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True North Tradecraft Featured in an Article on Personal Security

We are excited to have been featured in an article 18 Essential Tips for your Everyday Personal Security from PAGUARD.COM.

You can read the article HERE or read the copied article below.

18 Essential Tips for Your Everyday Personal Security

Posted by Leona Rankin August 25, 2021

18 Essential Tips for Your Everyday Personal Security

Your personal safety should always be a priority. There are always risks out there, so what can you do to ensure you are safe wherever you go? We reached out to the experts for the best tips to help you protect yourself.

  1. Be Aware Of Your Environment

“Having an awareness of who and what is around you at all times allows for a better understanding of possible threats and hazards. As an example, put your phone away when walking or driving. These distractions can take your attention away from people or situations which may be emitting danger signals and you will miss them.” (Boris Milinkovich)

  1. Always Have An Escape Plan

“Whenever you are transitioning from one space to another, or are in a building or venue, parking garage, whatever, ensure that you know what to do or where to escape should something (fire, active shooter, assailant) happen. Taking note of exits, cover (to protect against projectiles or vehicles) and items which may aid you (such as fire extinguishers and such).” (Boris Milinkovich)

  1. Believe It Can Happen To You

“There are times when critical seconds elapse in the early stage of an event where people stare in disbelief as it’s happening. Those critical seconds, thinking “this can’t possibly be real” can mean the difference between putting time and distance between you and the threat, or being caught up in it. These things can and do happen, sometimes out of the blue, and very suddenly. If you are mentally prepared to ACT and either defend yourself or (better yet) remove yourself from the situation, you greatly increase your chances of minimizing the harm you may face.” (Boris Milinkovich)

  1. Learn Skills To Protect Yourself

“For many, it is not that they lack the will to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones, but rather they don’t know what to do. There are several avenues to increase your knowledge and skill level so that you can be a radar for trouble BEFORE it happens (thereby giving you those precious seconds to get away) as well as to protect yourself if things get ‘hands-on’.” (Boris Milinkovich)

  1. Pre-trip Recon

“When going to a new place, take a few minutes to scope out how to get there, alternate routes, nearby landmarks (like highways, hospitals, bodies of water, etc) and look at a map so that you have a clue as to where you are and are not supposed to be. It also helps to stay safe when travelling by taxi and being told “this way is a shortcut”. It usually isn’t. Be informed, stay safe.” (Boris Milinkovich)

  1. Carry

“As Canada is a less-permissive environment for the carriage of weapons for defence, certain items may be legally carried in any jurisdiction which may, if in danger, be used as defensive tools against an assailant. These include a pen (my favourite), preferably metal, a small flashlight, change pouch (with coins), metal water bottle, etc. 

“Having something is better than nothing, but having the will and know-how to use it is of the utmost importance. You mind will be the ultimate tool to keep you safe. Hone it for that purpose until your radar for danger functions in the background but it constantly on.”

Boris Milinkovich (CD, CBCP), has been a security professional for over 20 years,  True North Tradecraft Ltd.

  1. Avoid Deserted Areas

“You should try to walk in populated areas instead of walking in empty streets. You can also travel in groups of two or more. Criminals tend to target alone people instead of a crowd. Also, you should keep someone updated about your whereabouts all the time. If you’re going to be late, you should also inform them. This will help your family to keep track of you. You should also park your car in well lit areas and always check the backseat before getting in your car.”

Jacob Hubbard Editor at TheGoodyPet 

  1. Situational Awareness

“Always be engaged in situational awareness by being attentive to everything around you. To achieve this, don’t walk with both earbuds in your ears while listening to music in the street. It is essential to be attentive to cars, people, or anything approaching you.

“Keep your head up while walking, and don’t text while walking to remain less distracted. With your head held up high, it is hard to be taken by surprise. Also, avoid suspicious or dangerous streets at night and walk with your key when crossing a suspicious neighborhood.” (Harriet Chan)

  1. Travel With The Widows Closed

“When traveling, ensure your car windows are closed to prevent your valuables from being stolen. Always keep your family and friends informed once you decide to travel by sending them a text, a photo, or calling them. If using public transport, be wary of pickpockets and keep your bag as close as possible to you.” (Harriet Chan)

  1. Trust Your Instincts

“Trust your instincts and permanently remove yourself from any tense situations like crossing the road or entering an abandoned building. Turn and go in an opposite direction if you suspect someone is following you or when a stranger offers to give you a ride.”

