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Tactikey Review

Low-pro force multiplier.

I recently discovered a new self-defence product – Tactikey.

Tactikey is an upgrade on an old-school, low-tech means of self-defence.  The old “punch them with your keys” technique, except with some modern upgrades.

The product itself is a small (1 x 1.75 x 0.5 in), lightweight (6.5 g) and strong (TPE 110 Composite material) designed to ergonomically accept a standard Kwikset house key and give it a platform to use as an impact weapon.  This design is helpful in reducing injury to the defender’s hand while allowing the transference of force through the key point to the assailant’s soft tissues.

Tactikey in it’s packaging (front).
Tactikey packaging (back).

The combination of supporting grip and solid metal point is surprisingly effective and protects the user from injury well, unlike an un-shrouded key being used for the same thing.

Low-pro force multiplier.

When I received my package of a few Tactikeys and was caught by several positive things:

  • VERY light
  • VERY small
  • VERY easy to add to your key ring
  • Usable in non-permissive environments and will likely not raise any red flags if inspected by authorities
  • Allow the key to be used for it’s intended function AND as a self-defence implement and;
  • Comes in your choice of Blaze Orange, Hot Pink or Carbon Black.
  • Inexpensive (as of this writing – going for $9.99 ea with free US Shipping)
  • Full details from website available here.

Along with the personalized note from them, I immediately equipped my Tactikey and went to work playing around with it.

I found that holding it was comfortable.  The finish on the grip was soft and smooth but didn’t slip.

Ergonomic and secure grip.
Fits well into the hand.

It intuitively holds well between the fingers and stays solid when striking.

Pointy, ouchy and very solidly held.

I had access to a building site where walls were being replaced and took a few jabs at drywall and lathe & plaster.  The results were good (see below).

Drywall – before.

I was able to make holes in both mediums without pain or injury to my hand.  The regular (un-sharpened key) penetrated both types of walls with relative ease making me feel confident that it could cause trauma to soft tissue on a hostile human target.

Through drywall with first strike.
Repeated strikes had no issue with penetration.

As it is a simple piece of plastic, Tactikey can go anywhere a set of keys can go and will always be ready as an added force multiplier if you should need it.  I have added this to my Every Day Carry (EDC) as it is useful, lightweight, practical and effective.  Along with the other items I carry, I feel it is a wise investment and doesn’t add bulk of weight to your setup.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to hit a person with it at this point, I’ll be sure to update this post with those results, should they occur.  That said, punching holes in drywall happened very easily and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a hit with one of these.

Tactikey also has a fantastic return policy on it’s product (from their website):

“30 Day 110% Return Policy – Purchase with Confidence.
We at Tactikey work tirelessly to develop the world’s most unique and efficient EDC products that will help you achieve well-being and safety. We believe in our products so much that we stand behind them with a no hassle, no questions asked, satisfaction guarantee 110% return policy. If you purchase any Tactikey product on our website and you are not satisfied, return it within 30 days for a 110% refund. The guarantee is applicable to all purchases made from only and does not cover Tacktikey retailers. Retail purchases will be handled by the particular retail store’s return policy. That is our commitment at Tactikey to you our customers.”

Instructions on the use of Tactikey can also be found on their website here.

The one and only downside with Tactikey is that it is only compatible with Kwikset key blanks at the moment.  If your house key or other keys on your ring are not of this kind, they may not fit properly.  That said, Tactikey is working on different formats for several other major key manufacturers (like Schlage and Yale) and customers will be able to choose which works for them.  In the grand scheme, this isn’t a big deal.  They will come out with others soon and, really, I’d sooner have a dedicated defensive key (a blank, sharpened) than my primary house key.  If you do hit something or someone and bend it, you may have issues using your key after.  Not to mention if you lose it in a fight, buddy will have your house key.  I’d sooner have a non-key.  I used an old, out of commission Kwikset key I had laying around for my test & carry key to ensure that doesn’t happen.  I will pick up a Kwikset blank and sharpen it with a file for primary EDC use in the coming days to ensure I have it the way I want it.  You can pick up a Kwikset blank from anywhere that cuts keys (Home Depot, local hardware stores, shoe repair places, etc) and just ask them for one.  Again, not a big deal right now as you’re best off to go with a dedicated key or key blank for this particular use.

