Skip Nav
Healthy Living
Why I (and Everybody Else) Should Learn to Take a Compliment
Health News
An Ingredient in Starbucks's New Drinks Might Not Be What You Think It Is
Healthy Living
10 Things to Never Say to a Healthy Eater

Runners Protect Themselves With Pepper Spray

Would You Carry Pepper Spray When Exercising Outside?

With Spring weather in full swing, I am loving being able to get out to go trail running. There's a pond near my house that's wooded all around it, and it's been a great place to run with my dog — until now. In the news, I just found out this week that a woman who was running there at four in the afternoon got assaulted. I was shocked, seeing as this is a family- and outdoor-enthusiast-friendly place. I usually run alone there and have always felt safe because I go when it's light out. But now, I'm not so sure after hearing this awful story. Someone recommended that I carry pepper spray and keep up with my solo runs. Would you?

Around The Web
A Treadmill Workout to Help You Run Faster
5K Training Plan to Run Faster
20-Minute Treadmill Workout
How to Make Running Feel Easier

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 5 years
I actually intend to get pepper spray for when I've found a better place to jog locally. My husband wants me to carry a gun, but my pistol is a bit heavy and bulky, plus I feel like it would be a problem at my hip, even in (god forbid) a fanny pack. Putting it anywhere else would just defeat the purpose of having it - if you can't pull it out quick, it's no good! ... Plus I still need to get my CPL. I've also considered a taser, but again with the issue of weight and easy access. For me, I think pepper spray in a small hip pouch would be the best method of protection - plus maybe a big dog, but that'll have to wait, sadly.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 5 years
I actually intend to get pepper spray for when I've found a better place to jog locally. My husband wants me to carry a gun, but my pistol is a bit heavy and bulky, plus I feel like it would be a problem at my hip, even in (god forbid) a fanny pack. Putting it anywhere else would just defeat the purpose of having it - if you can't pull it out quick, it's no good!... Plus I still need to get my CPL. I've also considered a taser, but again with the issue of weight and easy access. For me, I think pepper spray in a small hip pouch would be the best method of protection - plus maybe a big dog, but that'll have to wait, sadly.
Beaner Beaner 5 years
I used to feel completely safe trail running in the woods by my house on my own, but one day I saw some little girl's pink backpack all torn up, next to a tree, and I began to think of awful reasons why it was there, and totally got freaked out. I took that as a warning because, really, you never know who's lurking in the woods. If I was running, I'd be too tired to run away from a creepy dude or an animal, an no one would hear me scream. So now, I run on the street in my neighborhood, and only trail run in the woods if my hubby comes along.
commonsense102 commonsense102 5 years
If I felt like I needed pepper spray, I wouldn't run alone. As it is I only run in areas that are safe, well lit, visible, familiar, with known safety routes.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 5 years
I don't run outside. I generally stick to the gym. I wouldn't have pepper spray with me because I'd be too panicked to use it correctly. A couple weeks back I was dog sitting and we'd walk 3 or 4 times a day, and tho I felt safe, I still kept my guard up. I may have had a dog with me, but the basset is more of a coward than I am. I also carry a knife with me when I go hiking. Bears and mountain lions are my main concerns when walking on the trails. There was an attempted rape months back on a trail in south san jose area and the lady got away by jabbing her hand into the guy's mouth, gagging him and kicking him in the groin.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 5 years
I don't run outside. I generally stick to the gym. I wouldn't have pepper spray with me because I'd be too panicked to use it correctly. A couple weeks back I was dog sitting and we'd walk 3 or 4 times a day, and tho I felt safe, I still kept my guard up. I may have had a dog with me, but the basset is more of a coward than I am. I also carry a knife with me when I go hiking. Bears and mountain lions are my main concerns when walking on the trails. There was an attempted rape months back on a trail in south san jose area and the lady got away by jabbing her hand into the guy's mouth, gagging him and kicking him in the groin.
ironmansherry ironmansherry 5 years
When I trail run, or run in a more rural area I have my pepper spray in my hand ready to use. I also carry it whenever I bike.
inlove23 inlove23 5 years
Ah! This is all freaking me out. I have trails in the woods behind my house, but it's a mile back and a lot of hunters use it and thats the last thing I need is some creepy. I have learned kick boxing and I know how to break a nose, but pepper spray defiantly wouldn't hurt. You have to be careful though my mom used it on a dog and the wind pushed it back into her face =(
sparklestar sparklestar 5 years
