Kidnapping for ransom and extortion, hijacking, piracy and terrorism are worldwide phenomena. If you work or travel in potentially hostile environments, escape and evasion (E&E) planning should be part of your routine. Escaping from captivity requires a combination of tools, techniques and skill.
ESEE® Knives Izula® Gear Wallet E&E Kit is a compact kit designed by Randall’s Adventure & Training® in conjunction with personnel working overseas missions.
Izula Gear gets its name from the tough, agile ant found in lowland rain forests from Nicaragua and eastern Honduras south to Paraguay. Known by the Peruvian locals as the “isula ant,” it’s also commonly referred to as the “bullet ant,” since its sting is said to be as painful as a bullet.
WALLET E&E KIT
The Wallet E&E Kit isn’t designed to replace a traditional survival kit, though it does include survival tools. The Wallet E&E Kit is designed as a purpose-driven “last ditch” E&E kit. It’s built with timetested tools to help the user escape and evade hostile forces.
The Wallet E&E Kit is small and light enough to be easily carried on the person at all times. The complete kit measures only 4¼ x 2¾ inches. Total weight is approximately four ounces.
The Wallet E&E Kit features a heavydenier black Cordura® nylon tri-fold wallet style container that bears the Izula Gear ant logo. The edges of the wallet are reinforced with nylon binding tape, and the corners are thermally sealed to prevent fraying. The wallet can be carried as a standard wallet, worn on a belt with its belt loop, or secured to gear via integral grommets. The wallet is secured closed with hook-and-loop material. Unfolded, the wallet exposes a variety of well-thought-out tools.
All items in the kit were chosen by Randall’s Adventure & Training for their ability to be hidden on the person and remain undetected should the need arise to escape a desperate situation. The wallet-style container is only designed to hold the kit when it is not needed. E&E tools should always be properly layered/hidden on the body to lessen the likelihood of detection.
Taping them to various places on the body or clothing easily conceals small tools such as these. Surgical tape is excellent for this. The tools can also be concealed under hook-and-loop uniform patches. There are numerous other possibilities, limited only by the imagination.
Concealing E&E tools in or under items of value is generally a poor idea, as captors will likely take these items. Hats should also be avoided for concealment, as they can be lost in a scuffle.
A ferrocerium fire-starting rod is attached to one of the grommets on the wallet by a split ring. Although an important tool to have, it needs to be emphasized that a fire should only be built in an E&E scenario when it is absolutely necessary for survival. Any fire should be kept small and built under canopy to dissipate the smoke.
The center of the wallet contains two small pockets. One pocket contains a 20mm air-filled compass with a rotating dial marked with ten-degree divisions. Although slower than a liquid-dampened compass, it is more sensitive, floats and has no fluid to leak or form bubbles that can affect accuracy.
The other center pocket contains a heavy-mil Ziploc® bag with a non-magnetic ceramic razor blade with lashing holes, two tiny rare earth cylindrical magnets with a red-painted end that points north when hung from a string for gross compass direction, and a tiny non-metallic handcuff key.
There are two additional pockets on the left side of the wallet. The bottom pocket contains 25 feet of twisted threestrand Kevlar® cord. The Kevlar cord can be employed as a cutting tool to cut through flexible restraints, rope and other bindings, as well as for lashing and snares. The top pocket contains an ESEE AH-1 Arrowhead and Ziploc bag with four fish hooks in assorted sizes.
The ESEE AH-1 Arrowhead deserves special mention. Also available separately, it is a versatile cutting tool that can be lashed to a stick for use as a knife or spear in a survival scenario. The AH-1 Arrowhead measures 2½ inches overall and features 1095 carbon steel construction with a black powder coat finish, dual razor-sharp cutting edges, and a lashing hole.
A mesh pocket on the right side of the wallet contains six plastic businesscard- sized cards printed on both sides with survival tips, and a FLOSSCARD® with 12 yards of waxed dental floss inside for sewing, lashing, fishing, snares, use with the cylindrical magnets, and dental hygiene, with E&E tips printed on the backside. Also included is a similarly sized signal mirror with instructions on how to use it and the polished side protected by a peel-off membrane.
The mesh pocket also contains a clear plastic survival/navigation card with map scales, printed compass bezel that can be used to enhance the accuracy of the cylindrical magnet compasses, and the six most used international ground-to-air signals. The compass bezel and ground-to-air signals are also printed on the back of the signal mirror.
The E&E survival cards in the wallet are excellent instructional tools and great reminders. They cover the basics, but the time to learn E&E techniques is not when you actually need them.
E&E TOOL KIT
ESEE makes an optional add-on E&E Tool Kit for the Wallet E&E Kit. It consists of a zipper pull with hidden handcuff key attached by coated Kevlar cord; a micro escape tool that can be hidden on the body and used to saw through cordage, tape or flex ties (as well as shim single-locked handcuffs); a handcuff shim; and a BIC®-style pen cap with handcuff key molded into the retention tab. The items, which are very useful additions to any E&E kit, come packaged in a plastic tube and fit into the Wallet E&E Kit container.
Although handcuff keys and shims are important E&E kit components, handcuffs will usually not be employed in unlawful detentions. You will likely be tied or bound with dime-store packing tape. You need to be able to cut or break ties.
Lock picks and padlock shims are also valuable additions. The possession of lock picks is broadly allowed in most states absent criminal intent. Check your local laws.
Lock picking is a skill that requires training and practice. If a criminal wants to defeat a lock, he will simply cut the lock or break it using standard tools bought at any hardware store.
When it comes to lock picks, you can’t beat a Bogota® Titan Entry Tool Set from Serepick™. They have become the preferred choice of knowledgeable operators worldwide—and for good reason.
Made of titanium, Bogota Titan entry tools are strong, lightweight, corrosion resistant, and have a limited magnetic signature. They are small, easily concealed, and don’t look like traditional lock picks.
The Bogota Entry Tool Set consists of two uniquely designed lock-picking tools—a Bogota Triple Pick and a Bogota Single Pick. Each of the Bogota tools doubles as a tension wrench. With these two, you can do most anything that you can do with a much larger set of standard picks.
The Bogota Entry Tool Set is available either separately or as part of the Serepick Executive Set, which also includes a custom designed leather case with three pockets, two key-style handcuff shims, and a 70mm diamond wire blade. The leather case and other components of the Executive Set can also be purchased separately from Serepick.
The 70mm diamond wire blade is created through the process of using wire impregnated with diamond dust. It can cut through virtually any material that’s softer than the diamond abrasive, including stainless steel, iron bars and chain, given enough time. It’s tiny and easily concealed. In fact, it doesn’t even look like an escape tool—a big plus for E&E.
SPECIALIZED UNLOCKING TOOLS
I also recommend a set of Quick Sticks™ and EZ Decoders™ from Serepick. Quick Sticks are special shims that unlock heel or toe locking dogs on many padlocks, as well as the keyways on file cabinets and toolboxes. EZ Decoders are used to bypass many combination locks built by Master Locks, such as the common Master 175, and Sesame combination locks, as well as many luggage locks and cash boxes. The ability to bypass these locks may be necessary in an E&E scenario.
Serepick offers one- to fourday training classes in Surreptitious Entry and Restraint Escape. Classes are restricted to law enforcement and military customers only. The classes are mobile and designed for six to 12 students. Contact Serepick for details and pricing.