 Harriet Chan, Co-Founder of CocoFinder

  1. Consider Contactless Digital Payment Options

“Protect yourself from thieves by using a credit card, and look for contactless and digital payment options. Use a credit card over a debit card because they have added protections and keep thieves away from the money in your bank account. Credit card issuers have various protections around their credit cards. As long as you report fraud within a certain time frame, you usually won’t be held liable for any money a thief has stolen. 

“Take advantage of mobile and digital wallets, such as Apple Pay or PayPal. These forms of payment mask your credit card information with a temporary credit card number, a process known as tokenization. Contactless payments are a great way to avoid skimmers at the checkout counter, and reduce the number of things you touch during the pandemic.”

Mason Miranda, Credit Industry Specialist Credit Card Insider

  1. Be Mindful When Walking Out

“Be mindful when walking with headphones. Headphones while walking or running prevents you from hearing what’s going on around you and from being fully aware of your surroundings. Always trust your instincts. If a situation doesn’t feel safe then do not worry about being polite. Trust your judgement and leave immediately.” (Sherry Morgan)

  1. Carry Something For Protection

“Always bring something that can protect you from any attackers. It can be a pepper spray or any tactical gadget that you can use to protect yourself. And make sure that you can easily grasp it whenever a situation occurs. In my case, I have this tactical pen which is also a hand Taser that my father gave me since I often leave my office late.”

Sherry Morgan, Founder Petsolino

“Personal security has been at the centre of every debate in the security sector. Personal safety is being threatened and, at the same time, impacted by inventions in technology. Online security and physical security are issues of concern in this decade. Personal security tips are paramount in ensuring everyone is safe and the environment they live in is safe.” (Miranda Yan)

For Online Security;

  1. For Digital Security; Install Security Suites

“For online security, the installation of security suites is the most trending security tip for personal security over the Internet. Being alert of phishing scams that are usually through electronic mails is crucial. These phishing scams trick users of electronic mails into disclosing their personal information, which they can use to lure them or, to an extent, obtain information on their Visa cards which they can use to steal from them.” (Miranda Yan)

For Physical Security;

  1. For Women: Learn Self-Defense, Safety in Numbers

“Women ought to learn self-defense tactics to enable them to defend themselves in case of any confrontation with other people. They should ensure to walk with their buddies in streets they suspect to be dangerous so as to avoid being clobbered by street culprits. When women are walking in the streets they should avoid distractions that in many instances may be caused by people with bad intentions.” (Miranda Yan)

  1. For Men: Keep Right Posture, Stamina, Go With Friends

“Men are more likely to be attacked as compared to women. Men should keep the right posture, keep strong stamina and have the ability to control tension. This is vital for men’s personal safety. Men should know their friends whom they go out to party with in case of a drinking spree. This enables them to avoid being attacked if they are over drunk.” (Miranda Yan)

  1. For Buildings: Digital Access Control

“Usage Access controls with digital components are practical for physical security. This will control the accessibility of vital installations and buildings. Access control prevents theft and even terrorism activities to a larger extent. Surveillance systems like the close circuit television surveillance systems, which use microscopic gadgets, are in use in this Century to contribute towards physical security hence personal security.”

  1. For Children: Don’t Interact With Strangers

“Children while having outdoor games should be careful with what type of children they play with. Some children may be used by culprits to lure innocent children into harm’s way. Children should not entertain strangers at any instance. Parents should install secure entry controls in their homes to help protect their children from any possible harm.”

Miranda Yan, Co-Founder of VinPit

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New Tee-Spring Shop Now Open!

New shop for apparel and some other branded goods:

https://true-north-tradecraft.creator-spring.com

We have decided to move forward with apparel and other branded goods to be available to you, our supporters, in a much more convenient way. This allows us to focus more on content development and specialized product development through our own site.

We hope you enjoy it and will continue to do our very best to bring you top-tier gear.

Stay safe & Stay Crafty!

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Featured in an online Zolo Article on Home Security!

A few weeks ago I had an enquiry made of me regarding various tidbits to increase your security at home or while travelling. I mentioned many things but apparently mentioning the “fork-lock” was the one they held on to.

Can’t complain. It’s a good trick in a pinch and works pretty well.

You can read the entire article on Zolo HERE.

Till next time, Stay Safe & Stay Crafty.

