Improvised weapons that you can carry almost anywhere

If it were up to me, I would carry my firearm absolutely everywhere. Sadly, this isn’t always an option. Restrictive (and ridiculous) weapons laws make it illegal to carry your firearm into certain places. Courthouses, police stations, schools, houses of worship – depending on what state you live in, you may not be able to carry at any or all of these places. But that doesn’t mean that you have to unarmed, and it doesn’t mean anyone needs to know you’re armed with items that seem harmless to most. There are several everyday items that can doubles as weapons that won’t draw any attention and can legally be carried everywhere—even through the wonderful TSA screening process. Let’s take a look at a few.


A sturdy metal pen or even a simple wooden pencil plunged into your attacker can end an assault immediately. Excluding the roughly four inches taken up by your grip, you’ve got three or more inches available—ample length to reach vital organs or arteries. You can aim almost anywhere; eyes, torso, inner biceps or thighs to cut major arteries, or even outer areas of the limbs to make muscles useless.

Magazinemagazine weapon

In my time studying various forms of Martial Arts, my instructor once showed me a strange trick. He took a regular old copy of Time Magazine and rolled it as tightly as he could, forming a sturdy baton. He then had a student hold 2, one-inch-thick wood boards, and with one swift strike – broke completely through. Most people don’t realize the strength of a plain glossy magazine. When used correctly, it could inflict serious damage on an attacker.


Everyone has a set of keys and that makes them a great weapon that few attackers would even notice. Placed in the palm of your hand protruding between your fingers, you’ll pack one hell of a punch that would make even Wolverine proud. Aim for soft spots like the eyes, throat, or solar plexus, and your attacker will either drop like a sack of potatoes or flee in search of easier prey.


It may seem like a pain to lug around, but even an empty briefcase can deliver some serious damage; especially the heavy-duty aluminum type. An added benefit is that they can shield you from attacks by edged or blunt weapons, such as knives or baseball bats. Swing hard with a motion similar to a hook punch, aiming for the head, elbows, or knees. If your attacker tries to block, there’s a good chance you’ll break their forearm, preventing them from attacking you again.


Carrying an umbrella is far more common in Portland than Phoenix, but it’s unlikely to draw much attention no matter where you live. It gives you the ability to stab your attacker or keep them at bay, and it can even be used to parry their blows. Just be sure to invest in a sturdy model.


Even a small 2- cell Maglite flashlight can be a formidable weapon when used to strike the temples, nose, or ribs, while the larger 3-cell models, with their substantial size and weight, can easily be used as a baton, striking your attacker’s limbs, or if necessary, their head. Even an elderly or weaker person could break bones or render an attacker unconscious with this tool, allowing for a safe escape.


How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? I have no idea, but I do know that a lollipop, when used in the same manner as I described with the keys, produces a devastating weapon. Its cardboard stem is, of course, not as rigid as keys, so your most ideal target is the eyes of your attacker; any harder targets may bend or break the stem leaving you weaponless.

Hot Coffee

You may not get this through TSA, but you can surely buy it on the other side. If you have a long walk down the street and you’re not feeling too comfortable with the neighborhood, carrying a near boiling cup of Joe in a travel mug may be a great weapon to throw in the face of an attacker. (and a tasty treat once it cools.) Worried about the guy in the airplane seat next to you? Keep a cup of hot java near by just in case.


Is there an everyday item you carry when you can’t carry a firearm that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments below.


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