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Archive | Preparedness

Dead Drop Spike from ITS Tactical

It is unlikely that I will ever need a dead drop. I know that and yet I still think that the Dead Drop Spike from ITS Tactical is the coolest thing I have seen all day. I suspect you think it is pretty slick too.


A dead drop is a prearranged location that can be used to pass information discreetly between parties. You arrange some kind of signal or sign post to indicate that the drop location is active, place the info into the Dead Drop Spike, and then place the spike at the prearranged location. Once the other party or parties receive the signal, they can retrieve the information. It is a simple concept.

The ITS Tactical Dead Drop Spike is 5 3/4″ long and machined from 3/4″ aluminum bar stock. It has a removable cap that is o-ring sealed. It is designed to be pressed into soft ground until the top is flush with ground level. The included leather strap makes it easy to remove from the ground.

Check out the Dead Drop Spike at ITS Tactical.

DSG Laboratories Micro Escape Tool

We told you about the Killer Key a while ago and now Vigilant Gear has turned up another slick little device from DSG Laboratories. The Micro Escape Tool is a compact, multi-functional tool that would be at home in just about any compact survival or E&E kit.


The Micro Escape Too certainly lives up to its micro moniker. It is just 2″ long, 1/8″ wide, and 1/64″ thick and only weighs .01 ounce. It is basically a handcuff shim with a built in saw. It can be used to shim a set of handcuffs or saw through flex cuffs or other materials that are commonly used to improvise restraints. The included lanyard hold increases the potential concealment and carry options. A small lanyard would also make it more comfortable to hold such a small tool.

Check out the Micro Escape Tool at Vigilant Gear.

Lights Out Saga – Funding Phase 2

Lights Out Saga

If you want to see the Lights Out Saga make it all the way to a screen near you, read on. The initial crowd funding effort was successful. The funds went toward screen writing and the creation of a trailer. Now they need funds to further develop the script, scout locations, cast the film, and start shooting.

You can help. The second phase of funding has begun. You can visit LightsOutSaga.com to get involved.

SerePick Bogota Nano Entry Tools

Every time SerePick makes the Bogota Entry Sets smaller, I think there is no way that the new smaller version can be as useful as the already compact full-size version and every time I try them, I am amazed at how little they actually give up to the full size set.

Nano Titan Bogota Entry Tools

SerePick is outdoing themselves this time. The new Nano Bogota Entry Tools will be available shortly. These things are TINY. They are made from titanium so they should be very, very discreet. You should be able to stow these just about anywhere.

These should be available at SerePick.com soon.

Devil at the Door : A Lights Out Saga Short Film

lights out saga still

The Lights Out Saga movie adaptation continues to march toward completion. The producers just released a short film called Devil at the Door that gives us our best window yet into what the full film will look like. Fans of the book will recognize many of a characters in this short even without introductions. I am pretty excited about this one!

Review: SEREPICK Entry Cards

SEREPICK Entry Cards will look familiar to those of you who have followed JTT for a while. We have already reviewed the titanium versions of these cards that are exclusively available at ITS Tactical and Vigilant Gear. Titanium has certain benefits for this application but lower cost isn’t one of them. So, if you have been looking for a way to get the same functionality at a lower price, these new stainless versions may be just the ticket.

SEREPICK Entry Cards in Cases


The SEREPICK Entry Cards are basically, complete lock bypass toolsets that are contained withing a credit card sized piece of stainless steel. They are made from stainless steel and are available in 2 versions: V1 and V2.

V1 contains 2 complete sets of Bogota Entry Tools: 2 Bogota Rakes, 2 Bogota Single Hook Picks, and 2 tension wrenches. These are all you need to bypass most locks and you essentially get two uses out of a single card.

V2 is for more advanced users and expands on the capabilities of the V1 by providing a single, more complete set including a Bogota Single, Double, Triple, Sabana and traditional hook along with a double sided tension wrench.

Both versions come with a clear plastic sleeve to protect the card and the contents of your wallet.

SEREPICK Entry Cards

Observations from Use

I have reviewed many Bogota Entry Toolsets in the past and I am always amazed at the shallow learning curve that they provide. These sets allow beginners to bypass locks with very minimal instruction. As the user becomes more practiced and better understands the mechanics of what is actually happening in the keyway, they start to find that locks can be bypassed with increasing speed and ease. You can’t replace practice but you will likely have some luck with these sets even if you aren’t extremely skilled.

The most difficult part of bypassing locks, at least for me, is achieving the proper tension on the lock. Unfortunately, these sets may work against you just a bit in that area. The tension wrenches just don’t have the “touch” of a proper wrench or even the regular Bogota Entry Tools. That is to be expected though from a compact set like this that is only intended for emergency use. I prefer the wrench in the V2 set since it has a bit of extra length.

You should not expect the rakes to move through the keyways as smoothly as a regular Bogota Entry Tool. Those are basically hand worked to a high degree of polish. That is impossible with these sets since they are laser cut and intended to stay in the card form factor until they are needed. They do smooth out a bit initially as they are worked in the keyway.

