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#202673 - 05/30/10 03:50 AM The Ability to Pry
BrianB Offline
Member

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 99
In what situations/locales is the ability to pry things an essential for a survival kit?

A lot of folks place importance on the ability to use their survival knife as a pry bar, or include an actual pry bar in their gear, but I can't think of too many situations that would call for heavy duty prying. Figured I'd see what the consensus is here.

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#202675 - 05/30/10 04:00 AM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: BrianB]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I keep a pry bar in the bedroom since here in earthquake country, a major shaker can often shift the house enough to jam the doors in the house.

For more heavy duty prying, I do have a couple long wrecking bars and wood blocks. Most rescues from damaged buildings after earthquakes are self-rescues or rescues by neighbors, not professional first responders.

When I lived in places with mass transit, I would occasionally think about carrying some smaller pry tool for subways and elevators and such, but never got paranoid enough to actually do it.

Your question reminded me of those guys trapped in an elevator in the WTC during 9/11. They pried open the elevator door, and used the metal squeegee tool to carve out an opening in the drywall shaft of the elevator, and busted through to a restroom to escape the elevator. Something like a "cop tool" would've been handy for prying, cutting, and punching through materials in a case like this.

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#202677 - 05/30/10 04:44 AM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: BrianB]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 851
Loc: Southern California
This is earthquake country, and it allows me to get to the emergency/evacuation kit without having to kick my way through an interior wall and door if the house shifts.

For the $10 I paid for the crowbar, it's not a major investment


Edited by Mark_R (05/30/10 04:47 AM)

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#202684 - 05/30/10 09:02 AM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: Mark_R]
TheSock Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 471
Loc: London England
Some people died in Katrina because they made the mistake of retreating from the rising water to the attic with no way to get through the roof.
The Sock
_________________________
The world is in haste and nears its end – Wulfstan II Archbishop of York 1014.

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#202686 - 05/30/10 11:13 AM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: TheSock]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6691
Loc: southern Cal
Living in earthquake country, I have several pry bars stored in various locations around the house. I also keep one in the car for the occasional automobile accident.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#202691 - 05/30/10 02:53 PM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: hikermor]
Jeff_M Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Obvious next question: What kind of prying tool?

I rather like classic fire axe/Halligan bar combo:



Edited by Jeff_M (05/30/10 02:55 PM)

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#202693 - 05/30/10 05:22 PM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: Jeff_M]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 851
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Jeff_M
Obvious next question: What kind of prying tool?

I rather like classic fire axe/Halligan bar combo:


I chose the gooseneck prybar because it has the closest geometry to a halligan without forking out ~$140 for one. It's similiar to this:


The axe would be nice, but given what this thing did a couple of interior doors I was getting rid of, somewhat redundant.

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#202694 - 05/30/10 05:38 PM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: Mark_R]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
I keep gooseneck prybars in my bedroom, office, car and one in a car trauma FAK - buy them cheap, and spread them around. I'm not shy about breaking out glass or wrecking a doorframe getting myself or someone out of a jammed door.

Then a couple 4-5 foot halligan type prybars in the outside storeroom, along with a garbage can full of sacrifical 2x4 and 4x4 blocks, for cribbing and lifting after a collapse. I put the garbage can on wheels, or it can be toted by two people. Ace Hardware stocks a really nice inexpensive model long prybar for ~$25, I buy one, they order another one, I buy another...

I put a 16 inch prybar in every 72 hour kit I build and give away - daughter #1 got one when she went to college, handy as a defense against unruly boys...

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#202705 - 05/30/10 07:50 PM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: Lono]
BrianB Offline
Member

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 99
Thanks for the replies. Jammed car or home doors was about all I could think of. I've been thinking of getting a Fubar for our apartment, in the event of fire or (less likely) earthquake.

Has anyone found a use for a prybar (or a knife overbuilt so as to be usable as one) in a back woods / outdoor scenario? I'm kind of stumped there. I don't think there's much to pry, except maybe breaking into a building for emergency shelter, which is probably a pretty low likelihood situation.

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#202706 - 05/30/10 08:15 PM Re: The Ability to Pry [Re: Lono]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
In an emergency doors jam, locks seize up, or you cant find the key, things get in the way, sometime things just richly deserve a good beating. A well made pry bar will see you through these sorts of situations.

A top-of-the-line Halligan would be ideal but the really good ones are pretty large, are difficult to store with the spike sticking out, and they run in excess of $200 each.

My preference for emergency kits is a flat bar. For equal size and capacity they are usually a bit lighter and often cheaper than a bar made from hexagonal steel section. Also the wider blades opens up options for prying laterally, scraping, using it as a hoe to shift mixed gravel and debris. The thinner blades, which I usually grind down to a fine edge, work better on tight joints without having to resort to hammering them in.

For $13 you get a nice brand name unit that is sure to be reliable:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/p...la=&cm_ite=

For $6 you get one with less peddigree:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/p...la=&cm_ite=

For $3 you get a generic:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/p...la=&cm_ite=

Note that all three tools may indeed be made in the same factory from the same steel as the Vaughan Super Bar. The Vaughan just getting a little more finishing, a paint job, and a label. No guarantee that that is true but the general trend is that good quality tool steel and the cost of heat treatment has dropped in price so much it really doesn't make sense for anyone to make a bar that can't meet minimal standards for quality and usability.

Just to be sure if I was going to buy a quantity of the cheapest unit, perhaps for an organization, I would get a sample and put it through its paces to make sure I was getting something functional.

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