A few years ago I planned an early spring van-camping trip to the Tetons. As part of my preparation I ordered a large canister of bear pepper spray. The male grizzlies were due to come out of hibernation around the same time I was planning to leave. Bear spray, therefore, seemed a reasonable precaution. I was certain those hungry male grizzlies would devour my simply delicious diet food entrees.

So a few days before the trip, as I was getting my gear ready, I tried  to put the pepper spray in its holster so I would be armed and dangerous when I got to bear country. However, a little button was in the way and I could not get the canister to slide into the holster. I moved the silly button and spraaaaaaaaaaaasyyyyyy. I sprayed myself in the face as a result of moving the safety button. I do not need to ever make things up, my life is always interesting.

My son was home on leave so I crawled upstairs to his bedroom screaming. Being a cool, calm and collected Marine, he calmed me down and gave me a dry washcloth to put over my eyes, after calling 911. He stayed by my side as the siren sounds got closer and closer. He didn’t laugh too much when the Paramedic jumped out of his ambulance and shouted, “where is the woman with hair spray in her eyes (bear/hair, easy to mix up).

Anyway, the hospital in our little town did not carry the antidote to pepper spray, so I had to sit in the ambulance in my driveway for quite a while while they flushed out the spray with sterile water. Flush, flush, flush. Soon, it felt better. My eye doc said there was no chemical damage, but for a week I tasted pepper.

I am forbidden to buy anymore pepper spray by the bossy Marine. However, a woman traveling alone needs something to fight off zombies during the full moon. My next choice–a stun gun.

I now own  two stun guns. The first is a pink device that is supposed to look like a cell phone. I keep it upfront with me while I am driving the van. It is also a flashlight so when I go zombie hunting at night I can quickly flip from the flashlight to the stun gun.

When not camping,  I keep this pink device in my purse or if I am walking in a remote area I carry it in my pocket. I bought this at my fave place, Amazon,and you can order by clicking “Pink 6.8 Million Volt Stun Gun“>of course.

The second is my big girl stun gun. It is larger and also a flashlight at first glance. This one goes in the back of the van and is within arm’s reach when I am sleeping. You can order the larger one by clicking “O-Mega Super Stunner 150,000v/Note: Stun Guns can’t be shipped to NY, NJ, MA, RI, IL, HI, Baltimore, Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago


For a stun gun to work, experts say you must touch a person, zombie, alien, or critter with the device. So, you will be up close and personal should you need to use this. I will also say that if you discharge it randomly into the air, the electric sound is fairly terrifying and would likely scare off many intruders. As an experiment, I have aimed the Super Stunner, while camping,  towards creepy noises and afterwards I hear little retreating feet (probably raccoon). My dog Tango hates the electronic noise and will also take off and stay away for quite awhile.

Questions linger in my mind: can I injure myself? If I zap myself will the paramedic look for the lady who shot herself with a fun gun? Will anyone know how to revive me? I try to be very careful as I know this is serious. Every time I go camping, I practice switching the devices  from flashlight to stun gun. It seems simple enough. I hope I don’t ever need to use a stun gun. So far, after 40 years of camping, I have never needed a weapon. I hope that trend continues. In the future, I will post more about assessing a situation before setting up camp.

By the way, most states do not regulate stun guns. To find out more about your state, be sure to visit this website.

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