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#222229 - 04/24/11 10:02 PM Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Urban resources are often inside things. Once opened they often need to be re-closed to extend the useful life of the contents. This might be problematic in the aftermath of flood, fire, earthquake, or other events, and in any event you want to be prepared to be more self-reliant.

[This is, of course, another cut at things discussed in part in other threads but I hope a discussion looking at things a different way would be useful in considering and reviewing your kit.]

What should be in your well-prepared collection of legal, manually operated openers and closers? Which are candidates for a bug-out-bag or car kit?

Openers
Can opener
Church-key?
"Stuck" jar lid openers
Wine / beverage bottle openers
"Stuck" interior doors and drawers
An opener for your padlocks without the keys / combination
A few sizes of pry bars
A few sizes of chain cutters
A few sizes of scissors / shears

What other container / enclosers do you commonly encounter?

An opener / ignition starter for your car without the keys / combination?

Is there need for a "gamma" / plastic bucket opening tool?

What tool do you use to open tough plastic clamshell packages?

Should you get the tools and study lock-picking?


Closers
Assorted sizes and shapes of opened can replacement "lids"
Opened wine / beverage bottle sealers
?Is there a way to re-seal an opened pull-tab beverage / food can?
Freezer grade, self-sealing, plastic bags
A few sizes of replacement locks / padlocks
A few sizes of cable / chain to pair with padlocks

What else in the way of openers and closers would help ensure you are "equipped to survive"?

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#222233 - 04/24/11 10:50 PM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: dweste]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2958
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: dweste

Openers
Can opener
Church-key?
"Stuck" jar lid openers
Wine / beverage bottle openers
"Stuck" interior doors and drawers
An opener for your padlocks without the keys / combination
A few sizes of pry bars
A few sizes of chain cutters
A few sizes of scissors / shears


A good multitool substitutes for a can opener, bottle opener, and even potentially a stuck jar lid opener. Some models of SAK can open wine bottles; my theory is that if I have wine and no corkscrew I will resort to lower-tech methods of opening. I also have a P51 can opener in case the Wave isn't available to open cans.

Padlocks and the like are not easily opened with small tools. A bolt cutter, while very handy, is large, unwieldy, and tends to gather unwelcome attention when carried around. I have one at home but not in a car kit. Ditto with larger pry bars.

The opening tools I carry in my BOB are a pocket widgy, a breacher bar, a knife, and a multitool.

Quote:
What other container / enclosers do you commonly encounter?


Many things that I need to open can be suitably dealt with by using the appropriate screwdriver. The multitool in my BOB is a post-2004 Leatherman Wave with the full bit kit. My car kit includes a screwdriver, a nutdriver and a comprehensive set of regular and security bits.

Quote:
An opener / ignition starter for your car without the keys / combination?

Is there need for a "gamma" / plastic bucket opening tool?

What tool do you use to open tough plastic clamshell packages?

Should you get the tools and study lock-picking?


My car won't run without a coded key. Plastic bucket lids open nicely with pry bars. I typically use my razor-sharp RSK Mk1 mini to open difficult plastic packages. Lock-picking takes a lot of skill and specialized tools. In many jurisdictions possession of those tools is a crime; I don't carry them. It takes me a long time to pick anything other than the most rudimentary lock. With a key that fits in the keyway, the file on my Wave, and some time, I could theoretically make a bump key.

Quote:
Closers
Assorted sizes and shapes of opened can replacement "lids"
Opened wine / beverage bottle sealers
?Is there a way to re-seal an opened pull-tab beverage / food can?
Freezer grade, self-sealing, plastic bags
A few sizes of replacement locks / padlocks
A few sizes of cable / chain to pair with padlocks


I carry freezer bags and cable ties in my BOB, but otherwise I don't worry about it too much. A plastic bag and a cable tie can close bottles and cans. Carrying spare locks and chains sounds like a lot of weight.

Quote:
What else in the way of openers and closers would help ensure you are "equipped to survive"?


Your list is excellent.

Paracord can close a lot of things up. I carry a "tube vault" with CR123A batteries in it; it could be repurposed to keep an ounce or two of something secured. Saws are good to open a variety of things. Spare keys to important things can be very handy.

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#222234 - 04/24/11 11:03 PM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: dweste]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I expect an earthquake. I'm pretty much unconcerned about re-closing things. If it's food, and it requires refrigeration after opening, there's not going to be refrigeration after the big one. My goal is to have consumed opened food in one sitting. If shared, even bigger containers can be fully eaten before spoilage.

My knife has a combo can opener/bottle opener and a corkscrew, so I'm in. Any sharp blade will open a can, at the expense of the sharpness, of course. I'd suggest a screw driver instead, but mileage varies. If I don't have a corkscrew on my, sabrage is my next step. :->

I have a biel tool to get me into and out of situations where the door jammed in the quake. I can either pry the door open or chop through the sheetrock in the wall to get in or out.

I took a locksmithing course years ago which included lock picking. If people don't already know it, I'd suggest skipping it. If it's a door, pry it open; if it's a padlock, shim it. Both will get you in faster than trying to pick the lock. My house was broken into years ago, and the guy just used a prybar to force the door open where the lock was. Broke stuff and he was inside in maybe 10 seconds. If it's the apocalypse, why try to pick a lock?

