Hostage Escape Tools and Techniques

Hostage Escape Tools and Techniques 535 608 Greg Ellifritz

When traveling in dangerous areas, I think it’s useful to carry some hidden escape tools.  This article covers some of the better options on the market.  I have all of the tools recommended and carry them regularly in hazardous situations.

Hostage Escape Tools and Techniques

Escaping Criminal Restraint

Escaping Criminal Restraint 150 150 Greg Ellifritz

Learning how to escape criminal restraints is an important skill for every traveler to have.  This video and their follow-up video on escaping zip ties are two of the best tutorials on the subject that are currently available.  Take the time to watch and learn.



And the guys from Sierra Whisky Co. sent me some of their “underwear for gun guys.”  It’s very comfortable and exceptionally light weight.  Highly recommended.  It’s should probably be called “underwear for travelers” because it’s roughly half the packed size and weight of the quick-drying Ex Officio underwear I usually pack for foreign travels.




Worried About Kidnapping?

Worried About Kidnapping? 993 330 Greg Ellifritz

In the article below, a former Mexican counter-narcotics agent describes the latest worldwide kidnapping trends.  The article is especially useful for those of you who travel to Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Take the time to give this article a serious read.  If you are a traveler, the information it contains is absolutely vital.

Ed Calderon Sheds Light on Kidnapping & Abduction Trends



Virtual Kidnapping

Virtual Kidnapping 1000 1000 Greg Ellifritz


Virtual kidnapping is a growing trend.  Travelers (especially those traveling in Latin America) should understand how the process works and educate family members back home so they don’t get scammed.


The article linked below goes into some of the basics of how virtual kidnappings happen.


Virtual Kidnapping


If you want some additional information on the topic, check out my book.  I have an entire chapter on virtual and express kidnappings.



Airport Kidnapping

Airport Kidnapping 634 357 Greg Ellifritz

Take a look at this article/video of a foreign tourist being kidnapped in a Bangkok airport.  The kidnappers used a five-man team and had ten more airport and immigration officials on the payroll to make sure things went smoothly.

Snatched at the airport

This is certainly a unique and rare crime.  It might still be worth the mental effort to figure out how to avoid/escape such a well-coordinated attack.


If you saw this, would you recognize a kidnapping was taking place?

Escaping Criminal Restraints

Escaping Criminal Restraints 620 974 Greg Ellifritz

Are you worried about being taken hostage in a foreign country?  You might like to read the article below.  It is a reasonably comprehensive primer on escaping criminal restraints that would be useful to all my friends who travel internationally.


How to Escape Handcuffs, Zipties, and Duct Tape


One additional escape tool that I have found exceptionally useful is the Advanced Personal Escape Kit from OscarDelta.  This piece of gear masquerades as a necklace that you can wear under your shirt.  It’s barely noticeable when worn.  The “necklace” is really an exceptionally tough cord that can be used as a garrote or as a friction saw for cutting through flex cuffs.  Attached to the cord is a handcuff key, a handcuff shim, a mini glowing light stick, and an exceptionally hard striking disc that will break window and automotive glass.

Having all these items on a cord around your neck in one place is handy, but I would still suggest having a few smaller keys or shims stashed in other locations as well.  You don’t know how thoroughly you will be searched after you are kidnapped.  Losing all of your tools at the same time when your captors find your necklace won’t help your long term survival.  The more items you have, the more likely one or more will be missed on a hurried search of your clothes and body.  That makes your escape chances significantly greater.

Tools are important, but skills and mindset are even more valuable.  Consider purchasing some of these escape tools and carrying them with you.  But like most defensive tools, they require practice to master.  Merely having the tool isn’t enough.  Practice until you can use the tool to quickly escape restraints under any and all possible conditions.  Only then will you truly have options.