If you decide to carry it, it is paramount that your practice at home.

7. Safest self-defense tool for women: An anti-theft bag

ProsCons
Easily accessible as a self-defense mechanism, it poses no risk to youIt is a bigger investment than other self-defense options mentioned here
It is guaranteed to prevent pickpocketing and theft if used correctlyIt only keeps your things safe but it will not keep you safe from possible danger or attcks
It helps you organize your belongings in different compartments and secret pockets, so it makes traveling and exploring practical
Keeps your electronic devices safe from water
It’s legal everywhere, you can travel with it and bring it in the plane

Carry a bag that will keep your belongings safe when you’re walking around and sightseeing. Theft-proof bags are very resistant to damage and durable, so nobody can cut or slash the straps or steal it from you. 

There are a wide variety of designs, from backpacks to cross body bags, stylish and affordable options. 

PacSafe is a highly recommended and rated company that specializes in this. Their products are uniquely designed to be slash-proof, they have safe locks and zips and several features specifically designed against theft. 

With so many distracted and unprepared travelers in crowded places, all it takes is making yourself more of a difficult target and PacSafe does just that. Plus nowadays, they make cute and fancy bags that don’t look like your high-school backpack.

Read: Our top picks for the best anti-theft bags for women.

Conclusion: Using an anti-theft bag for travel is a no brainer and everyone should have one, men and women, to keep their belongings safe wherever they go, even at home. While in the past these used to be unstylish and clunky, ant-theft bags have evolved and are now fashionable items to complement your travel outfits.

8. No brainer self-defense tool: Personal alarm

ProsCons
They can be easily carried in pockets, purses, and in your handThey can’t disable the attacker
They are a non-lethal tools that can’t be used against youThey can be turned off by the attacker by simply taking them off you so the scare could be short-lived
They emit a very loud sound, which can be heard from afar and used indoors (eg. hotels) and outsideThey need to be tested from time to time to ensure they still have battery
It is great for the elder or those with mobility issues. They also help with wildlife
They are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage (according to TSA)

Personal alarms are one of the most useful and easiest to carry self-defense items, they are affordable and durable and can keep you safe against people and wildlife. 

A personal alarm emits a sound that can be as loud as an ambulance the moment you press a button. Some may also come with a light.

The sound will alert people nearby that you’re in a dangerous situation, get them to help you out, call for more help or prompt the assailant to run away as you suddenly become a much tougher target. 

Personal alarms are also used to scare wildlife animals in case you’re hiking or trekking in the wild as the sound is unbearable for larger animals such as bears.

“It is incredibly useful if you feel like you are about to be attacked or are being attacked, in any place and at any time. Most often it will act as a deterrent – the sound will shock anyone who is near it, which will make an attacker panic and run. If that isn’t the case, then the sound and flashing light will alert people nearby to you and the attack, so they will come and help you. It is especially useful in the dark, as the light is more visible then.” shared Anastasia Allmon.

We recommend Nathan Alarm and WanderSafe. The last one was created for women by women, and it’s a device integrated with many features: blaring siren sound alert, built-in flashlight, and silent SOS feature to alert your pre-set emergency contacts. You can also access the product’s app to get safety tips and critical information.

Conclusion: A personal alarm is a useful self-defense tool everyone should carry and have handy, for example, hanging from your handbag or attacked to your mobile phone case.

9. Simplest self-defense tool: Safety whistle

ProsCons
They can be easily carried in pockets, purses, in your hand or hanging from your neckThey can’t disable the attacker
They are a non-lethal tools that can’t be used against youThey can be taken off your hands by the attacker or you could be prevented from using them
They emit a very loud sound, which can be heard from afar and used indoors (eg. hotels) and outsideThey require you to be able to blow, which in a moment of shock, you may not be able to
It is great for the elder or those with mobility issues. They also help with wildlife
They are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage (according to TSA)

Safety whistles function like any whistle, you just have to blow and they will emit a loud noise that would alert others and startle the attacker..

As a self-defense tool, it works like a personal alarm but it is manually activated unlike personal alarms which work with the click of a button. 

Safety whistles are especially useful for outdoor activities like hiking or trekking, because they can help you be found in case you get lost.

Unlike alarms, they do not require batteries so there is never the risk of malfunction or of forgetting to charge them, and are the most affordable self-defense kit on this list.