If you want to reseal beverage cans, google is your friend:
http://www.amazon.com/Jokari-Beverage-Deluxe-Caps-Pack/dp/B0019UO1PA
http://www.brixdesign.com/default.asp?Action=Details&Item=452
http://www.spillah.com/

For open wine bottles, I use the corks from our bottles of port or a VacuVin:
http://www.vacuvin.com/Vacuum_Wine_Saver_286_270_267.html
(Vacuvin also makes champagne savers, but I've never had a bottle of champagne last long enough to be 'saved.')


Edited by philip (04/24/11 11:05 PM)

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#222241 - 04/25/11 12:39 AM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: philip]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6612
Loc: southern Cal
I'm with Phillip. Big rocks are not only ubiquitous and effective, they are everywhere and work very well..

I, too, plan to deal with the aftermath of earthquakes. First priority in consumption will be the stuff in the fridge and freezer which will be consumed or prepared first.

Canned goods can be opened by a variety of tools, including the can opener on my EDC Leatherman. Today more and more canned goods (the core of my emergency foodstuffs) are equipped with pull tabs and need no tools at all.

I could open a museum with all the varieties of pry bar like tools I have strewn about the premises.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#222245 - 04/25/11 01:11 AM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: dweste]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Rocks. I like that!

I'm with Chaos, Phillip and Hikermor. There are lots of ways to get into what you need to. Screwdrivers, can openers, pry bars, hammets, knives, etc. Driving the car without a key would pose a problem, for example, but getting in shouldn't. I'd pop a window if I needed to and either fix-up (duct tape?) it to shelter-in-place or bail on it and hoof it.

In terms of food, good preparation is part of the equation. I don't want to reseal anything, and that's part of my preps. Smaller cans and packaging plays a big role, as does stocking things that I know we like and will eat. (I'm not planning to introduce eggplant in an emergency, for example.) For larger stuff, like the 18 pound bags of rice I bought this weekend, we'll prepare only what we've rationed to eat, and the unused goes into tupperware or ziplock bags. Proper storage, of course, is key.

The consumption plan is to eat from the fridge first, then the freezer, and then the non-perishables. Meat that's thawed, and won't be cooked and eaten right away, can be smoked if we can't keep it consistently cool enough.


Edited by bacpacjac (04/25/11 02:18 PM)
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#222281 - 04/25/11 05:41 PM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
HACKSAW! The blade is thin and might get in where thicker tools couldn't.

Scissors! Even a small pair in a bug-out kit is something a child knows how to use.

Vice Grips!

If you're storing food and stuff in 5-gallon plastic buckets, do yourself a favor and invest $3 or so in an bucket opener. They're too simple and too cheap to risk ripping a fingernail into the nailbed, destroying a useful bucket, or contaminating the contents.

Don't bother with lockpicking, it takes a lot longer than they show on TV. Have spare keys to everything. If you're evacuating, all adults should have spare car keys on sturdy cords around their necks. If you have to get past someone else's padlock, that's what hacksaws are for.

If you haven't already, start a Key Container. Drop any found or discarded or currently useless key into it. There are limits to the number of combinations to key locks, one might fit something else. Just because your new Ford has electronic locks doesn't mean your old Ford key won't open your neighbor's older model.

Sue

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#222285 - 04/25/11 06:01 PM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: dweste]
Frisket Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 640
_________________________
Nope.......

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#222286 - 04/25/11 06:39 PM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: dweste]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
Look on Youtube to see how to open a masterlock with a hunk of aluminum can. It works.

Failing that - a Fubar and a hit or 12.

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#222288 - 04/25/11 07:26 PM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: JBMat]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2958
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: JBMat
Look on Youtube to see how to open a masterlock with a hunk of aluminum can. It works.


Very cool! Thanks!

I learned how to pick a Masterlock when I was younger, and the technique requires more time and patience. However, it does allow you to recover the combination, which the shim technique does not. The technique I learned had you find the first number by feeling when the shackle was pulled in to the lock to find the first number. The second number can be one of the twelve "sticking points". The third number was found by trial and error. I would dial the first number, try one of the second numbers, and then try all forty possible third numbers before resetting the dial and trying again.

Here's a different technique: http://www.wikihow.com/Crack-a-%22Master-Lock%22-Combination-Lock or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHXgOxSGznE

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#222299 - 04/25/11 10:41 PM Re: Bug-Out Bag Openers and Closers [Re: dweste]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
A good flat-bar, hacksaw and a pair of Vice-Grips, for holding the lock or chain as you cut, will get you by most doors, windows, padlocks and chains very quickly. A friend used a high-end chain and padlock to lock his motorcycle and then lost the key. Even though the 1/2" chain was touted as being 'resistant' to cutting it took all of thirty seconds to saw through both sides of a link once it was firmly clamped and held in the Vice-Grips.

I've heard that it may be an idea to carry several resettable combination padlocks may be useful. If you have to destroy a landowner's lock you can contact them to tell them the combination. Once they know the combination they can reset it to something different so security, such as it is/was, is restored.

There are legitimate reasons for various people to gain access to search, turn off power and gas, check for pets and fire, etcetera. One of the main objections to such activities is that they often leave the structure open to the weather and casual intruders. Many people who would not break into a home will feel much more willing to enter a house if the door is left ajar.

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