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The Case Against “Tactical” Pens

For a while now so-called “tactical pens” have been a hotly-debated topic in EDC (Every-Day Carry) and NPE (Non-Permissive Environment) / LPE (Less-Permissive Environment) circles. In many ways, the check the box of a “multi-use” item in the survival world – being both a functional pen and weapon (and glass breaker, bottle opener, screwdriver, flashlight, tactical-tool, and over-priced accessory all in one). From my perspective, most people buy a tactical pen for the weapon capacity and because it makes them feel tough/cool/tactical/bad-ass. Where this goes over the line into the absurd is when the intent of the pen as a weapon in a non-permissive or less-permissive environment comes into play. And you’re not in a profession where you can carry a weapon.

In Canada, where I live and under which I base much of my content on (BECAUSE it is a LPE) not carrying overt weapons on my person on the daily. Attracting attention of the local constabulary because you’re wearing a “tactical pen” with your khakis at Starbucks may be counter-productive for you when accosted by the local weirdo when you walk outside and use said “tactical pen” to defend yourself. When all is concluded, you stand a good chance of being charged with carrying a weapon and then have the onus put on you for the “why”.

On the other hand, carrying a regular pen, which you happen to have on your person, which wasn’t designed to be used as a weapon, will not only NOT draw any attention (either from law enforcement or security when travelling or in no-go areas) but are still capable of being brought into service as a self-defence tool of opportunity.

The photo at the top of this article displays several options for pens which can be used as defensive tools as well as a “tactical pen” (at the bottom). As yourself this: which one looks “scary”? Which one looks like it was designed to hurt someone? The answer is the “tactical pen”.

From the top to bottom: 1) standard BIC crystal pen; 2) Parker Jotter; 3) Fisher Space Pen Bullet; 4) Zebra F-701; 5) Tactical pen – brand unimportant.

Unless I specifically want to grab for a weapon, I’d be picking any of the other pens over the tactical one. If I was on-duty as a Peace Officer then the options are more plentiful. However, as a civilian, I’d prefer to stay away from anything overtly tactical or “scary-looking”. Why? Because the less noticeable and hostile you appear and present as in a confrontation (especially if violence is involved) would see you having to justify your actions. Here in Canada, where things like weapon carry laws, Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws do not exist, your legal options regarding weapons to protect yourself are dramatically restricted. Your best options are to avoid violence if you can, engage if you must and only resort to a weapon if one is already present or the situation is dire to the point of needing it to survive.

No one (except for law enforcement and some security elements, and criminals, of course) are carrying guns or other weapons about on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, invest your time, effort and money in the principles and methodologies in dealing with violence rather than buying gear. Learn about situational awareness, behavioural analysis, weaponology principles, . ANY pen (pencil, chopstick or knife) can be used to great effect against an assailant if you have skills (software) versus thinking the tool you bought will save you (hardware).

Remember: Training Trumps Gear.

Stay safe & Stay Crafty.

***NOTE: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE! CONSULT A QUALIFIED LAWYER ON SELF-DEFENCE MATTERS AND APPLICABLE LAWS FOR YOU PARTICULAR JURISDICTION***

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The Domino – Review

The Domino is your constant-companion packet knife when travelling.

Perfect for low-profile carry and less-permissive environments, the Domino from Delta2Alpha Design gives you a thoughtfully-built, travel-friendly cutting tool with a few cool features.

The Domino comes in three colours – Just Black, NOD Green (the one I chose) and Widow Red. All really subtle.

I like the Domino as an addition to my Every-Day-Carry (EDC) when travelling in particular because the blades it uses are ubiquitous and available in shops, gas stations, hardware stores and pharmacies all around the world. Without the blade, it can be taken anywhere and easily loaded when on-ground. The blades are disposable, inexpensive and easily acquired (and each one can be turned over when dull to expose the other side for a fresh, new blade!).

Another interesting feature of the Domino is the magnets. They are positioned in such a way as to create a positive lock on the blade, as well as give you the option to stick it to something metal (see photo of the Domino stuck on one of my metal storage cabinets). It also has a nicely sized lanyard hole to attach via whatever shock cords or other cordage you choose.

From the Delta2Alpha site:

TheDOMINO was developed with the “One Bag Traveler” in mind:

*Compact and Concealable
*Stylish and Sturdy
*Tactical yet  Tasteful and Travel Friendly

After having spent seemingly thousands of dollars on “Throw-Aways” while traveling (many of which found their way into the garbage can outside of an airport); we set out to find something better… TheDOMINO was born.

