Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

, / 1474 0

What is the difference between pepper spray vs. bear spray? I recently moved to a cabin in Wyoming and I always carry bear spray. Can this be used in self-defense against human threats?

-From Rachel P.

Answer: Most bear and pepper spray contain the same ingredient, oleoresin capsicum (OC.) However, the biggest difference is that bear spray contains a much lower concentration.

With that being said, I would imagine there have been cases where folks have been sued for using these products in self-defense since this is the U.S. and people sue anyone for any reason.

The manufacturer of these types of products does put warning labels on them that they may cause permanent eye damage along with other physicals risks.

But, if someone is trying to attack or kill me, I’ll use whatever I have on me to defend myself.


I live in a van and travel the U.S. When I retired it was my dream to see the country. But, this means I have very little space for survival supplies. And, renting a storage unit is pointless since I’m always on the move. Any suggestions how to store survival gear?

-From Brooke T.

Answer: If there isn’t any space for your survival gear, I suggest at the very least storing a 72-hour kit in your van.

The thing is, your 72-hour kit can hopefully provide you with enough time and supplies to get away from the danger or natural disaster.

Also, in many places, you can rent a small storage unit for about $25 a month. If you visit certain areas often it might be worth renting storage units in the cities you visit most often. (In other words, your 72-hour kit could give you time to get to the rest of your supplies.)


Do you recommend people leaving the lights on in their home at night so they can see if someone breaks in? I was thinking of having lights on near the doors so I could see the bad guy and confront him? Or is it better to have the home dark?

-From Jared T.

Answer: I don’t turn on the lights because I don’t need to. What I mean is, I have a light/laser combination on my home defense gun.

So, as soon as I grab my gun from my rapid-access safe, I’ll be able to see and it will also blind the intruder because it’s a bright light pointed right at them.

You should have a flashlight on your nightstand at the very least, so I wouldn’t worry about turning on the lights.


Thanks to your great advice I have placed guns around my home in safes. I was wondering how often I need to remove the gun and take the ammo out of the magazine? Does the magazine need a break from being fully loaded all the time?

-From James A.

Answer: There are a lot of opinions regarding this issue, but the fact is, when using quality magazines that are stored and maintained properly, you can leave them loaded for a long time… I’m talking years.

Modern magazine springs are manufactured to maintain their function under stress. In other words, they’re meant to be fully compressed when the magazine is fully loaded.

If you were to load a brand-new magazine to its capacity and let it sit in that condition for years, it would be fine. I know from experience.

When buying extra magazines for your gun, I always recommend buying them from the same manufacturer who produced your gun or buy them from top-of-the-line companies such as Magpul.


I live in the big city and always conceal carry. What’s the best way to conceal carry extra magazines?

-From Randy W.

Answer: One of the easiest ways to carry a spare magazine is to simply put it in your pocket. The typical magazine isn’t any heavier than the normal things you have in your pocket, so it shouldn’t be a burden. (I carry mine in my cargo pants pockets.)

Another option is to wear a magazine holster. There are a ton of them on the market with all sorts of options. For concealed carry, try to find an inside-the-waistband design that tucks easily and isn’t uncomfortable to have in the waistband.

Lastly, there are combination holsters for your gun and magazine. Obviously, these are bigger holsters, but it’s an all-in-one option for convenience. When it comes to combination holsters or magazine holsters you can find them online at Amazon or other online retailers such as Cheaper Than Dirt.


Is there some type of Faraday envelope or sleeve to put your phone and/or an iPad in? With all the cyberattacks lately I’m worried its just a matter of time before an EMP strike takes out all of our electronics.

-From Eugene M.

Answer: There are a lot of options when it comes to small faraday bags that you could place your electronics in.

One bag to check out is the Mission Darkness Non-Window Faraday Bag. This bag is designed for phones and completely blocks all wireless signals to prevent hacking, tracking, and chain of custody corruption.

In other words, when a cell phone is stored in the bag, no apps or malicious code can be remotely triggered or wiped, no communication can penetrate, and no one can access the microphone, camera, GPS location, or data.

At the end of the day, we really have no idea what electronics will survive an EMP. But a faraday bag will definitely improve the chances.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.