Kidnapped! Essential Gear to Escape your Captors

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Whether you use the words kidnapped, abducted, or taken makes no difference. You’re in the hands of “bad guys,” you must get away fast, or your life could be snuffed out at any time. Having the escape and evasion gear and skills necessary to facilitate your escape can be the difference between life and death.

OTTEGEAR Covert Escape Evade Kit
(Photo by OTTE Gear)

Escape and Evasion Gear

Although this may sound like a movie plot, it could very well happen to you in real life and when you least expect it. Being forcibly taken away from the security of your world and being held as a hostage is something that most people don’t even consider throughout their everyday lives, but they most certainly should.

Prepping for such a scenario includes gathering various items to aid you if or when you get taken. These include hidden handcuff keys, thin blades, razors, signaling tools, and tracking devices. Explore all the info below and create your own “escape kit” that leaves your captors scratching their heads when they discover you are long gone!


If a kidnapper uses handcuffs to secure you, it’s a bad thing, but that’s only if you don’t have a universal handcuff key hidden on your body. In the United States, most law enforcement agencies use a standard key for unlocking handcuffs. This makes it easy to quickly unlock captured individuals without worrying if the receiving agency has the correct key. 

This fact can work to your advantage if you always carry a handcuff key. This small item, which should open ninety-nine percent of the handcuffs in the US, can be hidden in your belt buckle. Or perhaps in a pouch inside your cap, or even hidden in your pocket watch pocket. Yes, that’s what people initially use that small square pocket in jeans for.

 Avoid placing it in your wallet, for obvious reasons, or anywhere you’ll be searched for valuables. This key can then disengage the cuffs and allow free movement of your arms, facilitating your escape.

Zip- ties are the go-to toll for kidnappers and bad guys alike.
(Photo by iStock)


Yes, many people will say a knife is ideal and they would be correct. However, even the smallest pocketknife has some bulk, and if searched, it would surely be taken away. Individual razor blades or box cutter-style blades are both extremely flat and easy to hide on the body. 

They could be in a front pants pocket and completely overlooked even if searched. Additionally, they can be stuck (with double-sided tape) to the inner side of your belt, under the cushions in your footwear, or slid down one of your socks. What makes these blades exceptional is their cutting power. They will slice through cordage and tape in seconds without loud noise or excessive effort. Hide several on your persons in case your primary is discovered.

Having a quality lock pick set and practicing with it can be the key to your escape.
(Photo by iStock)


Padlocks, deadbolts, or basic stock door locks can stand in your way to freedom. Carrying a lock pick kit can help you overcome the barriers and help you escape. These days, lock picks can be found in very compact packages that can be easily carried on your body. Some lockpicking kits fit inside a footprint no larger than an average credit card. Some of these tools being magnetic, easily removable, and replaceable onto their metal base.

 Like most other skills, lockpicking must be practiced well before an incident occurs. There are numerous books, videos, and other sources to learn the basic skills needed to open locks of all types you may encounter if forcibly taken by others. Also, be wary of the quality of the kits you choose. Not all are created equal, and a poor quality set that fails after one or two uses won’t be any good to you when your life is on the line. 


Personal GPS devices can be used to send a signal to friends, family, and the authorities if you are abducted. The smaller, the better because your captors are less likely to find them. Some units come in the form of watches or pendants and may go unnoticed. 

Others are small enough to be clipped to a person’s clothing or bags (although the bag would most likely be separated from the person.) Depending on the model, GPS devices offer many useful functions, including live tracking, a movement alarm, and an emergency button, which can be pressed at the first sign of trouble. Be sure to research when shopping for a GPS device to purchase one that suits your personal and family needs. 

Part reliquary, part tool: the Scapular offers nifty way to carry small essentials on your neck every day without having to move items between bags or pockets, with cordage designed to cut through any substance between you and your freedom.
Non-Ferrous Scapular from SNEAKREAPER INDUSTRIES (Photo by Sneakreaper Industries)


Zip ties are a go-to form of restraint that kidnappers could use to control and immobilize you after your abduction. They are easily bought at hardware stores and come in extra long and super strong varieties when “zipped.” Yes, there are ways to use physics to break zip ties rather than brute strength (which can be impossible for most people.) 

However, certain body positioning is needed. Being discreet around your captors, two conditions that aren’t the easiest to experience in most kidnappings. Carrying a length of cordage, especially incredibly strong and thin Kevlar, can be your answer to saw through your ties. The coiled cordage can easily be stored at the bottom of your pants pocket and retrieved when needed. Using a back-and-forth motion, it will cut through the plastic ties and allow you to free your hands and feet. 

For more on escape and evasion skills and gear, be sure to CLICK HERE: Escape and Evasion Tactics

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