In a certain adventure series I watch one or both of certain events are likely to happen every few episodes.
The first is that the protagonists are likely to find themselves deep in dark woods with no phone reception.
The second is that one or both of them will be knocked out and wake up tied up somewhere, usually with a gloating adversary.
You’d think that they might consider investing in a pair of satphones, or some other alternate communication options. Investing in some counter custody equipment would also be logical.
Escape and Evasion (E&E) is not just something for action heroes and spies. Many of us are more at risk than we realize. I can think of at least two people that I know who have been victims of illegal abduction. Neither were wealthy. In one case the motive was rape. Fortunately both incidences ended happily, except for the would be rapist, and I have no problem with that result.
Today’s blog is an introduction to a series of forthcoming posts on the topic of escape.
An abductee may face confinement and/or restraint. I have already addressed confinement to some degree with the articles on lock picking. Lock picking is a non-destructive technique and if you are illegally confined you should have no qualms about damaging property if it allows you to escape.
This blog has also looked at some methods against physical restraint, most recently with an article on escaping zip-ties. For convenience let us divide physical restraint into four broad categories.
The first of these is restraint using cordage. This may be rope, leather thongs, string, wire or a variety of similar items. Here your main options are cutting the cord or undoing the knots. The practicality of each very much depends on the materials used and how you have been tied. Your teeth can be used to chew cord or manipulate the knots. If you cannot reach your own bindings you may be able reach those of a companion. Hands may be restrained before or behind you so any escape gear you carry should be accessible from either posture. Look for edges that you can abrade the cordage against. Look for objects in the locality you can break to create cutting edges. Items such as lighters can be used to burn through bindings.
Once you are free do not neglect the potential of the remaining cordage as a tool or weapon to further aid your escape.
The second class of restrain is that using chains and manacles. In the modern world the most commonly encountered of this category are handcuffs. Such restraints are much harder to break or cut. There are ways to bypass or damage the mechanisms, however. Ways to deal with handcuff restraint will be detailed in forthcoming posts. I’ll be assessing the merits of some of the commercial products offered.
A more recent category of restraint is the use of adhesive tape such as duct tape. I have looked at ways to break such restraints in a previous post. Many of the techniques suggested for use against cordage can also be applied to tape, with the obvious exception that there are no knots to attack. Your location may include organic solvents that can be used to weaken the adhesive. Possible sources include petrol, brush cleaner, paint thinner, stove fuel, nail polish remover, alcohols and similar.
The last category is that of zip-ties and similar devices. A variety of techniques against these have been covered in previous posts. Future blogs will look at some of the tools you may use to apply such techniques.