I recently saw someone running with an ASP, presumably for protection from 4 legged predators in our neighborhood.  It got me to thinking about some of your options when you are exercising.  I live in a very calm urban environment for the most part, but in other places I live there have been real threats to exercise like bears and wild dogs that were turned loose by their owners at the end of hunting season.  A person is often most vulnerable while exercising because they don’t carry much, and they are normally very focused on the activity at hand which leaves them open to harm.

The man with the ASP in my neighborhood had a good idea.  Having carried one for several years in the L/E world I can tell you that you don’t want to be on the receiving end of that stick.  They are light weight, easily deployable, and will work to keep most dogs and other unwanted things/people away from you.  Before you go out and buy one of these from the tactical wholesalers on the net, you better check with your locality to make sure civilians can carry them.

Another good option is Mace.  Unlike the baton, you don’t actually have to contact someone physically, and the effects are not permanent so Fido will be ok in a little while.  If you really don’t think you could ever harm anyone, this is probably for you.  It will give you an opportunity to get away.  The thing to remember is that you will often catch a little yourself.  Wind direction may make it bad for you as well.  However, not a bad idea, especially for the canine you want to keep away, but not hurt.

The final option to be mentioned is a small pistol or revolver.  I have carried one running for years in a variety of different ways.  One of the best ways is in a fanny pack.  This is the only time it is cool to wear a fanny pack!  If you have one with your blue socks, shorts and sandals you should be ashamed.  Don’t do that!  It SCREAMS dork.  The Bulldog pack is a good value and secures the weapon comfortably for long distances.  You can also put your keys, i-pod and other stuff in there as well.  One thing to remember; this is the hardest option to deploy.  If you decide to carry, you must be aware that you can’t use this all the time.  It is a last resort when nothing else will do.

So what is the rememdy?  The best option may be a combonation of these three depending on your environment.  Make a good decision and then train with it.  You should know what pepper spray does in the wind.  You should practice with your ASP.  You should practice drawing your snubbie and shooting it.  Make sure you are ready no matter what comes your way.