“I never travel without wearing a referee’s whistle on a wristband. The piercing sound they make will draw a crowd if for no other reason to see what is happening. Better yet, they are cheap and never illegal.” shared Elizabeth Avery, Founder of Solo Trekker 4 U.

10. Cheap hotel self-defense tool: Door wedge alarm or door alarm

ProsCons
They are very portable and light to carryThey could malfunction in slippery floors
Budget-friendly, especially the door wedges which don’t cost a lotDoor alarms may not be as loud as personal alarm, so check the sound decibel levels
They’re easy to use and work with most doors and floorsThey would prevent security or medical personnel from entering your room easily so they could pose a fire hazard
They are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage (according to TSA)

A door wedge alarm is a very effective tool for preventing theft or attack in your accommodation. The device has to be placed below the door in a way that it is stuck and can detect movement. If someone tries to break in, it will alert you with a strong noise. 

The noise will also help alert the staff or other guests, who can help you right away. It can also make the attacker/thief go away.

This self-defense device became a viral video on TikTok because it was recommended as a travel must-have by a female flight attendant.

“This handy little item can be wedged under your hotel room door, and if anyone tries to get into your room a piercing alarm will sound. It’s really loud and would scare any intruder away, and other hotel guests would be able to hear it and hopefully come to your defense. I carry this with me in my bag, it’s small, very light weight and is able to be carried through security and onboard the airplane” says Deanna Castro.  

There’s also a regular door alarm, which you can slide into the crack between the door and doorframe, loop around the door handle, and set. It will function the same way as the door wedge alarm, emitting a loud noise in case someone tries to open the door.

11. Sophisticated hotel room self-defense tool: Door lock

ProsCons
They’re portable and easy to carryThey may not fit all kinds of doors and locks and could be tricky to fit on some
They prevent unauthorized entry to your room, including from hotel personnelReviewers mention they are not made of very durable material
They are easy to installThey would prevent security or medical personnel from entering your room easily so they could pose a fire hazard
They are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage (according to TSA)

Many of our community members have recommended this portable door lock from Amazon. This safety tool provides extra security by preventing entry to the room from outside, even if someone is trying to open with the correct key. It’s a very compact device and it fits the majority of door sizes. 

Megan shared, “I think I actually found this super handy travel accessory in this FB group but I love having it with me in South America as a solo traveler! Super easy and it definitely keeps that door closed if a hotel or hostel staff key tries to open the door”.

Conclusion: This is a useful self-defense item to have if you plan on staying places where security could be weak but could be hazard in case of emergencies.

12. Emergency self-defense tool: Safety app

ProsCons
It doesn’t require wi-fi/network to workIt may be hard to reach out for your phone in an attack situation so you should activate the safe word
You can access it from your phoneIt doesn’t emit a loud noise/siren 
It has automatic livestream, location sharing, voice activation, 911 calls and fake call servicesLimited free features. It has a monthly or annual subscription, or you can opt for paying a daily use (24 hours)

Besides physical items discussed in the previous points, personal safety apps can be incredibly useful in case you are assaulted or attacked.

These are regular apps on your mobile phone which can be activated with safe words, by pressing a button on a bracelet or necklace or by clicking on a button. 

We tested a few of these personal safety apps and our top pick is UrSafe, for which we have negotiated a special discount. We like this app because of the following features:

  • SOS lifeline: A voice-activated and hands-free emergency call you don’t have to find your phone for. Say your safe word and the app will activate various responses you can pre set, from streaming what it hears and sees through your phone camera to a friend to calling emergency services in more than 200 countries. You can also use E911 to send your live location to emergency services in the US and Canada.
  • Share location: The app can send location updates to designated friends and family, so they can view your live location and follow your journey in real life.
  • Fake call: Out on a date you need to get out of? You can set a predetermined fake call at a certain time so you can excuse yourself. 

All our readers get a free 30 day premium trial using this link.

13. A hidden camera detector

ProsCons
It will detect a range of devices from spyware to bugs to hidden camerasIt can only detect a device that is transmitting since this is what it picks up on, so if the device is off when you scan, it won’t show up
It is potent and very effective when in use and good value for the price, but it is not a professional itemCompared to other safety devices on this list, it is quite expensive

If you are staying in rental apartments or Airbnb accommodation, you may be worried that the owner has hidden a camera to track your every move, a hidden camera detector will come to the rescue.

