I personally carry OC in addition to my G27 and defensive knife. Pepper spray is an viable self-defense product and is used by nearly every law enforcement agency throughout the country. It is non-lethal and can be effective when sprayed in the facial area and eyes. It can give you time to escape and seek help. Additionally pepper spray is very inexpensive, and is not typically restricted by law, and generally a permit is not required to carry them.
Still, you should be aware of its limitations, so you do not rely on just one form of defense. Pepper spray may take a few second for it to be effective. And for some it may not be effective and an attacker may be able to reach you before the effects kick in. Wind and rain may reduce its range and effectiveness and you may get spray-back when sprayed against strong wind or in an enclosed area.
My question is, for those of you that have decided to carry a non-lethal (less than lethal) alternative, such as a batton, taser, etc what and why did you choose that tool?
I too carry pepper spray. I do so because the members of this forum convinced me of the importance of scalable force.
I carry pepper spray in case the wife and I, or just me, are ever harassed by an unarmed drunk, belligerent individual etc. I'd prefer not to go hands-on if avoidable. You never know when an unarmed assailant might turn into a knife-wielding assailant when you're at contact range. So I carry the pepper spray. In case I do ever have to go hands-on, I train in krav maga.
I carry, in addition to my Walther PPQ, typically an auto-assist folding knife with serrated edge and tanto point (great all around knife for utility needs, and a last resort for defense) as well as a 21" expandable baton, because I can use a baton very proficiently (trained) and a baton works regardless of weather, or wind conditions, indors or out, etc, and I can choose my targets more accurately with a baton than with a stream or mist of spray. I do carry Sabre Red OC as well, but typically only OTJ. Seems like our guys go through that OC like water at the night clubs breaking up fights. It's very effective.. usually. Had one huge guy recently take half a can of it to the face, wiped it out of his eyes, and growled that he eats that s*** for dinner.. some people just aren't affected by OC, not even the LE grade heavy duty stuff.. but trust me, when that baton comes out, nobody is immune to a good shot or five to a nerve center.
We've been giving thought to tasers, but if those come out, police have to be called in, and the person tazed has to be cuffed and held till they arrive, so it's a pain.