On a daily basis I hear from many SurvivalBlog readers with a variety of questions. Most of these have to do with wilderness survival, or weapons for hard-core survival. Rarely do I hear from folks who think in terms on city survival. Seeing as how a large portion of the population live in urban areas, I'm always stumped, that the readers, don't have a lot of questions about urban survival. Many readers that I hear from live in big cities, and they always have questions about bugging-out to the wilderness. Hmmm!!!!
I was born and raised in Chicago, one of our biggest cities in the USA, and I happen to know a thing or two about urban survival, in many forms. To be sure, I never went looking for trouble, but it always seemed to find me - ever since I was a little tyke. I guess maybe that's why I got into the martial arts when I was only about 15 or 16 years old - I wanted a way to defend myself with just my hands and feet. To be sure, the martial arts can aid you in urban survival, or survival on the battlefield, if you are willing to be a serious student and understand that it takes years to master any style of martial art.
Unfortunately, many big cities, also have the most restrictions on what you can use to defend yourself with on the mean streets. Many places won't allow you to carry a firearm - California, is one place that comes to mind. Additionally, many large cities have some tough laws regarding the carry of knives - some have blade restrictions, as to how long of a blade your pocket knife can have. Many have outlawed automatic folders - switch blades, if you will - falsely believing they are some how deadlier than some other type of folding knife. To be sure, I can draw and open most folding knives with the flick of my wrist, much faster than someone can draw and find the button on an automatic folder to get it opened - go figure? In my home state of Oregon, automatic knives are legal to carry, so long as they aren't "concealed" and therein lies some confusion as to how you can carry an automatic folder. So long as any part of the knife is showing - as with a pocket clip, with the knife in your pants pocket the knife isn't concealed. However, you can also carry an automatic on your belt, in a belt sheath, and it isn't considered concealed - confusing to say the least. And, they are many police officers in Oregon, who mistakenly believe automatic folding knives are flat out illegal to own and use.
I heard about the Inner City Survival Pencil, that is available from US Tactical Supply.
and I have featured some of their other products on SurvivalBlog, and I've heard from many readers, how happy they are with the products and the customer service, too. I've personally been dealing with US Tactical Supply for some time now, and know they carry the best of the best in their product line-up, and their customer service is one of the best in the business in my humble opinion.
So, what do we have with the Inner City Survival Pencil? Well, first of all, it actually isn't a pencil, it only looks like one. It looks for the all the world like a drafting pencil - a high-quality one, at that. The Inner City Survival Pencil looks just like any other regular pen or pencil when it is clipped to your shirt pocket or pants pocket. However, what we have is a spring-loaded steel rod that has a very sharp point on the end - the business end! The pointed rod comes out of the pencil with the push of a button - on the end of the pencil, and it comes out of the pencil with authority, too. It locks firmly in place, with no fear of the rod failing you when you need it most. The entire pencil is top-quality inside and out, and not to be confused with cheaply made imports from overseas.
The pointed rod is slightly over 4-inches long and appears to be made out of carbon steel, but don't quote me on that. The rod locks inside of the pencil's barrel until you need it and with a push of the button, it flies out and is locked in place by four claws. To retract the point, you simply push on the button and push the point against a hard surface to get it back into the barrel - please don't try to push the rod in with your finger - it will penetrate your finger in short order.
I did some penetration tests with the Inner City Survival Pencil - no, you can't place it against an object, push the button and the rod will penetrate into the object - that is not the idea behind this pencil...the spring isn't strong enough to make the rod fly out hard enough to penetrate something, other than a piece of paper. The concept behind this device is that with the push of a button, the pointed and heat-treated rod, can open in an instant and be used as a last-ditch weapon. Now, needless to say, this wouldn't be an ideal first-line of defense, however, it is better than an untrained fist to the eye. The rod never collapsed in any of my testing, and I stuck in into cardboard and wood. Now, it wouldn't penetrate very far into wood, but I have no doubt whatsoever, that the rod would easily penetrate its complete length into clothing and flesh if you had to use it in a self-defense situation - no doubt at all!
Of course, there will be locations where the ill-informed local legislators will have outlawed something like the Inner City Survival Pencil, so check your local and state laws before purchasing this item. However, the good news is, this isn't considered a knife, dirk or automatic knife any place that I'm aware of.
I would have given anything to have had the Inner City Survival Pencil when I was a kid in high school - having to transfer buses in a very bad neighborhood - more than once I was forced to defend myself against more than one attacker, and this "pencil" would sure have helped even the odds a bit. I can see this as a great item for the elderly and the handicapped, who are often targeted by lowlifes. It would also be great for women, and law enforcement officers - again, as a last-ditch back-up weapon. No one would give it a second glance if you had this in your shirt pocket - just don't attempt to board a plane with this - you will go to jail!
So, what we have is a high-quality, very well made product, that looks like any other pen or pencil, that can be used in urban areas as a last-ditch weapon, to help even the odds in your favor, and we are talking about urban survival - something many people don't think about - those in the big cities only think about bugging out to the wilderness - never once stopping to think that they are in the big city every day, and face any number of threats, where a simple item like the Inner City Survival Pencil can save their lives. Most folks think in terms or firearms and knives, and then don't even carry them...when they can be carrying the Inner City Survival Pencil on the streets they walk every single day!
The Inner City Survival Pencil is only $34.95, and that is a great bargain, that can help insure your survival in the inner city. They would make a great gift to anyone in your family, of course, within legal age - you wouldn't want to give this to your grade school children. However, if you have someone off to college, in the military or in law enforcement, this is a great gift, as well as a gift to yourself. Pick one up today, you'll thank me! - SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio
JWR Adds: Reader Michael R. wrote to remind me that carrying a "writing pen knife" is a felony in California. In many counties in California it is almost impossible to be granted a CCW permit but oddly carrying a gun without a permit is a misdemeanor on the first offense in most cases. But carrying a dirk/dagger or stabbing pen is a felony on the first offense. See California Penal Code section 12020.