Urban spaces have shady places. Street smarts are key, but sometimes circumstances still conspire to place you in uncomfortable situations. That might even mean actual peril. It’s important to be able to look after yourself, as there is little opportunity for backup when it comes to finding yourself in a bad location.

For example, let’s say you’re doing a little light breaking & entering at an old factory in the hopes of capturing some quality abandoned porn. Unfortunately it turns out that this particular factory is being used by a local gang for nefarious purpose and they are quite bent to find you on prem taking photos. You try to explain you are harmless, but they aren’t listening. They march you into an interior office at gunpoint, take your phone and wallet, zip tie your hands to a pipe, and lock you in there by yourself. You have a precious few moments before they return. What would you do? Would you cry? Would you panic? Would you have any play at all?

Life in the city has risks and random people stumble onto things they shouldn’t find all the time. The best play is to always read your environment and avoid excessive risk whenever possible. Using that baseline as a given, when risk avoidance becomes impossible, having some solid skills might get you through bad circumstances, relatively unscathed.

Acquire some quality gear and farm some rare skills to create more options at hand when your shit hits the fan. Having a go bag is a given, but if you’re away from home, then it’s out of reach anyway. Skills however, are something you always carry and small, non-obvious tools can be secreted away on your person, as well.

Here are a few things to consider acquiring that might help even your odds in a bad situation:


skill-set: lock picking

context and value – unlawful restraint escape – critical resource acquisition in shtf situation – this skill has a significant learning curve for mastery, but you can pick up the basics quickly enough and that will get you past the vast majority of locks you might encounter in any given situation.
protip – get an electric pick gun for your go bag and keep a tiny pick concealed on your person, in your pack or in your car for emergencies.
party trick – handcuff picking

skill-set: urban escape

context and value – counter kidnapping skills – supports shtf planning – knowing what to do if bad things happen to occur in your vicinity, can make the difference between your life and the end of it. If the city had a major crisis and you had to survive for 72 hours – or get out – could you? Could you escape an attempted kidnapping, move through the city unnoticed, or commandeer a boat to escape in an emergency? This is an elite skill set to be sure, and will require a significant monetary investment for top-shelf training, but the risk is life and death, so obv worth it.
party trick – you might wake up naked in a public park, but you’d be OK because you’d know what to DO.


tool-type: titanium escape ring

context and value – small, thin, nondescript ring that conceals a hidden titanium tool. A combination restraint saw and handcuff shim that can allow you to rapidly escape from cuffs, ropes, zip-ties and tape restraints. This tool has skill requirements, so you’ll need to learn how to use the tool effectively before you can rely upon it.
party trick – crazy bitch left you cuffed to the hotel bed in Vegas? Not for long.

tool-type: dyno kwick pick or southord pocket pen pick set

context and value – never be locked out of your stuff again. The value of being able to bypass physical security (lock picking) is immense. These two tools offer a variety of options for lock bypass in compact, concealable packages. shtf value is off the charts. This tool has a significant skill component, but this is one of the most critical skills to have in your personal toolbox. Considering the costs in terms of money and time vs the value in terms of having this super ability make the decision an easy one. This is a defiite “must”.
party trick – help your friends when they lock their keys in their apartment for the 4th time this month.

tool-type: kronos electric pick gun

context and value – this thing is an electro-mechanical marvel. Exquisitely engineered in germany, this device will make incredibly short work of so many locks. It’s small enough to carry in a pack or in your vehicle, but it’s not really small enough to be something you’d typically wear on your person (unless you are the batman). this is an elite tool for sure, but accessible to anyone who has the scratch.
party trick – this thing is so amazing, you probably want to avoid showing it off.