About the Law

I'll add some things here that some people may have considered for a kit, but know this, you need to know the laws in your area AND you might have some explaining to do if the police stop you and ask you questions as to why you are carrying these items.


So here is the list, and there may be other things that can be added to it perhaps, however this is to get you thinking.





  • A small crowbar or wrecking bar in the event you get caught in a closed elevator, or need to open a jammed door to escape danger.
  • A lock pick set.
  • A small bolt cutter.
  • Mace.
  • Tactical pen.


Now the thing is, how does it look to a police officer (think law here) that you are carrying the above mentioned items: A crowbar (or wrecking bar) to open doors, a lock pick set to pick locks, a bolt cutter that can be used to cut security chains, locks and fence wire, and to top it all mace and a tactical pen that can incapacitate someone?


Everything can be twisted around to make you look like a criminal even if your local laws permit you to carry the above items and that you intend no bodily harm or theft of someone's property. There are people that will consider placing these items in their kits. Were you one of them? I just want you to think about it. I don't want anyone to get into trouble.


Know your local laws, stay legal, and then use common sense!

About Knives

Remember that if you carry a knife to first know what your local laws are. If you want to carry a fixed blade knife be certain it is legal to and that it is clear how to answer the police should they ever know about your knife and ask you about it.


A knife must be a tool, not a weapon of self defense. If you can get that in your mind you'll be able to answer honestly. If you carry some tactical, 7 inch blade with a skull tattooed on the side of the handle as an example, you won't be fooling anyone into thinking it is a tool to open boxes or to cut paper.


A Swiss Army knife is a great all round knife for an urban scenario, which a GHB (Get Home Bag) is mostly designed for though there are exceptions. The same goes for other kits as well, in that you need to look at where and under what conditions you will be using it. THINK out the scenarios for BEFORE emergency conditions may occur not just AFTER the emergency has occurred.


If you say a knife is for self defense, be prepared to have your knife taken away from you and to visit the local police station as well. I understand how a fixed blade is stronger than a folding knife and also the idea of self defense, but the knife is a tool first and foremost, and if you had the misfortune of someone trying to kill you, then you can consider using the knife to protect yourself if YOU think it is an option to do so. I am not a lawyer and I am not suggesting you hurt anyone.


To give you an example of how the laws are here in Canada, it is illegal to carry knives under certain conditions, or for certain types of knives. You cannot ever carry any legally carried knife for the purposes of self defense, however, it is not illegal to use a knife in itself for self defense. These words in bold type were my words to describe the situation here in Canada. Does it make sense to you? It does a bit to me, but it is strange how the laws are written to create this situation. So if you use a legally carried knife for self defense, you'd better have a very good reason for having used it in that manner is what I understand.


We don't need more idiots out there with knives and guns, and this is why there are laws like this. People don't behave themselves correctly and then the governments feel that for the need of the general populace that restrictive laws need to be in place.


Never brandish your knife, never threaten anyone with it. If you have a Swiss Army Knife (SAK), you can take it out and actually use it as a tool, because it is and also because people won't freak out if they saw it. They have seen this sort of knife before and may have one like it themselves. However, if they see a tactical knife or a large survival knife of some sort and you take it out in the middle of a shopping mall, chances are that someone might call the police even if you are not intending harm towards anyone.


Just know what your local laws are and abide by them! Also, even if you abide by your local laws, use common sense!

About Tactical Pens

The same can be said of tactical pens as well. If you say that your single piece stainless steel pen with the pointed end screaming tactical all over it is for writing essays, once again you won't fool anyone into believing that.


Again, just know what your local laws are and abide by them.


Tactical things of all kinds exist out there on the internet including umbrellas, baseball caps and rings. Be very careful here, because if you run afoul of the law you'll pay the price.


There are better ways of having things for the sake of self defense, such as BIC pens to poke and jab, as well as things in your environment that can be utilized for the sake of self defense.

Think out of the box, be wise and above all don't do anything stupid!

About Camouflage (not so much about the law, or is it?)

Well now, lets go for a walk down the street and not attract attention to ourselves shall we?

Certainly people will respect us dressed up in camo and consider us cool, right?

Cool gear doesn't mean I am prepared, it just means I have my own style. What do you think?

The police won't confuse me if they see me dressed like this nor would anyone else, right?

I am certain that there wouldn't be any problem at all to go through a security check point in the event the National Guard or other security forces set up such a thing, right?

I blend in with everyone else so I won't stick out like a sore thumb among 'regular' folks', phew!

I could probably go on here, but I hope you got the point. There isn't much difference between the soldier in the photo and those who want to have it all tactical when they prepare their kits.

Camouflage has its place like for the army, not wannabee Rambo's. I am sorry but it just makes me think that many are fools in their thinking. If there was a TEOTWAWKI or SHTF situation, THEN camouflage might have its place there as well for 'regular' folks which most of us are, myself included.