If you have a set of normal Bogota Entry Tools that you can practice with but wish you could carry them in a very wallet friendly format, these are for you. If you do not already own a Bogota Entry Toolset, I wouldn’t recommend these since you will have to tear it apart to actually practice the techniques involved. Once these cards are dissembled, you can continue to use the tools but never put the card back together.

SEREPICK Entry Cards with Tools Removed

Wrap Up

SEREPICK continues to impress with these Bogota Entry Tool offerings. The Entry Cards represent an easy to use, easy to carry, and affordable lock bypass option.

Check out SEREPICK.com!

SEREPICK Entry Cards in Keyway


Review: Men’s Toy Shop – Nashville, IN

There is more than just fried biscuits and apple butter in Nashville, Indiana!

Mens Toy Shop

Nashville is kind of like Indiana’s version of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It is a small resort town that is thick with gift shops, local craftsmen, and artist galleries. It is the kind of place that husbands usually dread spending the weekend but endure for the sake of their wives. Thankfully, Men’s Toy Shop is waiting right there on Van Buren Street, the main drag through town, shining like a beacon of manliness and an oasis for weary, shopping battered men.

When you walk into the shop, you are immediately greeted with the rich smell of hundreds of premium cigars and the pipe tobacco varieties that they carry. I don’t know much about pipes and cigars but I do enjoy them occasionally. I would have paid more attention to the tobacco but I was too busy checking out several glass cases of knives, flashlights, and ammo.

Mens Toy Shop Entry Mens Toy Shop Benchmade, Exotac Mens Toy Shop Pro-Tec

If you read this blog, you will love the inventory at this shop. They carry knives from manufacturers like Pro-Tech, Benchmade, ESEE, Spyderco, TOPS, Zero Tolerance, Calico Forge, and more. They have folders, automatics, fixed blades, and even some butterfly knives. They also had Wise food storage products, premium self defense ammunition, Surefire flashlights and Mil-Spec Monkey patches. They even had Magpul PMAGS and Surefire 60 round magazines at prices that were competitive with online prices.

If all that isn’t enough, they had cool stuff like gun related t-shirts, trench knife letter openers, titanium money clips, cologne that didn’t smell fruity or have words like “sport” in their name, lighters, Col. Conk shaving gear, and more. I am just scratching the surface of what is in this shop. In fact, I have noticed several things in the pictures that I didn’t notice while I was there! This is the kind of shop that you can lose yourself in for an hour before you even realize it.

Mens Toy Shop Cigars Mens Toy Shop CRKT, Kershaw, Spyderco Mens Toy Shop TOPS, ESEE, ZT, Surefire

I found the idea of tobacco shop combined with a knife/gear shop almost irresistible. The folks behind the counter were as friendly and helpful as can be, the merchandise was awesome, and the prices were competitive. There are so many shops that carry junk knives in Nashville. It was truly refreshing to drop into Men’s Toy Shop and see a range of quality knives. I had an absolute blast and highly suggest that you stop into Men’s Toy Shop if you find yourself anywhere near Nashville, IN.

Check out the Men’s Toy Shop website and Facebook Page.

Mens Toy Shop ZT Knives, Wise Food Mens Toy Shop Pipe Tobacco Mens Toy Shop T-Shirts

WeVolt Goes Solar


We have told you about Hardened Power Systems before. Their ruggedized battery backup systems are perfect for use with solar panels but until now, they didn’t actually offer any panels to go with them. They recently introduced a solar panel package for their WeVolt that looks like it would be a great solution for the hiker, camper, or prepper.

Check out the video below and then head over to Hardened Power Systems for more details.

There is No Excuse for Not Carrying a Tourniquet

If you aren’t carrying a tourniquet because they are too bulky or you think you can’t afford one… Read on.

The TK4 Tourniquet is simple, compact, and inexpensive. It consists of a long piece of elastic webbing with two metal hooks on each end. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. In terms of size, the TK4 is similar to the cell phone that you’re currently carrying. They can be purchased for less around $6 a piece and sometimes as little as $2.


The SWAT-T Is another inexpensive option that is just as compact and even more simple. It consists of a long wide rubber band that can be rolled for storage. This tourniquet is easy to apply and versatile enough to be used as an athletic wrap or pressure bandage in a pinch. These are available for less than $10 and can be rolled to about the size of a Surefire 6P.


Now you don’t have an excuse. Both of these options are inexpensive enough and compact enough that you can afford to buy several and stow them throughout your gear.

ITS Urban Kit

Get your MacGyver on with the ITS Urban Kit from ITS Tactical. This kit contains several items that, with some training and know-how, can help get you out of a bind.


The kit contains:

  • (1) FRS (Folding Razor Saw)
  • (1) Diamond Wire Blade
  • (1) Handcuff Shim
  • (1) Quick Stick
  • (2) Universal Handcuff Keys
  • (1) Ceramic Razor Blade
  • (6) Feet of 135 lb. Test Kevlar Cordage
  • (6) Feet of Stainless-Steel Coated Leader Wire
  • (1) Button Compass – Grade AA

All of those contents are packaged into a slick little container that make it easy to tuck just about anywhere.

Check out the ITS Urban Kit at ITS Tactical.


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