The next best thing to a firearm (when you cannot have a firearm) is a tall hiking pole, like a closet pole sawed down to the height of your eyes. You can use the pole like a pirates' boarding pike to beat the crap out of somebody. And you can use it as a platform for your binoculars so you can see things better. That's why you cut it to eye height. A hiking pole is actually more powerful than a knife or a machete as a defense weapon. I have one that I always take with me when I am hiking.