Have a look at their website, check them out on social media and feel free to pick one up for yourself and maybe some family members.  For the money, I thinks it’s a great deal and you get something solid and useful.  I really like it and I bet you will too.

Till next time, stay safe and stay crafty.

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Training Review: Behavioural Profiling and Situational Awareness from Emergence LLC

Emergence LLC –

Recently I completed the Behavioural Profiling and Situational Awareness online course produced by Emergence LLC and presented by Yousef Badou.

Mr. Badou is a US Marine veteran (with 3 tours in Iraq) who contributed to the development of the behavioural profiling programme used by the USMC.

As an introduction, I thought it was a concise overview of the principles of behavioural profiling and situational awareness.

Developing awareness of the Baseline.

A lot is covered in the ~1 hour online course (especially for the cost, at $9 USD).  For someone new to it, it really opens up a window into the world that your senses disregard if you’re not in tune to your environment.  For the practitioner, it is a good review from the ground up of basics, reframed from another perspective.  He states that if he can, through imparting his knowledge, give you even an extra second (or more) of advantage to act, he will have given you an edge in surviving an event.  This is all predicated upon becoming in-tune with the environment around you and feeling the baseline.

Seeing what stands out even when it’s not obvious can give you that extra second to act and increase your chances of survival.

Mr. Badou’s examples and delivery are engaging and spot-on.  Such as the  recognition of “pre-incident indicators” are all learnable and actionable.  Though a large portion of the material he covered was a review to me, I did like the way he explained some things I hadn’t heard before – the concept of “File Folders”, for instance and how they affect one’s decision making processes.

Seeing the threat early is like seeing in the future.

The entire overview hit the salient points while providing easily understandable context for each.  Broad topics covered are:

  • Introduction to Behavioural Profiling (with physiology and psychology backgrounders)
  • File Folders and Denial (as well as anomalies and perception)
  • Fear and Brain Errors (including the Limbic system), and;
  • Final Thoughts

Mr. Badou references a few different additional sources for further reading in the form of Patrick Van Horne’s Left of Bang, Gavin De Becker’s The Gift of Fear and Dave Grossman’s On Combat – all excellent primary sources for this type of material.

I recommend giving Emergence LLC a look and trying out their introductory offering.  I am also looking forward to further modules they will be putting out – such as Observable Behaviours and Behavioural Indicators.

Till next time, stay warm, stay safe and stay crafty.

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Staying Safe in Crowds

The crowds are coming.

As the holiday season approaches, we will invariably be heading out more often to places rife with people.  Be it for shopping, get-togethers, enjoying a crisp winter walk or seeing a festive event, the holiday season brings more and more people out for all these reasons and more.

Large groups of people gathered together tend to cause problems relating to safety and security.  They increase the risk of conflict between people in those large groups, they make inviting targets for those who would wish to cause harm (i.e. bad guys) and the larger the group of people in a building, the more difficult and time-consuming it is to get those people out safely, especially under panic.

Violent crowds. Dangerous times.

Examples of these would be as follows:  anytime there is one last toy of a particular kind and a fight breaks out; fights over parking spots at malls, etc.  These types of events may or may not be directly involving you, but have the potential to rope you in if you’re not paying attention.  Another is an active shooter (such as the Jane Creba shooting in Toronto) where something like gang violence occurs and innocent bystanders are caught in the middle.  And then there are times when a machete-wielding lunatic attacks random shoppers, or some fanatic decides to plough down people walking down the street with a truck.  And then there’s fire.  Nothing nefarious, but deadly nonetheless.  They happen.  Use all your senses to stay aware.  None of these are predictable in a useful sense for someone heading out for a day of shopping at the mall.  They just happen.

For the interactions that escalate, I would recommend to let it go.  Is some hot-head nut case really worth that parking spot?  Likely not.  However, this doesn’t mean I advocate not protecting yourself if someone attacks you.

George knows. It’s not worth it.

For the rest, they are “black swan events” which you have to deal with as they unfold.

Here are my thoughts on how to increase your chances of survival in crowded locations in times of danger.

  • Keep an eye open for viable exits:  as you enter malls, concert halls or crowded public spaces, keep an eye on ways out.  Be it a fire or an attack, having a pre-planned escape route can save valuable seconds getting out and saving yourself and likely others.  Better yet, if you’re there a while, hang out near the exits.  You’ll be better positioned to get out should something happen.  Also, if in a mall, take the stairs instead of the escalators.  If you have to move in a hurry you have a better position to move from as those on the escalator are trapped in the chute.