Can there be legal ramifications for wearing BDU or some other sort of camouflage. It's up to you to know what the laws are where you live. You do not want to come off as impersonating someone who is in the military. You can get arrested for that, wouldn't you think? Think fake cop, you know, the ones with fake ID badges that stop motorists and pretend to be actual police officers?

The point is, anything can be twisted to make you look like a criminal, even if you can legally wear camouflage. Camouflage means military in the minds of the people in your neighborhoods. This commands respect when you see some military guy/gal, right? It is the effect it has, and people may say you are coming off as someone who is more than a regular civilian once they learn more about you.

It all depends who sees you and how you portray yourself. You might think I am over-reacting, but I'm not. People are as they are in our neighborhoods. There are people who like to complain and cause trouble, right? Just don't give them an excuse to give you problems.

Ask yourself these questions, and honest reflection is required:
  • What is the REAL reason that non military people want to wear camouflage?
  • Why do these people want to have tactical knives, tactical this and tactical that as well?
  • Where permitted by law, why do these people want to carry guns to go with the camouflage?

Now don't get me wrong here, I understand that for some it is to have some fun, for others they see it as a real need for preparedness, others for the military, and others for hunting.

Just get your head screwed on right when it comes to emergency preparedness. You want to play in the woods that's one thing (but even then), but you need to be smarter in public areas including urban disaster scenarios. Tactical gear such as tactical backpacks, tactical vests and other things also leave an impression upon people including police officers.
Camouflage also seems to be 'the thing' for some as they prepare a wilderness survival kit. Do they even understand what they are doing? This isn't time to want to be camouflaged. You don't have to dress all in bright fluorescent green, yellow or orange for goodness sake, but at the same time if anything happens to you out there, well you'll blend right into your environment with your camo.

And it isn't enough to dress in all out camouflage, but all their equipment must be as well. The backpack, balaclava, their boots, their hat if they wear one, their paracord, their tarp or tent, as well as other things as well but in earth tone colors which are also more difficult to see. So what do you think?

You will not be able to see your own camp as well and under the right conditions can put yourself into a survival situation by essentially getting lost. If you drop something you might lose it for good as well. Perhaps it'll be your nice earth toned colored knife or paracord. Perhaps it'll be your firesteel or your military canteen?

Do you think that striking a balance might be better? You know, like not lighting up like a beacon but at the same time not trying to be a chameleon? Choose your colors AND equipment wisely.

At the very least have materials on hand to make it easier to be seen, and that includes something to wear. And yes if you have anything bright fluorescent green, yellow or orange that may just be what the doctor ordered for some situations.

Stay safe out there, and take care.

Resources

Canadian Knife Laws

The video above is not legal advice. The information in it seems good though. Have a look.

A Brief Summary (Quotes)

"Everything can be twisted around to make you look like a criminal even if your local laws permit you to carry the above items and that you intend no bodily harm or theft of someone's property. There are people that will consider placing these items in their kits. Were you one of them? I just want you to think about it. I don't want anyone to get into trouble. Stay legal. Know your local laws!"

"... in Canada, it is illegal to carry knives under certain conditions, or for certain types of knives. You cannot ever carry any legally carried knife for the purposes of self defense, however, it is not illegal to use a knife in itself for self defense. These words in bold type were my words to describe the situation here in Canada. Does it make sense to you? It does a bit to me, but it is strange how the laws are written to create this situation."

Disclaimer

Remember that I am not a lawyer and I am NOT providing legal advice. I just want to raise some concerns that I have.

And as I have written several times on this page, know your local laws and abide by them.

Use common sense, which is something a lot of people seem to be lacking out there and this is a reason for this page.

You may have innocently wanted to place these things in your kit(s) and that is your choice, but I want you to think about it from the perspective of the law that may view things differently than you do.
 
What NOT to Wear When Bugging Out After a Disaster!

This guy sums it up pretty well, for the urban scenario and wilderness side of it too.

He goes into his views on the U.S. governments response to hurricane Katrina that happened on August 29,2005, as well as the right to bear arms in the States.

However, the part I want to utilize for the purposes of this page, is the camouflage mentality during disasters.

Look at the beginning and again at 9:45 in the video for the information if you are in a hurry.

72 Hour Emergency Kit List
Page (quotes)

"Another thing to keep in mind is the nature of the emergency. If there is a need to evacuate, and these kits are designed for that in mind, do you want to wear a bright red backsack with the words "Survival Kit" on it? It screams prepared to those who aren't and may attract unwanted attention to yourself. These kits certainly have some value, but I personally feel that making your own is better. Blend in by using colors that don't say tactical or I'm prepared. Use blue or black as an example.

The type of backsack/backpack or other as well may scream prepared, such as a kit surrounded by MOLLE attachment points. Don't go to either extremes such as going all out tactical or all out I am helpless and don't know better except I am prepared as well with my big bright red survival kit. Be the 'grey man'.


Keep the size under control as well. If you carry a very large mountaineering pack in the middle of the city where there is looting and muggings and all manner of lawlessness, you WILL be noticed."