I’ve been researching the idea of Escape and Evasion. There is a lot of information out there for traditional battlefield Escape and Evasion. Outside of military members that’s not super useful to us. With the realization that the majority of us live in an Urban Environment I wanted to specifically take a few looks at Urban Escape and Evasion. The first article is a simple one, and one I feel will help form the basis of Urban Escape and Evasion. Today we are talking about the Urban Escape and Evasion bag and its contents.
Escape and Evasion is an interesting topic and it should be defined so you understand what this bag is for. Most people will never need one, but the knowledge weighs nothing and I wanted to share my Urban Escape and Evasion bag. The idea is simple. Someone, or a group of someones, is searching for you with motives that are not exactly nice. This bag is to help you hide and stay away from them with a focus on the Urban Environment.
Things you won’t see in this bag include a firearm. I feel that the addition of a firearm is a risky one. This bag isn’t one you carry around with you every day and maybe a bag you stash somewhere. If a bag isn’t on you or locked away at all time it shouldn’t have a firearm in it. On a day to day basis, I have a firearm on me anyway. Also, if my focus is on escape and evade I am not looking to fight.
The Urban Escape and Evasion Bag Itself
I went with the Vertx Commuter sling bag. This is one of many products we’ve included in Crate Club over the years. The Vertx Commuter is a big sling bag, and one of my favorites. It’s modular, well made, and doesn’t look tactical in any way. The Vertx is built tough, and very easy to organize with its total of four pockets. It even has a small pocket in the rear designed to carry an armor plate. The bag itself is perfect for an Urban Escape and Evasion bag.
The contents are in no particular order but we’ll start with the contents necessary to fasten a quick and easy disguise. A disguise is a necessary must have after you’ve been made. People are going to be out there using their eyes to find you, so make it hard for them. Help yourself blend in a bit better. This is my Urban Escape and Evade bag, so keep in mind its built for me.
Beard Trimmer and Razor
As a big bearded guy, the first thing I want to do is get ahead of a visual description of me. This means trimming my beard down to as low as possible and if possible getting a completely clean face. A battery powered beard trimmer makes short work of a long beard. If I have time to really get to a bathroom I’ll use a razor to finish the job and be clean shaven. The trimmer will even give me the ability to cut my hair down to nothing if I need to.
Another way to help myself blend in is to toss on a pair of sunglasses. Admittedly I don’t normally wear sunglasses so this makes sunglasses a great way to disguise myself. My sunglasses of choice will be familiar to many of you and are Gatorz. These aren’t just sunglasses, but they are ballistically rated glasses that are a favorite of the SpecOps community, the Military in general, and LEOs. They are rugged and well made, plus they are polarized. They are more than just a disguise.
Clothes can be a bulky addition, so I pack a light pair of clothes that will typically be the opposite of what I normally wear. 99% of my life has me wearing blue jeans or khakis. I never wear shorts outside or working out and the beach and tend to stick to dark colored shirts. So, my disguise clothes are board shorts and a bright blue t-shirt. On top of that, I keep a pair of flip flops in case I’m wearing boots on whatever day I need to Escape and Evade. I ball them up well to help conserve room in my Urban Escape and Evasion bag.
Tools are just that, tools to work with should you find yourself in a pinch. You can’t predict every scenario, so you want to choose tools that are adaptable and easy to use. Nothing too niche or specific.
You should always have a flashlight and right now you have tons of options when it comes to well made, bright, tactical flashlights. Do I really need to explain why you need a flashlight? Because it gets fucking dark. A tactical light adds options like momentary on, and typically can be used to break glass, and as an improvised weapon.
My choice is another Crate Club Alumni the Asp Triad DF. This is a traditional Tac light in a lot of ways, but it also adds a level of rechargeability. The Asp Triad DF can be recharged via a standard Mini USB device. The Triad DF comes with a charging cable, as well as a wall charger and car charger. This opens up your power options significantly.
One of my all-time favorite multi-tools, the Gerber Suspension, is my go to. The Suspension was just featured in Crate Club but I’ve owned one since my Marine Corps days. The Suspension is a lightweight, but very well made multi-tool. It packs 12 tools in a pocket-sized package.