    Exits, exits everywhere! Keep an eye open.
  • Keep moving:  Staying still doesn’t help you much in a time of crisis.  If you’re still, you’re an easy target, you’re not moving away from danger and you’re not able to affect change to your circumstance, thus handing all the control to others (i.e. bad guys).  Move towards an exit, move to cover, move  to a fire extinguisher…just MOVE!  Be a difficult target.  Movement is Life.  In large crowds, most people will attempt to exit the way they came in.  This can cause a stampede-like effect where people get trampled and crushed.  A wave of humanity which is large and panicked cannot be forced.  Instead, take the better approach and aim for one of your pre-scouted exits instead.
  • In the case of an active shooter – TAKE COVER:  That’s right.  as you move, move from one place of cover to another until you exit and create time and distance between you and the threat.  Cover is something that offers ballistic protection (i.e. protection from bullets).  This is cement and concrete.  Furniture, vehicles and the like don’t provide adequate protection from bullets.  Stone, rock, thick steel and cement do.  Look for pillars, walls and the like to save you.

    Hide behind concrete.
  • Be aware of your surroundings:   Use all of your senses.  If a fire breaks out, you’ll likely have an indication before you see it because of smell.  Move to an exit.  When in a crowd, get a sense of the general “feel” of the environment.  Stay at the edges of crowds.  Look for people who don’t look or “feel” like they belong in the same group.  Situational Awareness is your early warning system for something bad happening.  It’s not meant to cultivate paranoia, it’s meant to cultivate awareness for whats going on around you so you have a chance to ACT before being acted upon.

    Keep your head on a swivel.
  • Keep Essentials on you:  Your personal Every-Day-Carry should be on you at all times.  A small knife, multi-tool, lock picks, lighter, cash, cell phone (charged), mini flashlight, some cordage, etc. can help you get out of a tough situation should you need it.

To sum up remember these key points:

  1. Be Aware (of your environment)
  2. Be prepared (with a viable EDC setup)
  3. Identify Exits (note escape routes)
  4. Keep Moving (movement is life)
  5. Take Cover (behind concrete or stone)
  6. Better yet, order online and stay home.

In closing, before you head out, switch on.  Enjoy yourself and have fun, but always remember that by being aware you are fore-warned and fore-armed.  Always have an escape plan.

Be safe.  Stay crafty.


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Kennedy Tactical Concepts – Masterclass Pt. 2

(*all images courtesy of Kennedy Tactical Concepts – I had my hands full) (*for more information on KTC and training, click here).

This is part 2 in a series documenting my involvement in the Kennedy Tactical Concepts Masterclass.  Part 1 is available here.

Session 2 with TJ was on Wednesday July 26th at the Night Owl on College St., Toronto. (The usual spot).

Again, the environment was pleasantly realistic as we headed to the basement level of the Night Owl.  We even had a band setting up while going through the techniques.

This week’s topics of practice were as follows:

  1. Combative Control Positions/positioning;
  2. Combative Control Transitions and;
  3. Takedowns (in combination with #1 & 2).

As with the previous format, TJ began with introductions, an overview of what we would be covering for the night, a warm-up, and then we got right into it.

The realistic environment makes for a better appreciation of the realities you would be facing.  A bar, stools, a stage, musical instruments, concrete walls and of course, a dirty cement floor.  Though the Combative Control Positions and Transitions were not striking per se, they were very dependent on speed, agility and technique.  After an hour of practicing and building upon each technique, we moved on to takedowns.

Starting slowly at first, we quickly moved to full-speed with follow-throughs.  The result was fluid takedowns with a high degree of comfort in executing the movements.  We also worked on improvising all the techniques of the night against larger and smaller opponents as we were all of differing heights.

Of course, I was sporting my awesome shirt from Yes, you should Fear The Beaver.

Solid training.  The next day I was sore as hell, but at least I wasn’t bleeding on a bar floor.  I’ll be at the next one.  Stay tuned and Stay Crafty.

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Personal Skills and Group Contribution: Why Community is important to your survival and resilience.

No man is an island.

No matter how good you are, how skilled, how knowledgeable, at some point you will reach an obstacle you will need help with.  This applies to survival, escape and evasion, operations and regular day-to-day life.  Sure, your skills and can take you far, but to truly excel, you need a TEAM. A community.

