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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
"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'.
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."