Reader question: Survival strategies without firearms

A question came in from a British ex-pat living in Taiwan:

Everyone, every blog and every site I read (especially in English) always talks about self defense and using arms but what if you had none?

Everyone talks about bug out locations and protection through the use of arms but what if on route they were confiscated by the authorities and you found yourself unprepared with none?

I myself have a little place away from populated areas here in Taiwan and am fully conscious of the fact that if the laws break down and you are on your own, it’s gonna be hard.

Now I am about as removed as I can be BUT on an island like Taiwan which is heavily populated it’s impossible to be that far away from anyone looking for food or a place to hide.

So with that in mind and NOT having the availability of any arms, maybe as a question to your clearly wise audience “How would you defend yourself? Hide? Stand? Fight?”

This is also tough as there would be some weapons but not for all the masses and as a British Guy living in an Asian country blending in is not an option.

When faced with a violent aggressor or pissed off mob, there are two time-tested strategies - fight or avoid the trouble altogether.

On fighting:
In terms of fighting, there's an old saying - "God made men, but Sam Colt made men equal." Firearms are the great equalizer - a dude can outweigh you by a hundred pounds of muscle...doesn't much matter when put a couple rounds into his chest.


Overnight kit

Reworked the overnight bag to a light, grab-n-go sub-load to toss into a bag if/when needed. Contained in an Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube:

T-shirt and skivvies, ranger rolled for compactness
Merino wool hiking socks
Gym shorts
Toiletry kit with toothbrush, toothpaste, floss

Simple, practical and inexpensive to throw together...clothes you've got lying around. Just pick 'em out and set 'em aside.


Patchers, stickers - sold out!

Well, our inventory of apocalyptic swag got cleared out faster than expected. Good work!

We're in the process of getting stuff restocked and maybe get some more variety to add to the mix.

Ultimately, I'd love to be able to expand this side of what we do and offer a bunker full o' fun stuff and hard-to-find gear. Certainly baby steps for us along that path here--Thanks for your support!


Kickstarters - Hoss and Capricorn Tool

Two Kickstarters by good dudes that I wanted to put out on the airwaves.

The Hoss' American Militia
We're Hoss fans over here, and he's getting fairly close to funding the project with 9 days left.


And hey, if you have $10k lying around to throw Hoss' way, he'll come visit you and let you buy him dinner! I'd figure Hoss-a-Bossa could pick up the tab for some Denny's Grand Slams, but hey. He may even let you lend him your couch to sleep on!

Capricorn Pocket Tool
Next up is a project by a reader who has been following T-blog since the pocket survival kit contest way back when. Pretty cool little pocket bling, the Capricorn Pocket Tool:

The Capricorn Pocket Hook is a titanium design that weighs less than three quarters. Its main purpose is as a keychain dangler. The three hooks (main hook, pocket clip, and shallow hook) allow keys to be suspended in a variety of ways. Furthermore, the hooks also lend themselves to other uses, such as carrying bags, lifting hot dutch ovens, attaching items to backpacks, and more. The Capricorn is equipped with a bottle opener and a slot to drive 1/4" hex bits. At only $17 for the standard early bird option, we feel it's an economical way to augment one's EDC.

They're just over halfway to their goal with 12 days left. Check it out here:


Bag Dump - July '14

As promised, my current EDC bag dump.

The bag is a Camelbak Urban Assault, going on 4 years old. Still lookin' good, no rips tears or busted zippers. Excellent bag, with a dedicated laptop pocket and lots of useful internal pockets. The gear pictured goes into admin pockets, leaving the main compartment wide open for whatever I might need.

The bag's contents are a mix of daily-use items, snivel gear and lightweight contingency kit. Doesn't weigh much, provides some good capability and keeps oft used items at hand.

Contents after the jump:


Review: Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II

The Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II is about as versatile as you can get. The four color modes (white light, blue, red, IR), each with five brightness levels (low, med 1, med 2, high, beacon) is cool but not particularly impressive. What is impressive is the Sidwinder's ability to run off three different types of batteries - CR123A, AA or AAA.

Yep, you read that right. It can run off of any of those battery types. Streamlight doesn't advertise AAAs working, but they most certainly do. The single cell battery compartment is smartly designed to expand/contract to fit the cell size - it's spring loaded, so it adjusts automatically when you slip a different cell in. And it actually works, too.