Special Forces operators and secret agents are all incredible individuals, trained to exceptional levels of skill and fitness.  But what makes them truly formidable is their ability to leverage all of those strengths to super-humal-like heights to seemingly perform the impossible.  That level of mutual support, leveraging of skill-sets and strength in numbers can achieve feats that no individual ever could.

Some of the best “team” shows do this very well.  One of my favourites, Burn Notice, for instance, has 3 main characters – Michael (the burned ex-spy), Fiona (Michael’s ex-girlfriend and IRA operative) and Sam (ex-Navy SEAL).  By themselves, they are all formidable, capable and able.  But when one of them finds themselves in a jam, the other two are able to support the operation in ways that the solo member just couldn’t handle themselves.  The show The A Team also does a great job of this in using the team members’ individual skills to achieve the team goal with great efficacy.

This translates to life as well.  Regardless if you’re trying to learn something, build a business from scratch in your basement, whether a disaster or start a blog, you’ll only get so far by yourself.  Sure, you can learn everything about wilderness survival, but if you fall and break your leg, you will have no one to help you.

In building Tactical Beaver and True North Tradecraft, I have learned more and more that although personal skillets, perseverance, drive, sacrifice, dedication and a bit of luck will do wonders for growing a project, it’s the people you meet and connect with – the ones you build a COMMUNITY with – that will ensure your success in the long run.  I am thus very humbled and privileged to continue building our community of amazing people who are all “lone wolves” in their specific ventures, but together we all succeed.

Below, I have listed some of those community partners.  It is because of them, and many individuals, that we have been able to grow.

That is the power of team.  No individual could have gotten Bin Laden, or Hussein on their own.  It was a team effort.  There are always exceptions to the rule, but by and large, teams can accomplish feats unattainable by an individual.

The best team is one made up of lone wolves working together.

So whatever the task, challenge or obstacle, do your best by yourself, learn  and train and be the best you can be, and then find a group of like-people.  Then become a team.  Then you’ll be unstoppable.

Till next time,

Stay crafty.

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The Importance of Fitness in Personal Resilience

Get out there and get moving.

A topic I tend not to hear or read about very much is the fitness in every-day preparedness.  Sure, there are plenty of opinions on gear to carry, the kinds of shoes you should wear, the emergency kit in your car, etc…, but how often if physical fitness mentioned as a component of your preparedness?  Not much, sadly.

As we go through our daily lives, 99% of it isn’t a high-stress, threatening situation.  Maybe we work out or go to the gym, but we’re not threatened.

These people are not threatened…except from lack of Situational Awareness.

If we find ourselves in a survival situation, be it a physical attack, a disaster requiring us to get out of an area, a broken-down car or anything similar, your chances of successfully negotiating that event are raised directly in proportion with your level of fitness.  The right gear and training are also factors, of course, but if your body is conditioned you stand a better chance.  Here’s why:

  1. A survival event demands extreme resources from your body.  You may be required to fight off an attacker, or run/climb/drag someone/thing intensely for a period of time.  How long you’re able to last in that, or how much you can lift may directly impact who you save.  Including yourself or a loved one.  If you can’t do a pull-up, you may not be able to pull yourself out of a window in a burning building.

    Are you fit to fight?
  2. A fit body equals a fit mind.  Psychologically, if your body is in-shape, your mind will be better able to focus and adapt during a high-stress event.
  3. Staying power.  As you call your muscles into action to “fight or flight”, you will have a flush of adrenaline and lactic acid in your muscles.  It will also metabolize and work off adrenaline and lactic acid buildup created in that process.  If you’ve ever gone 100% in a fight or even on a punching bag, you’d know that that level of exertion is brutal even for one minute.  If you’re not sucking wind after 1 minute, you’re doing it wrong.  But if you build up your muscular and cardiovascular endurance through regular training, you’ll be better able to recover more quickly.
  4. You can do more.  Being fit allows you the capability to do more.  Sure, you may have all manner of skills in fighting, but someone with an equal level of skill but higher level of fitness will likely defeat you.  Strength, as well as skill, combine to the application of technique against an opponent.  If you’re weak, or overweight, you likely won’t be as agile to get out of a bad situation.  Your EDC (Every-Day Carry) equipment won’t lift you over a fence when thugs are chasing you.

