A belt can do much more than hold up your pants. Work it right, and a standard money belt can be a component in your personal survival kit.
by Leon Pantenburg
Most people don’t think about a belt as a piece of survival gear. But you can carry several pieces of survival gear in your belt.
The kind of belt I’m suggesting is a traveler’s money belt, and they’re widely available. This normal-appearing belt has a hidden internal zipper. The idea is to carry a few bucks in your dummy wallet. If confronted by a robber, hand over that wallet and hopefully you’ll be left alone.
Flashing a roll of bills anywhere is an invitation for robbery, and it’s best to avoid the impression that you’re carrying a lot of money. And you really don’t want to risk resisting some perpetrator for a few bucks.
Here are five survival tools you can carry in a money belt.
- Cash: Carry large bills in the belt. While traveling, go to a toilet stall with a door or some other private place to transfer money from the belt to the wallet.
- Blade: A securely wrapped single edge razor blade, or one from a utility tool, can be carried discretely. But said blade is also highly illegal in airplanes, courthouses or any place where weapons are forbidden. Don’t forget you have the concealed blade on you – it most likely won’t pass through metal detectors. A razor blade as a cutting tool is much better than nothing!
- Charcloth: A small piece of charcloth can catch any spark. Put the charcloth in a small plastic bag and it will help you get that first fire started.
- Firestarter: A piece of waxed firestarter folds up small and carries easily. Put the firestarter in another small plastic bag and forget about it until you need it.
- Ferrocerrium rod: A small ferro rod takes hardly any space, and can be used to spark a fire with the charcloth and firestarter.
- Buckle: (Optional until somebody makes more of them!) My favorite belt buckle is really a two-finger striker for flint and steel firemaking. It works really well, and I always have one key component for flint and steel firemaking along. You’d probably be able to find a sharp rock that will spark, so with this setup a flint-and-steel kit can be worn around your waist. My buckle was custom made, and I hope some blacksmith out there realizes the commercial potential and starts producing them. I’ll order several right now!
This tool selection is not enough to guarantee survival, and it is just one component of a wardrobe survival setup. But these items sure beat having nothing, and maybe this bare bones setup can get you by until something better comes along.
The only survival tools you have are the ones you have, so handy and convenient are really important!