TheDOMINO is a sleek, stylish, and Minimalist pocket knife.

It uses commonly available utility blades, paired with an innovative tool-less, quick change mechanism, that allows the blade to be removed or replaced in mere seconds.

The sophisticated styling of TheDOMINO and small size makes it much less likely to draw the wrong kind of attention when you are around those of a more delicate nature.

From the Manic Mind of the Nomadic Nerd For Hire himself, we are pleased to introduce you to: The DOMINO.

Note: dimensions are 7cm x 3cm x 0.5cm and weight is 106 grams

Delta2Alpha have really done a great job with this one – like they do with all their tools and offerings – and the presentation is slick. The Domino comes in a really nice tin (which you can repurpose for countless other things) and is shipped discreetly.

As always, stay safe & stay crafty!

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The Covert Companion – Review

The Covert Companion packs a lot of functionality into a small profile.

The Covert Companion is the new flagship offering from Covert Instruments.

With over 20 tools in such a compact package the Covert Companion is an absolute win.

Those diabolical minds at Covert Instruments have managed to cram 20 tools into this small, sleek package that will meet most people’s needs for entry tools on a day-to-day basis. This includes everything from a sleek handle, to four pics, warded picks, a comb set, a jiggler set, a latch tool, a decoder knife and flat. Unbelievably, all this and more. 

It is very effective despite its small size. I was able to effectively use all the tools on their intended locks without a problem and effectively bypass them or open them. (NOTE: I used the turning tool from my Camp-X toolset for all of my picking and it worked like a charm.)

The tools themselves are well-made and sturdy and the handle is able to take some abuse. It also helps that the Covert Companion is fully modular and able to add various other tools from the Covert Instruments lineup and interchange broken tools if needed. The entire package is about the size of a Bic lighter. This makes it’s easy to carry, unobtrusive and small enough that it doesn’t bother you in anyway. It’s also very low-profile and does not attract any attentions as it looks like a simple key set.  

That being said if you have larger hands (like I do) then you might have to adjust the way you hold it. Even still, the tools are fully functional and though because of their lack of handles may not fully replace full-size tools they still have the same capability and for that I am grateful.

One notable component which is missing is a turning tool. One would think that this was an oversight however the creators specifically left it out as turning tools are more of a subjective item for one to carry that may or may not be useful for the particular application. In their FAQs on their website they speak to the fact that you can provide your own turning tool that will be most useful to you under your circumstances. I found that the tools that they offer on their webpage will very nicely complement the Covert Companion should you need it. That said, turning tools are easily fashioned from other types of items in a field expedient manner. This means that you can use almost anything as a turning tool if you have to resort to using the Covert Companion to gain entry. As a pocket knife-type implement for small or not-so-serious entries this is the perfect addition to your every day carry (EDC).

The designers were able to incorporate not only the best and most useful and commonly used tools into a small package but they were also able to incorporate quality craftsmanship in the process.

The assembly of the Covert Companion is not difficult if you follow the instructional video that was posted by the @LockPickingLawyer

I am very happy with my Covert Companion and find myself using it more often than I would have thought. Most recently I used it to open a service door to gain access to tools. I was not expecting to have to do so however the situation has changed and I happen to have my Covert Companion on me. It performed very well, as expected.

For the money you are paying you are getting an incredible product with a wide variety of tools which can cover an even wider variety of situations. So much capability in such a small package is quite incredible. I have now incorporated the Covert Companion into my every day carry and don’t leave home without it. I look forward to getting a few more of these to add to my various bags and even in my car. Check them out at covertinstruments.com and pick one up for yourself today.

From covertinstruments.com : “For the person who wants to open everything, we present to you the fully loaded Covert Companion. This comprehensive kit includes all the flagship SSF tools at a discounted rate. With 20 tools, this kit offers the most opening potential in the smallest form factor on the market. This kit arrives unassembled.”

Includes:  Includes:

Covert Companion Handle

Handle Expansion Pack

SSF 4 Pick Set .025”

SSF 5 Warded Pick Set

SSF 4 Comb Set

SSF 3 Jiggler Set 

SSF Latch Tool

SSF Knife

SSF Notched Decoder

SSF Utility Flat

Check out all of their products at covertinstruments.com and on Instagram HERE.

-Stay Crafty

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The True North Tradecraft Pandemic Measures Guide

Our new publication for best practices to keep you safe from the pandemic.

