Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Urban Survival Primer Part 3

Over on The Survival Studies Blog, Ken touched on the massive amounts of water just a couple/few people would need. In an apartment? Forget it, three people at three to five gallons a day, more if it's summer? You are talking, literally, about one ton of water to have enough to last less than two weeks.

Then Ken addressed the unpleasant sewage problems the apartment dweller might encounter should the system suffer back-pressure, which can also happen from flooding.

All of these problems can be avoided by not residing in a city. For those that feel they must for convenience or whatever other reason, you have to make plans to get out and get out quickly.

Putting aside the violence and all the other bad things that can happen, the logistics of having enough water and food can be quite a problem. The mere fact you have them could cause violence, the list of problems are endless when it comes to urbanitis.

Some people are just not going to move, they are going to stay put for whatever reason, of those that choose to stay, half of them will try to evacuate when it's too late and will encounter even more problems. Only a few that stay until whatever incident is in full swing will be able to escape safely.

Now, I could just tell you that your choice is perfect and everything will be just fine if you have a closet full of MREs and a few jugs of water, but it just isn't so. What should you always have on you in case of an emergency? Opinions, as always, vary wildly.

Let's say that you have a shoulder bag, briefcase, or if you happen to be female - a purse.

A lot of Urban Self-defense situations can be handled quickly with the proper application of the hottest O.C. Pepper Spray that you can purchase. A facefull of this along with a swift kick in the testicles and knees if necessary should cover most defensive problems in the city. Do not use lemon juice and all of that other nonsense that so-called "Self-defense Experts" talk about in cesspools like the Oprah Show.

Of course, there is the mighty handgun for those of you that can obtain a carry permit and actually hide it well enough to not be fired from your corporate drone job...that's the ultimate trump card in a lot of violent altercations...

Then there is the lowly, ancient knife. "Man's oldest weapon," so they say…
Eh...well, one of the oldest to be sure and one of the most highly misunderstood of them all. I assure you that discussing edged weapons for Self-defense is not only beyond the scope of this little posting, but also beyond the scope of the entire series of postings on "Urban Survival." The knife is both underrated and overrated simultaneously due to extremists who think that the answer to every problem is a firearm or the answer to every problem is a knife. You can see this point of view in two different goofy axioms of the online know-it-alls:

“Never bring a knife to a gunfight.”


“Guns are for show, knives are for pros.”

Do not think most Martial Arts Instructors, "Self-defense Experts" and the collective human debris on various forums are going to give you the scoop either. There are those that know what the deal is and a whole lot of other people regurgitating what they have read and others are simply guessing, stealing or making things up as they go along.

But the knife has many other uses as well. It is indispensable as a tool and to some, yes, as a weapon.

Now, everyone has said that the knife is ”Man’s oldest weapon,” but the bludgeon really is. Going all the way back to Cain murdering his brother with a lowly rock.

The ASP Telescoping (Collapsible) Baton is perhaps the epitome of the modern bludgeon…or impact tool if you will. Monadnock also has an excellent telescoping baton. If you are looking for a baton that is concealable, I would look no further than these two companies. Don’t buy garbage unless you are truly in the market for something you can use and simply dispose of because it will be deformed after you use it on an attacker. Not that I am advocating in any way that you should dump something that you use to defend yourself with…because I’m not.

Telescoping Batons are sort of limited in scope when it comes to being deployed as a multi-tool. Knives can do so many different chores, the Telescoping Baton can do one task very, very well – serve as an impact weapon of self-defense.

They do break windows well, so there is a second useful purpose for them – breaking glass from a somewhat safer distance than the various handheld glass-breakers being marketed today.

Only ASP brand Batons can perform this third trick – an inspection mirror. ASP has a great little inspection mirror that snaps onto the shaft of the baton. You then have a 16, 21 or 26 inches long inspection mirror, a great tool to have. There is a 31 inches long ASP Baton but does anyone sane and also under nine feet tall actually carry one of them?

Perhaps you want to check a vehicle for some type of nasty Improvised Explosive Device (What is commonly referred to as an “IED” now. Isn’t that a great acronym? It sounds so much cooler than “Booby Trap” or “Command Detonated Antipersonnel Mine.”) or a GPS Tracking Device. Dangerous times we live in. Who knows what nightmare tomorrow will bring.

Kelly McCann’s “Living Safely in Dangerous Times” should be required viewing for anyone interested in surviving today’s hostilities.

Maybe you just want to see over or around something without someone easily seeing you. In this case, the ASP Baton with the inspection mirror is just the ticket.

Blackjacks and Saps are just the ticket for serious, close-quarters knockout capability. They are incredibly effective and incredibly illegal in most areas.

Alas, the telescoping baton is also illegal in a lot of jurisdictions. Make your choices carefully, please…even in some states where you think you are free, you are restricted from carrying one of them.

The telescoping baton is also very well suited for defense against dogs. If you use a knife against a dog, chances are you are going to have to let the dog bite your non-weapon bearing arm so you can get the knife in the dog with the other hand. With the baton you can keep them off of you a little bit better and still deliver crippling and/or lethal strikes to the attacking animal.

Getting back to knives for a moment…

A good folding knife like the Al Mar Knives SERE 2000 and a multi-tool like a set of Gerber Multipliers or perhaps a Swiss Army Knives “Hunter” Model or "Swiss Champ" would be a good combination.

Avoid Wenger Swiss Army Knives. They are NOT as good as Victorinox brand Swiss Army Knives. I have one Wenger but it has a special feature I may or may not elaborate on in the future...the special feature which was battery driven, croaked on it so now I can go back to saying that there is no good Wenger Swiss Army Knife as far as I’m concerned.

So, you have a can of Pepper Spray, a knife and a multi-tool. What else?

Well, a large Nalgene bottle is another good thing to have. Except no substitutes! NALGENE. Add a bottle of Potable Aqua Iodine based or Katadyn Brand Micro-Pur water purification tablets and you will be set for almost everything when it comes to purifying drinking water. After earthquakes and other disasters, tap water can become compromised by sewage and other contaminants, even if the water coming out of the tap looks as clear as it has ever been, it could still be contaminated - treat it.

Two or three oversized, very large bandanas are simply must-have items. In the Urban environment, they are must-have items in case of some type of fire or any other incident that can put dangerous particulate matter into the area in large quantities. Tie it over your mouth and nose.

If you work or live in such an area, a small set of swimming goggles might be just the ticket to protect your eyes as you escape a disaster zone as well. They weigh nothing, they are minimalist and they will fit in the Nalgene bottle along with the extra bandanas and Potable Aqua tablets...as well as other things.

Cash. Coins. A lot of each, nothing more to say here except to remind you that your beloved ATM card might be absolutely useless in an emergency, just as useless as a credit card or phone card might be. Carry a good amount of cash and coin on you.

What has come to be known as a, "Blowout Kit" or “BOK.” This is a quick and dirty little First Aid Kit (FAK – you like all these acronyms?) for extreme situations like profuse bleeding, etc.

You can expand and have quite a comprehensive little First Aid Kit if you so desire and add to that a Survival Kit (SKIT) that is pocket sized, couldn't hurt and can only help. Cheap insurance.


Anonymous said...

I never thought of swim goggles. I've read many survival pages, but that's a first. Thanks, what a great idea!

Don Rearic said...

I don't think that was originally my idea, I think I read it somewhere but I have no idea where, years later. 8-)