Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
Due to logistical limitations and bureaucratic restrictions, you are especially vulnerable when you travel. Unless you pick up one of the TSA-approved self-defense and survival tools listed in the first of this week’s must-read articles. I’ll also share the No. 1 piece of travel gear I never leave home without.
Then you’ll discover how many potentially active volcanoes there are in the United States (I bet it’s more than you think), 20 ways to maximize space for a bountiful home garden and 18 plants and trees that will not only survive but thrive even in a drought.
Let’s dive in.
If you plan on flying this summer — domestically or internationally — here is a list of seven different TSA-approved multitools you can take with you. Most are more geared toward survival and repairs, but there is one credit card-sized tool that includes a TSA-compliant blade you could use for self-defense.
There’s also a wearable tool, three keychain varieties and several pocket-sized multitools without blades that are perfect for traveling. They range in price from $4–175, so there’s something for every budget. All of them are available on Amazon.
But before you invest in one of these handy gadgets, take a look at the following…
My favorite portable self-defense weapon is the tactical pen — it never leaves my side. This tool is made of solid aircraft-grade aluminum with a potentially lethal tip. Plus, it functions as a regular writing pen, making it doubly useful.
I’ve crisscrossed the country with my tactical pen and never had any issues with TSA. Now, I always put the cap on what I call the “business end” and keep it in my laptop bag with a few other writing implements for cover.
The bottom line is with the way society is headed, getting a tactical pen is one of the smartest (and perfectly legal) ways to protect yourself no matter where you live or what you do for a living. To claim one of these covert self-defense tools for yourself, click on the link above.
On Sunday, the Fuego volcano spewed volcanic ash, mud and rocks for over 16 hours in the most violent eruption in over a century. As of this writing, the official death toll is 69 — and rising. Rescue crews are frantically searching for more missing residents.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 169 potentially active volcanoes in the United States (out of 1,500 worldwide). Most are located in Alaska, Hawaii and states west of the Rockies.
If you live in one of these areas, you should absolutely factor in a possible eruption to your emergency plans. Stock up on gas masks and filters and be ready to evacuate your home in 10 minutes or less.
Growing your own food is one of those preps you can benefit from anytime, not just during a disaster. That being said, I realize not everyone has a ton of space for gardening — especially if you live in an urban environment.
This post from Walden Labs runs down 20 creative ways you can grow food in a vertical space. With photos of each project and links to the complete instructions for some of the more complicated designs, you’ll be able to choose the perfect setup for the space you have.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own garden, you can probably find your perfect solution in the article above. Check it out.
Another obstacle to building your own food is the unpredictability of the weather. Too much rain… not enough… scorching temperatures… and ill-timed frost can all ruin months of hard work and leave you with nothing to show for it.
Although you can’t control Mother Nature, you do have some measure of control — by choosing hardy plants that can withstand the elements. This piece from Urban Survival Site lists 18 plants and trees that will thrive in high temperatures with little water.
There is a wide variety of delicious fruits and vegetables here, so even if the weather isn’t ideal, you won’t be forced to eat bland food. Take a look and see if you can’t add one or two of these resilient crops to your garden. Your taste buds will thank you.