    Karate Kyle says it all.
  5. Ask yourself this:  if you had to, can you pick up your 70lb child and run away from a riot or terrorist attack, or would you have a heart attack in the attempt?  I look at worst-case scenarios and work towards being able to address them.  I am by no means a Special Forces Operator, nor do I pretend to be, but I do exercise regularly and aim to be prepared for things going south.  What is the likelihood of something happening:  very low.  Impact if it does and I’m unable to do anything about it:  very high.
Kids can’t run like you can. Pick them up and carry them. But can you?

So how does one develop their physical fitness?  Here are some ideas:

  • Start small & simple.  Start walking, or jogging.  Biking, swimming.  Whatever.  Push-ups, squats, sit-ups, chin-ups.  Get out there and start.  Movement is life.  If you find yourself in an Active Shooter situation and you just stand there, you are an easy target.
Keep it simple. Keep motivated.
  • Look into joining a class or a gym.  If you’re short on cash, look up body-weight and yoga videos online for free and do them in your home.  It only costs you time and effort.
  • Change your eating habits if they need it.  High levels of processed sugars and foods aren’t helping you.  Change it up and and just your diet to something better.  Small adjustments can yield large improvements.
  • Get motivated.  Set small goals and accomplish them.  Work towards each one until you achieve it and then set the next one.  We are all motivated by different things, so find what works and “git ‘er done”.
  • Ask for help.  If you’re completely lost and don’t know where to turn, ask for advice.  I have found that the vast majority of people who are fitness enthusiasts didn’t start out as athletic.  Many worked hard to get there and are happy to offer help or advice and cheer you on.
  • You can do it.  I have seen wounded Veterans without legs, without arms and sometimes both, continue to push themselves and achieve.  If they can, then holy shit, so can the rest of us.  Stay positive.  Stay focused.

***Naturally if you’re not fit the only way to increase fitness is to begin exercising…but always consult a doctor or health professional prior to starting, especially if you have any health concerns.***

We all have our various levels and goals, and no two people are the same.  The crux of the argument here is that you are constantly trying to improve.  Various body types, health issues, etc, sometimes restrict what can be done, but with a positive attitude, setting of goals and the effort to improve, gains can be made in leaps and bounds.  Don’t be afraid to try and fail, keep trying.  Ask for help.  Its about self-improvement as much as it is personal survival. You don’t have to be a fitness model, or even look like one, but building in a level of fitness training into your preparedness mindset and arsenal will greatly increase your confidence and capability when dealing with a hostile event.

Something as simple as a lunchtime walk can contribute to your overall level of fitness.

The side benefits also include better sleep, lower levels of stress, less pain, more flexibility and agility.  Higher levels of endurance and a heightened level of calm and confidence.  You’ll also be able to enjoy more adventurous experiences.  Just, saying.

Fitness allows you to do more.


Remember that a good level of physical fitness will never be a negative or work against you, it will only ever be a positive.

Till next time,

-Stay Crafty


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Every Day Carry – My Take

Part of my Every Day Carry (EDC)

So, here we are.  A pretty vast topic with a bazillion opinions on what is right and what isn’t.

For the uninitiated, Every Day Carry, or EDC for short, is a collection of items which you carry on your person at all times (every day) to expand your level of preparedness and resilience in your daily activities and also to provide an edge in unforeseen situations.  This doesn’t always have to be a life-or-death catastrophe.  It can be something as simple as needing emergency cash, or cut packaging, but if you don’t have simple, quality, accessible tools for such things, you’d be at a disadvantage.  In a graver scenario, if catastrophe strikes and you’re unprepared, you’ll be less-likely to weather the storm.  Either way, you should always have an escape plan.

In a larger sense, your EDC is only a small part of a larger personal resilience plan, however, I’ll write separate posts for vehicle, office, home and emergency kits later on.  Right now, lets start at the most basic.

At the end of the day, I believe in three principles to follow when developing and gearing-up your Every Day Carry (EDC).

  1. FLEXIBILE: Is your kit adaptable to changing conditions?  Can it be scaled-up/down as needed?
  2. EFFECTIVE:  Are these items useful for multiple scenarios?  
  3. APPROPRIATE:  Will this be too much to carry, too attention-grabbing, or are the pieces of low quality and will fail you in your time of need?  Is it appropriate for your environment (Toronto, ON versus Manatoulin Island, versus Dallas, TX)?  Carrying a gun in Toronto is far different than Dallas, or in the woods of Manatoulin versus a courthouse in Toronto.  