We had been working on this publication prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our e-book on pandemic best-practices will arm you with key information and knowledge to better protect yourself against infection and disease. Check it out on our store HERE and on Amazon.

Stay safe and stay crafty.

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TACCOM 2019

Join us at Canada’s largest tactical and shooting sports show – TACCOM.

Have YOU planned a visit to TACCOM yet? This coming weekend, September 6, 7 & 8, The International Centre on Airport Road will be host to Canada’s largest Tactical and Shooting Sports Show – TACCOM.

Come visit us at Booth # 415 (along with Kennedy Tactical Concepts, the Grey Man Security Conference and, introducing, Maple Syrup Mafia) for a weekend of cutting edge training opportunities, gear, seminars and stage talks. Not to mention the release of the brand new 2nd Edition of our Disaster Preparedness Guide (below) and even get it signed!.

Newly edited, updated and expanded 2nd edition. Get yours at the show!

At the show, you can take advantage of show specials, see amazing vendors and don’t forget to sign up for our seminar, Introduction To Escaping Unlawful Confinement. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Everyone needs a little pew-pew on their weekend. Check out Chimera Firearms Training for an amazing VR experience!

SEE YOU AT THE SHOW!

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Hurricane Preparedness

Plan well. Act early. Be ready. Stay strong.

Hurricane season has arrived. Are you ready?

Every year, millions of people are directly threatened and affected by the annual hurricane season. As unfortunate as it is, the government and aid organizations are not capable of supporting and protecting everyone who is in the path of tropical storms and hurricanes. As that is the case, the responsibility to be prepared for incoming storms becomes yours. Fortunately, government, environmental and weather agencies are able to predict and track tropical storms days and possibly weeks in advance of impact. This allows those in their path to prepare to deal with the enormous power of a hurricane and what it can do. As of this writing, Hurricane Dorian has just been upgraded to a Category 5 and is on track to wreak havoc in the Caribbean and Eastern Gulf.

I’ve included several free preparedness resources at the end of this post for you to review and use towards your disaster preparedness plan.

The devastating impact of a hurricane.

No two people’s situation is the same. Variables such as location, storm intensity, flood planes, geography, population density, transportation routes and government support in the area can play a key role in developing a disaster preparedness plan.

Depending on those variables, you may decide to stay or evacuate after preparing adequately to do so. Especially if you’re in its path.

(Credit: The Weather Channel) Are you in the path of a storm? The clock is ticking.

Having a timeline and trajectory map of an incoming storm can play into the preparedness plan and your timelines (to either start stocking up or packing up to leave). With the right pre-positioned supplies and logistical plan in place, you stand a much higher chance of being able to “weather” the storm (pun intended).

Storms bring with them other issues, such as power outages, flooding and disruption in supply and logistics to an affected area. Hurricanes are a savage combination of extreme weather, flooding, power disruption, and general chaos.

Here is an excerpt from our new Disaster Preparedness Guide to help with your preparations:

If you are in a flood-prone area, pre-position supplies to defend your home with (sand bags, shovels, sand, plastic sheeting, pumps, etc) and check in with your local emergency management office to understand their response plans for your area. Ask them for local maps and plans identifying urban waterways, underground streams and rivers as well as overflow
• Be prepared to evacuate the area and consider keeping several air-tight (such as Nanuk, Pelican, etc.) to store important personal items which you may not be able to take with you and store in the upper levels of your house upon evacuation to ensure their safety.
• Pay attention to local weather reports. If there are flood warnings, stay away from waterways as their volume and speed can be deceptively dangerous and sweep away people, vehicles and even houses (I’ve seen it).
• Stay away from flood-affected areas if possible and be aware that all flood waters are likely contaminated and you should wash & decontaminate yourself and clothing. Wash your hands regularly.
• Consider all your non-bottled water as contaminated. Boil and purify as required. If possible, fill up your bathtub (clean it first) and make yourself a reservoir of water you can access for sterilization and drinking. You can also use a WaterBob to line your tub and contain the clean potable water for later use.

*Excerpt from the 2nd edition of the TNT Disaster Preparedness Guide.
Take action NOW to prepare yourself as best as you can.

See below for more tips. The sooner you start preparing the better chance you’ll have.

Further free resources:

Don’t be caught unprepared. May you and your loved ones stay safe.

-Stay Crafty

For a more generalized disaster preparedness perspective for urban and suburban areas, get yourself a copy of our newly updated Guide, HERE (in paperback and e-book formats).