Pepper Spray and Mongolia

My lovely bride will be leaving for a two-week trip to Mongolia. I get to stay home and watch the kids and the dog (MAJOR brownie points accruing here).

As she will be travelling alone (she’ll be with a tour group though), I would feel better if she had some “protection” (please, no condom wisecracks). I was thinking about getting her some pepper spray, but wonder if she’d be able keep hold of it as she travels.

So whaddaya think? Is pepper spray illegal in Ulaan Bator? Are the risks of bringing it worse than the risks of not?

Thanks in advance


Whatever you do, don’t put it in a carry-on, or the TSA will have an aneurism.

Two separate issues here: can you transport pepper spray on a plane, and can you possess pepper spray in Mongolia?

I would think that the latter question could be answered by the organizers of the tour group, or, failing that, the Mongolian Embassy. The former may be a bigger problem, though. Most airlines prohibit canisters that are under compression due to the safety hazard, either checked or unchecked, and in particular so does Mongolian Airlines. I’m not 100% sure whether pepper spray would qualify as such, but hey, there’s a “Inquiry” form right on the page I linked to.

Are you worried about wild animals? Or other humans?

You could consider alternative protection. Like a knife/sword. Or a baton.

Did you read the restrictions? Kind of funny how it says “Firearms, swords and other similar items should not be carried in cabin.”

Sounds like a suggestion.

She can probably find pepper spray in kiosks in Mongolia. It has been a few years since my last visit, but you used to be able to find it for sale.

I saw this too, and found it odd, since I distinctly remember in Kill Bill, Vol 1 that Uma Thurman (as well as several other first-class passengers seated near her) was allowed to openly carry her katana.

Guess she wasn’t flying MIAT.

Just a thought: but having pepper spray for defense isn’t always the best idea. Since she is going in a tour group, the safety in number thing applies. If the group is accosted it would have to be by group of hooligans; therefore a single can of pepper spray is rather useless. Though, if she is planning on doing some exploring alone, that’s another thing.

However, you also have the situation were using pepper spray on a would-be attacker only increases the chance of violence. If somebody just wants her purse, and she pepper sprays them, they would be obviously annoyed. Unless she makes it to safety in that circumstance the odds of a violence encounter and not just a simple mugging are dramatically raised.

Does she feel she needs this protection? Has previous tour groups been attacked? Does the tour company provide security itself? Is there a serious enough need to actually carry pepper spray and does it outweigh the possible consequences of spraying somebody? I do hope she has a great trip; I’ve always wanted to go there myself.