We’re gonna kick off our “new item of the week” column with a handy little piece of kit that I’ve been using myself for a couple months now, the AK(anti-kidnapping) Band from Gearward.com.
I’ve talked a bit about Escape and Evasion kits, or E&E kits, and what is usually carried in them, but most of the needs and contingencies that are addressed are focused on the “evasion” portion of this problem, not particularly the “escape” after capture. The AK Band does a nice job of providing a few tools for just such a situation, and in a small enough and unobtrusive enough package that 1) it’s easy to carry and 2) the likelihood of captors not finding it is pretty good.
Did I mention it’s only twenty bucks?!
The AK Band is focused on providing a means for escaping restraints in an innocuous package. A polymer handcuff key, a ceramic razor blade, and a 4-foot length of kevlar cordage to be used as a friction saw are tucked in a piece of bicycle inner tube that’s worn on your watch band.
The handcuff key is a very handy piece of kit to carry on your body. I’ve always felt like this is just something you should have access to…call me paranoid, but it’s again one of those things that I could see myself wishing I had, and I don’t ever want to be in that situation. The kevlar cord is used as a friction saw, specifically to cut through plastic restraints such as zip ties or flexcuffs (see the demonstration video on Gearward’s website, it’s easier than you think), and the ceramic razor blade is for tape or rope or similar restraints.
However, I can think of a LOT of uses for four feet of nearly indestructible, difficult to see cordage (booby traps, anyone?), as well as the razor blade. Handy things to have on your body, definitely.
I’ve also gone through airport and train security in several different countries, and the AK Band never raised an eyebrow…probably because no one ever knew it was there. One of the benefits of non-metallic kit.
The band is reasonably comfortable to wear on your watchband. The band on my Garmin Tactix is a bit thicker than the G-Shock demonstrator on Gearward’s website, so it tends to bunch up a bit and was a slight annoyance until I got the tools situated correctly for my particular wrist and watchband, so anticipate some individual adjustments. Also, the AK Band will only be unobtrusive when worn on a black plastic watchband. When I wear my stainless-steel watches, I have to find another hiding place.
For $20 though, I don’t think you can find a better all-in-one solution.
About the Author
Joel Lambert is a combat veteran of the United States Navy SEAL Teams, where, among many other things, he became proficient in basic and advanced SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Escape) skills, urban evasion, fieldcraft, tracking, counter-tracking, booby traps, and all the rest of the tricks and techniques he uses to evade capture on his Discovery Channel show titled LONE TARGET in the US and MANHUNT in the rest of the world.