Survival kits are meant to stabilize certain unavoidable situations but escape and evasion kits are meant to negate the need to survive.
Gear to survive or endure dangerous and hazardous scenarios is valuable but gear to avoid them is invaluable.
The purpose of these kits are to “escape” and “evade” from capture of kidnapping or unlawful detainment. Specifically to get free from handcuffs, plastic ties, rope and other forms of forced restrainments.
Escape and evasion kits are not just for military operators or intelligence agents, however. Civilians can just as well utilize them for travel or everyday carry.
Unlike typical survival kits, these should not be in an obvious box or container. Nor should they be packed in a bag or even the pockets. In the event of being captured or detained, the subject will be searched. This is why escape and evasion kits should be worn, not carried – hidden strategically around the body.
Parts or sections of the kit should be placed on areas where they will be easily accessible while the subject is restrained; hands handcuffed / tied in front or back, hogtied with the feet, secured to stationary objects.
Escape & Evasion Kit Items List //
Universal Handcuff Key //
The most important and likely to be used escape and evasion kit item. Even to this day, most handcuffs around the world use the same locking mechanism and key.
Ceramic Razor Blade //
A concealable and nonmagnetic tool to cut rope, ductape and plastic zip ties. Invisible to metal scanners, holds an edge better than steel and is a much harder material.
Handcuff Shim //
A good backup or alternative to a dedicated handcuff key. These bypasses the lock instead of unlocking it. Available in steel or titanium, both extremely small and concealable.
Kevlar Friction Saw //
Ideally placed in footwear, this makeshift escape and evasion kit item can cut through almost anything that would be used to retrain a subject except metal.
Bogota Lock Pick Set //
This is the “evasion” part of the kit. With practice, any pin tumbler lock can be opened, which is universally the most common door lock and also many padlocks.
Small Stealth Weapon //
A standard self defense tool such as a knife does not apply to an escape and evasion kit as it should be assumed the subject will be searched. I use a custom made carbon fiber impact dagger.
– BUY / NA
SERE V Cutter //
A clever cutting tool specifically designed to cut through thin straps of plastic, nylon, rope and tape in a quick and singular motion. Consists of angled dual blades but safe from accidental cutting.
Diamond or Micro Saw //
An extremely small and concealable tool for small cutting tasks. Ideal for any hand restraints including thin steel chains with the diamond saw and thick rope with the micro saw.
EZ Decoder or Quick Stick //
Secondary escape and evasion kit tools. Similar to the handcuff shim, these bypasses locks, not picks them. However, these are for padlocks and combination locks.
Not all of these items are necessary for an escape and evasion kit. A select combination of them can be equipped to suit specific needs and carryability.