This privacy protection device will help you identify any cameras that may be conspicuously hidden and hard to find using infrared scanning technique.

14. Self-defense courses

ProsCons
Increase confidence and peace of mind by knowing that you can defense yourself in case of attack Mastering self-defense skills requires discipline and practice beyond a structured course
It will help you stay safe and know how to escape in case of dangerDepending on the harm you cause in the attacker, you could get into legal trouble

Self-defense training will decrease the risk of something bad happening to you in case of assault or attack by teaching you how to react and get away from a dangerous situation.

Most self-defense courses will teach you the following steps: 

  • How read a situation. Be aware of your surroundings so you can identify danger before it occurs. If a situation does not feel right, leave, you don’t have to be polite with anyone or stay where you no longer want to be.
  • How to set boundaries with your body language and your voice. Being firm, not apologizing, and insisting on others respecting your boundaries. Sometimes, breaking someone’s pattern and expectations is enough to make them rethink an attack on you. Most attacks are crimes of opportunity and assailants will leave you alone if you make yourself a difficult target.
  • How to use the least amount of force with the highest impact to get away from a situation and to give you a chance to run to safety. Identify soft spots in the body like the groin or the eyes and aim for those.

Check out our Iceland Wellness & Wilderness trip with a 10 hour Self-defense course which has the best of Iceland and several workshops on personal self-defense built into the program.

If you can take an in-person self-defense course that would be preferable. if none are available where you live, we recommend these great online self-defense classes and workshops:

Conclusion: Self-defense courses are perhaps the best self-defense tool for women, they not only keep us safe but they also teach us how protect ourselves and provide the peace of mind and confidence to walk through life with our heads high. They are also the lowest risk tool in this list that can never be used against you or taken away. However, it is important to remember that this isn’t a one-off exercise but something that needs to be constantly practised and kept fresh to maintain muscle memory.

Frequently asked questions about self-defense tools for women

We have included a list of frequently asked questions from our online community to help answer the most pressing issues.

What is the best self-defense kit for women?

The best way to keep yourself safe is a combination of listening to your gut feeling and your intuition to avoid risky situations. Then taking self-defense classes, and regular refresher lessons, to know how to react in case of an attack.

This comprehensive self-defense kit would help you prevent risk, dissuade an attacker by making yourself a less easy target and deterring crimes of opportunity and finally, escaping in case the situation escalates.

What is the best self-defense tool for women?

The best self-defense tool is the one you have with you.

While a gun may be able to get you out of a lethal attack, if you don’t know how to use one or have it with you, it will not help.

Consider all the suggestions above, their pros and cons and the potential risk you could find yourself into and then decide which self-defense item you can most easily, discreetly and effectively have with you.

Can I carry pepper spray with me?

Always check that pepper is legal to carry and use where you are going as laws change from country to country.

What is the most affordable self-defense tool?

No doubt, the cheapest self-defense tool is your voice and your body.

Learning basic moves and responses in case you find yourself in a dangerous situation is not only the best way to keep yourself safe but also the most affordable.

Beyond that, the most affordable of the self-defense tools we have included in this list is the whistle, although more than a self-defense tool, it is a deterrent if used preemptively.

What is the best non-lethal self-defense tool?

All of the tools we mentioned above are non-lethal, although if you were trained for it, you could use a tactical pen to actually cause lethal damage.

In our opinion, the best non-lethal self-defense tool is a combination of a personal alarm, a safety app and good self-defense training.

The alarm will draw attention to you and potentially scare the assailant, the app will call emergency services and the learnings from a self-defense class will allow you to get away from the situation unscathed. 

2 thoughts on “Best self defense tools for women”

  1. Great tips! I left my pepper spray at home for this trip because my sister also told me in most cases it is used against women (the one who’s carrying it).

    Reply
    • Hi Lisi, so glad the article was helpful! Yes, we’re not big fans of pepper spray, because it can be really risky if you don’t know how to use it properly, and often cause more harm to us as the woman, ultimately too it’s illegal in many places and prohibited when you travel, so we recommend the above alternatives instead 🙂

      Safe travels! Xx

      Reply

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