A publication I recently read listed the appropriate EDC of a security-conscious individual as this:

  • Cell or Smartphone
  • Concealed carry handgun (WTF?!)
  • Extra magazine (again, WTF?!)
  • Flashlight
  • Folding knife
  • Lighter
  • Pen & Paper
  • Multi-tool
  • Money
  • Watch

That said, you’ll notice that concealed carry handgun(!) is on the list, as well as an extra magazine.  Now, that may fly in the US, but anywhere in Canada, you’ll be looking at jail time with that load-out.  Most of the rest on the list is pretty good, but again, assessing your daily EDC with the 3 Principles mentioned above should allow you to ensure your one step ahead of a problem.  Learn unarmed self-defence, use a steel-barrelled pen and a low-profile impact weapon of you need, but for the love of all that is imagined holy, don’t carry a gun around in Canada unless you want the cops after you.

Here is a picture of some of what I carry on me on a daily basis in Toronto, Canada.

My partial EDC load-out.

The above include:

  • Fisher Space Pen (writes consistently, small size)
  • Mini Bic lighter
  • Tiny USB key
  • Subway tokens (never know when you might need to abandon your car).
  • RAT-1 foldint knife (not “tactical” looking, just a simple, sharp, disposable blade).
  • Band-Aids (because you never know if you or someone else would need one.
  • Lock picks (several sets, because you just never know).
  • Diamond wire rod (again, because you never know).
  • Cash (because cash is king, and you might need a slice of pizza sometime).
  • Low-pro clip wallet

I also carry a few more things not in the picture, such as:

  • 1-2 steel-barrelled pens (Like Zebra or Parker) *not tactical-looking.
  • Tiny Inconspicuous Handcuff Key (because unlawful restraint wouldn’t customarily be conveniently timed).
  • 2-3 6′ lengths of Kevlar/Technora cordage
  • B.A.T. Coin (by Covert Products Group – read my review here.)
  • Key chain with my keys (No JI, I won’t post a picture of them
  • Anything else the day may call for based on my quick intel-dump before I leave – such as weather, traffic, events/protests in the city, etc…
  • Tiny LED flashlight (review soon…)
  • The Lolly (from )
Inside-the-fly of my Triple Aught Design Recon shorts. As if the Lolly isn’t even there.
About the size of a house key. Weighs next to nothing.


I do also ALWAYS wear a watch and will have my phone with me 99% of the time.  (in a dire emergency, I can always barter or pawn my watch for some cash and still have my phone for comms).

I love my watch. Titanium, lightweight, atomic and solar, compass and barometer and more.

For my daily purposes, there won’t be a gun involved in any way and multi-tools are too bulky for my activities.  Canadian laws would make me a SWAT-team call-out for a pistol, so that’s kinda off the table.

As a matter of course, I carry lock picks.  I’ve received several shocked and troubled looks from people should they find out about this, thinking I’m a burglar or something nefarious, but the simple fact is that I strictly adhere to lock picking ethics (read more about it here) and have used them to either help others (with permission, opened a car door for a guy who locked himself out in a blizzard with the car running – I saw it happen) or myself (lost the key to my bike lock) and only would use them to save a life in a dire circumstance.  Otherwise, they’re just tools used for the sport of Locksport.  I feel that, in an emergency, sometimes salvation is behind a locked door.  Better to make amends later when you’re safe, than not have the chance.

If you want an opportunity to learn how to pick locks, check out this amazing opportunity in Toronto in July 2017.    Details HERE!!!

I feel that this load out works for me, for my lifestyle, in Toronto, most of the time.  Thankfully it is scalable, can be augmented with things from my car.  (As mentioned above, I’ll be doing a piece on other EDC/kits at a later time) I also like that it is near-zero visibility thanks to the clip wallet and my spread placement across my person.

The great thing about EDC is that it’s a wide-open topic with huge on-going debates.  I prefer to focus on adjusting mine to my needs and environment (Toronto, Canada) while adhering to the 3 principles I mentioned and looking for new ways to make it more concealed and admissible into non-permissive environments.

The bottom line is this:

Keep some things on you wherever you go that will help you out of a jam if things get tough.  

By following those 3 principles and investing in decent equipment, you’ll be miles ahead of the masses who only have their phone when things go sideways.

In the meantime, keep modifying, keep testing, keep improving.

Till next time, stay crafty.