A multi-tool is an invaluable option for an Urban Escape and Evasion bag. It allows you to complete any number of small tasks in a quick and effective manner. From breaking into buildings to breaking out of zip ties a multi-tool is a must have in any Urban Escape and Evasion bag.
A bandana can do a few different things and falls into a wide variety of categories. It can be made into a weapon with the addition of some kind of weighted item, it can change how you look, provide an improvised mask, and even help dress a wound. At the end of the day, it can simply wipe sweat from your brow when necessary.
Life on the run is going to suck, and it’ll like be hours of non-stop thinking and moving. Time to shower won’t be a thing. It may not seem like a big concern in an Urban Escape and Evade situation but your goal is to not stand out. If you are filthy dirty from the chase, or slightly bloody, you’ll stand out. You may remember Epic Wipes from Crate Clubs past. These massive wet wipes are a shower in a bag. You can clean dirt, grime, and blood off yourself quickly and easily. These wipes will make you feel better and look a little more discrete.
A compass is like a multi-tool, do I really have to tell you why you need it? If so, you are in the wrong place. A compass gives you a bearing, and bearing is crucial to finding your way home or at least getting you someplace safe. Just have one, any kind will work.
You may need to patch up boo-boos and black eyes, apply tourniquets and clean wounds. An IFAK is a crucial component to even day to day survival. In an Urban Escape and Evasion bag it’s even more crucial.
Blue Force Gear is an awesome company and the Micro Trauma Kit Now is a revolutionary concept. Take an IFAK and make it small enough to be an EDC item and you get the Micro TKN. It comes either as an empty pouch or filled with medical gear. The gear is made for one big wound but can be a lifesaver. Its small size makes it a must-have
Carrying a full water bottle is an option, but throughout the day to day it could easily leak and soak everything. This may render some gear useless. I like having a small, reusable water bottle I can fill up at any tap. This way I reduce the weight and bulk of my bag and don’t risk soaking everything.
Of course, you need water to live, and if you can you should take every chance possible to refill and stay hydrated. This is another reason I like a reusable bottle. I may need more than 16 or 20 ounces.
The Firewater Plus water bottle is perfect for my needs. It’s a recent Crate Club addition and is incredibly useful. It collapses for space savings, holds 750 ml of water and doubles as a rechargeable lamp. Its lightweight, but robust, and perfect for storing in an Urban Escape and Evasion bag.
Offense and Defensive Capabilities.
While I don’t keep a gun n my bag I’m not going out there without some form of self-defense. For this role I go with a knife, but not just any knife. I want an Emerson, preferably one of the CQC series, and my favorite is the CQC 7. We’ve included a variety of Emerson knives throughout Crate Club’s lifespan this includes the CQC 7, the Mini 15 and the Mini Commander.
These knives are straight killers. They are incredibly strong, feature obnoxiously sharp blades, and come with the most excellent wave feature for a rapid opening.
Additionally, the Crate Club Neck Knife is a small, and discrete means to stash a knife around your neck or even take a tip from prisoners and attach the chain to your belt and run it down your pants. This curved beak blade is small, but fierce and will allow you to rip and tear through the flesh of those foolish enough to fuck with you.
Lastly, the Crate Club tactical pen is the most discrete, last minute weapon on the list. This stabbing tool looks and acts like a pen, but features a carbide tip for deep penetration. It’s easy to grip and will inflict serious pain. Plus, it’s always nice to have a pen.
The Mini E and E Kit
Lastly, two is one and one is none, right? Well, if that’s the case, the Mini SERE kit is a must-have for your Urban Escape and Evasion bag. The Mini SERE kit comes from Krupto Strategic and is a small series of pockets that’s designed to strap around your ankle. It can hold the essentials. A small knife, handcuff keys, a light, a lockpick or two, some cash, and other small, but necessary goods.
Here are a few additional items that may be a handy addition to your Urban Escape and Evasion bag.
- Wire Saw
- Emergency Cable Saw
- Water purifying tablets
- Burner Phone
- Mace/Pepper Spray
The Urban Escape and Evade bag is a very personal item and one you should build with caution. My suggestions cover some of the very basics of an Urban E and E bag. You need to customize it for the environment you are in, or will be in. Just keep in mind this isn’t a bug out bag or a fighting load. It’s a getaway bag. Its a bag that’s meant to deceive, to trick, and to escape with. Keep it light if you can, you may have to run for your life with it.