No. I had two guys attempt to mug me a few weeks ago, when I ran in a different area to what I usually do. I thought it would be safer to run up this particular road but it turned out it was right near the local "campsite" for "gypsies". They demanded my phone so I took off my jacket (my key is in the back of my trousers, the jacket had nothing) which they ran off with and threw into some trees. I gave them 5 minutes then went and retrieved my jacket. It was a scary experience but pepper spray wouldn't have changed a damn thing.
sparklestar sparklestar 5 years
No.I had two guys attempt to mug me a few weeks ago, when I ran in a different area to what I usually do. I thought it would be safer to run up this particular road but it turned out it was right near the local "campsite" for "gypsies".They demanded my phone so I took off my jacket (my key is in the back of my trousers, the jacket had nothing) which they ran off with and threw into some trees. I gave them 5 minutes then went and retrieved my jacket.It was a scary experience but pepper spray wouldn't have changed a damn thing.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 5 years
I carry pepper spray when I run. We live in a very small, very safe town. There's a very nice bike path, but it's in a wooded area and there's not very heavy traffic. It's not uncommon to go for a walk or run without seeing another soul. I'm cautious of people, but I'm even more cautious about the wildlife and stray dogs I've seen in the area. Can't hurt to have it although I hope I never have to use it.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 5 years
I carry pepper spray when I run. We live in a very small, very safe town. There's a very nice bike path, but it's in a wooded area and there's not very heavy traffic. It's not uncommon to go for a walk or run without seeing another soul. I'm cautious of people, but I'm even more cautious about the wildlife and stray dogs I've seen in the area. Can't hurt to have it although I hope I never have to use it.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
No. I live in a fairly safe neighborhood and don't exercise at night. But even if I didn't live in a great area, the idea of pepper spray freaks me out. You have to be really close to the person to use it. I just don't think that I could A) not spray myself, or B) outrun the pissed off and hurting criminal once I managed to hit my target.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
Running with a buddy or a dog is a safer bet....I would never run outside alone any time of day, pepper spray or not.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
No. Many, many years ago, I carried pepper spray on a key chain. I never used it, and it leaked from it's nozzle. It created a mess. Besides, I've taken a self-defense course. If someone decides to assault me, he'll be sorry. :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
No. Many, many years ago, I carried pepper spray on a key chain. I never used it, and it leaked from it's nozzle. It created a mess.Besides, I've taken a self-defense course. If someone decides to assault me, he'll be sorry. :)
danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
I don't exercise outside (asthma). But if I did, I wouldn't carry it. I heard you're more likely to have it used against you than the attacker. With my luck, I would spray it into my own eyes.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
I usually feel pretty safe when I run in my neighborhood, but carrying pepper spray isn't a bad idea. Like others have said, I feel more threatened by unleashed dogs than I do by strange people on the loose.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 5 years
I would definitely carry it, but I believe the safest thing is to have a running partner and a dog. That's what I do now and I feel safe. There are some sinister people out there and as women we need to be vigilante about our safety. When I hear stories about women getting assaulted (or worse) I think it was because the perpetrator was able to gain their trust somehow or sneak up on them. Definitely do not listen to music on runs by yourself! Seriously, finding a running partner was one of the best things to happen to me because it enabled me to get past 2 miles and I don't worry about getting assaulted when there are two of us.
wasabifootball wasabifootball 5 years
I was lucky enough to find a running club not far from my house.Like sloane220, I too got tired of being freaked out by every person I passed on my runs so now the only way I will run outside is with the group. If they don't meet, then I am at the gym.
Dbaby Dbaby 5 years
I carry pepper spray every time I run. My husband asked me to at first, which I did at first to quell his fears. However, a few weeks ago, I went running and passed a man who made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. His stare freaked me out so much, I stopped a woman walking opposite of me to tell her to keep her eyes open. I will never run without my pepper spray again.
sloane220 sloane220 5 years
i ran a few times in this park near my house at night, but after becoming freaked out by every man who passed me i stopped. i don't like exercising outside during the daytime in the summer because i get too hot, but exercising at night makes me feel unsafe, so i end up exercising in the gym yearround,
Latest Fitness
X