Illustrations by Michael Marte & Ingrid Wu

Paranoia might get the best of you after a late night spent in a Wikipedia hole about serial killers from the 70s. And during winter, when the sun sets earlier and the cold keeps people inside, a late-night walk home on an empty street can be frightening. Why risk becoming the subject of a true crime podcast when you can stay safe with your own self-defense kit? •

Millwall Brick 

what you’ll need

Approximately 30 sheets of paper (newspaper works best), water, rocks, coins or any small, heavy object, tape (optional for a more effective millwall brick)

Step 1. get a stack of paper. 

To make your club more substantial, add any small but dense objects to the center of the stack, such as rocks or coins.

STEP 2. ROLL THE STACK 

Roll the stack of papers as tightly as possible lengthwise. If you have water, it can help to slightly dampen the paper before rolling to add weight to the weapon.

STEP 3. FOLD THE ROLLED

Fold the rolled paper in half to create a small club. (Optional: tape the ends together to make it easier to wield.)

 

Tip: This type of weapon is best used in a downward motion so the force is more concentrated. 

Kubotan

what you’ll need

Wash, Old pen(s), duct tape, keyring (optional)

STEP 1. if you have more than one pen, gather them into a bunch and stagger them to create a pointy, jagged end.

A standard-issue Sharpie pen is best due to its size and pointed end. If that’s not available, you can use two to three pens instead to mimic a Sharpie’s size and weight.

STEP 2. cut off the pen clip(s)

Cut off the pen clip(s), then wrap the pen(s) in several layers of duct tape so they are covered completely. This will add more weight and create a better grip.

STEP 3. KEYRING

if desired, use the tape to create a flap at the end, poke a hole in it and insert a keyring for easy access.

 


Pepper Spray 

what you’ll need

Vinegar, oil, spray bottle, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, black pepper or similar spices

STEP 1. COMBINE

In a bowl, combine one part chili flakes, cayenne pepper and other spices. Pour in three parts vinegar. 

STEP 2. CRUSH

Crush flakes into the vinegar. stir in a spoonful of oil, which allows the mixture to stick to your target.

STEP 3. SIT

Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or up to a day.

STEP 4. strain

Strain and pour into spray bottle. and remember: pepper spray is a legal method of defense in the state of florida, but you are only permitted to carry 2 ounces at a time.

 

Tip: DIY pepper spray is not as effective as store-bought, but it will still work to temporarily hinder an attacker.