Seven Ways Your Belt Can Keep You Alive

This week’s mailbag features several clever solutions for making the most of your everyday carry (EDC) items.

You’ll also learn the safest way to handle a stalker, how to upgrade your gun safe so it’s EMP-proof and where to buy the most secure locks for your home.

Let’s dive in.

In at least one place, you were talking about how important it is to have a good belt and that there are seven ways to use your belt for survival. Exactly what are the “seven ways,” or where can I find that information?

— Jim L. 

Sure thing, Jim. A good-quality belt has a number of uses. These include…

  1. Making a tourniquet. If there’s an active shooter situation and somebody has been seriously injured, you can use a belt as a tourniquet. Just make sure to pull it very tight. Another medical use for a belt? Use it as a sling for an injured arm.
  1. Securing doors. In an active shooter situation, a belt can also be used to tie and secure doors shut so nobody can access a room or hallway.
  1. Defending yourself. The belt I wear has a heavy buckle made of solid brass I can use for self-defense. I’ve even used it to break a car window.
  1. Sharpening a knife. If you carry a knife and need to sharpen it, you can use a leather belt for stropping the blade.
  1. Building a shelter. A belt can be used to make a shelter by securing pieces of wood together.
  1. Carrying important items. Certain belts have pockets in them where you can carry matches, a utility blade and money, among other things.
  1. Giving a lift. A belt can be used as a tow rope in emergency situations. (Yes, I’ve personally used a belt to tow another car.)

And now, an everyday carry (EDC) tip from one of our readers…

Duct tape has a lot of “bang for your buck,” but it is often overlooked on a list of bug-out stuff (certainly not on most people’s EDC list) probably because the roll is bulky. I carry a length of duct tape wrapped around an old gift card or credit card and keep it in my bag along with my other EDC items.

— Carroll H. 

Great advice! Duct tape can be extremely useful in many different survival situations. I have multiple rolls stored with my survival gear and in each of my bug-out bags. But this is a great way to carry some with you in your pocket or your purse for everyday situations.

What steps can one take to protect against a stalker/rapist?

— Ava J.

Having a stalker can be incredibly scary. It’s a threat you should always take seriously because stalking can often escalate to other, more violent actions.

If someone is stalking you, NEVER respond to them. As much as you may want to yell at them or cuss them out, the more attention you give them (even if it’s negative), the more they will harass you.

Next, tell everyone you know — friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. — that you have a stalker. That way everyone around you can be on the lookout for you and let you know if your stalker tries to contact them for any information.

Plus, arm yourself with some type of weapon in case the stalker tries to physically harm you. This could be a firearm, stun gun — even a tactical pen. Whatever your weapon of choice, just make sure you have a way to defend yourself on you at all times.

Lastly, always be aware of your surroundings. It’s important to exercise good situational awareness so you can hopefully avoid your stalker.

What about gun safes in the event of an EMP? They are metal with a sealed door and insulated interior, no? And the lock? If it’s a keypad, is it fried and forever sealed? Is there any way to protect the external keypad?

— Lou S. 

Since gun safes are all designed differently, it’s impossible to say whether they would protect items from an EMP. That being said, if your model is completely sealed and nothing inside is exposed to the EMP, then there’s a good chance your electronics would survive.

As for the electronic lock, it probably wouldn’t work after an EMP. However, most electronic locks have a backup key lock, which should still work. Plus, nowadays many companies are creating EMP-proof locks that you can add to an existing safe to replace the older lock.

Is it possible you can make recommendations on the best residential lock sets?

— Bob A. 

The best locks to get for your home are either Schlage or Medeco brand. These brands are more expensive than the cheap Kwikset locks you’ll find on most homes, but you get what you pay for.

I personally use Schlage products for all my locks. They are incredibly strong and difficult to pick or bypass.

I received a ton of thoughtful responses to last month’s featured article discussing whether convicted felons ought to be able to have their Second Amendment rights restored. This is one of them.

My name is Joel and I am a convicted felon. As difficult as that is to just put out there, it’s important for those of us who made the wrong choices to own up and be honest.

Of the convictions I have received, none of them was the result of violence… ever! Do I feel that this makes what I did less of a wrongdoing? Absolutely not. However, in the decision of whether or not I should be allowed to purchase or possess a firearm, I believe it does. 

I am an Eagle Scout who cherished that accomplishment up until I made the wrong choices, which I suffer from to this day.

My scouting involved extensive gun training… My respect, my understanding and my training brought me to a love of firearms that is still with me today. But I’m stripped of my ability to properly defend myself and my family from the dangers and threats that are ever more present in today’s world. I’m talking about the kind of threats that harsh language or a baseball bat will not resolve.

I hope that my small contribution to the conversation will help people understand that even though I paid for my crimes, I don’t feel there should be a lifetime attachment along with the sentence already served.  

Thanks for letting me share…

— Joel M. 

Joel, I appreciate your honesty and willingness to own up to the mistakes you made in the past.

I personally believe that every situation is different. The courts need to look at each person on a case-by-case basis to determine if they should be able to own firearms.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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