Survival kits are meant to stabilize certain unavoidable situations but an escape and evasion kit is meant to negate the need to survive.

The purpose of these kits are to “escape” and “evade” from capture of kidnapping or unlawful detainment. Specifically to get free from handcuffs, plastic ties, rope and other forms of forced restraints.

Escape and evasion kits are not just for military operators or intelligence agents, however. Civilians can just as well utilize them for travel or edc.

Unlike typical survival kits, these should not be in an obvious box or container. Nor should they be packed in a bag or even the pockets. In the event of being captured or detained, the subject will be searched. This is why escape and evasion kits should be worn, not carried – hidden strategically around the body.

Parts or sections of the kit should be placed on areas where they will be easily accessible while the subject is restrained; hands handcuffed / tied in front or back, hogtied with the feet, secured to stationary objects.

- Escape + Evasion Kit Gear -

Escape and Evasion Kit Items //

Escape and Evasion Kit: Handcuff Keys

Universal Handcuff Key

The most important and likely to be used escape and evasion kit item. Even to this day, most handcuffs around the world use the same locking mechanism and key.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Ceramic Razor Blades

Ceramic Razor Blade

A concealable and nonmagnetic tool to cut rope, ductape and plastic zip ties. Invisible to metal scanners, holds an edge better than steel and is a much harder material.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Handcuff Shims

Handcuff Shim

A good backup or alternative to a dedicated handcuff key. These bypasses the lock instead of unlocking it. Available in steel or titanium, both extremely small and concealable.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Kevlar Friction Saw

Kevlar Friction Saw

Ideally placed in footwear, this makeshift escape and evasion kit item can cut through almost anything that would be used to retrain a subject except metal.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Bogota Lockpick Set

Bogota Lock Pick Set

This is the “evasion” part of the kit. With practice, any pin tumbler lock can be opened, which is universally the most common door lock and also many padlocks.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Stealth Weapon

Small Stealth Weapon

A standard self defense tool such as a knife does not apply to an escape and evasion kit as it should be assumed the subject will be searched. I use a custom made carbon fiber impact dagger.


Escape and Evasion Kit: SERE V Cutter

SERE V Cutter

A clever cutting tool specifically designed to cut through thin straps of plastic, nylon, rope and tape in a quick and singular motion. Consists of angled dual blades but safe from accidental cutting.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Diamond and Micro Saw

Diamond or Micro Saw

An extremely small and concealable tool for small cutting tasks. Ideal for any hand restraints including thin steel chains with the diamond saw and thick rope with the micro saw.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Acid Spheres

Acid Sphere Capsule

Unavailable to the public, this tiny ball bearing like sphere is meant to be crushed on iron based material, dissolving it.




Escape and Evasion Kit: EZ Decoder SHims

EZ Decoder or Quick Stick

Secondary escape and evasion kit tools. Similar to the handcuff shim, these bypasses locks, not picks them. However, these are for padlocks and combination locks.


Escape and Evasion Kit: Nano Compass

Nano Button Compass

After being detained and taken to who-knows-where, simply knowing the cardinal directions could go a long way to the “evasion“, in the wilderness and urban.


Escape and Evasion Kit /// Vinjatek

Not all of these items are necessary for an escape and evasion kit. A select combination of them can be equipped to suit specific needs and carryability.

Escape and Evasion Kit /// buy

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  1. Lkso Niner Reply

    Damn John, where do you think of this stuff? Its brilliant! bout to gear up my EDC.

    • Lori Zabel Reply

      I think it’s from his days as a spy or something, who else needs an escape and evasion kit?

  2. Teddy Lelser Reply

    Awesome gear list, whats that tool thing on the top of the kit featured photo?

  3. Thanks for the post John, gonna up my escape and evasion kit game.

  4. Nice equipment layout. Curious … what are the rings you constructed your Kevlar cord zip tie saw with?

    • JOHN V CAIN // Reply

      It’s just rubber O-rings. But they’re only good for single use as they’ll break. Key rings are good but I try to avoid iron based materials if possible.

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