Since the Bronze Age belts have been worn by all ages and all genders. A belt round the waist is a fashion statement (1), holds utility essentials (2), and is safety equipment in all manner of work-related and recreational applications (3). And it is those very same three aspects of a special purpose belt that make it an essential component of anyone who considers himself prepared. The Escape and Evasion Belt addresses the three components through style, function and strength.
“Only in death will I relinquish my belts.” – Manny Pacquiao
As well as being a stiff leather gun belt, the E&E has three inside zippered pouches that will easily hold a few simple tools and some cash. The nickel-plated brass buckle is first class and won’t raise a single eyebrow unlike tactical belts of any flavor. But the buckle’s heft will certainly make a good weapon, and make short order of car windows and most other non-bulletproof glass when at the flying end of a yard-long lever arm.
More Than Skin Deep
The main body of the belt is pure English harness leather which is one of the few best choice for a belt there is. The 1.5 inch thick cowhide looks as good as it feels. To avoid the effects water and sweat, the leather crafters in the mountains of Utah used polyester thread instead of cotton. And to take the picturesque illusion of a magical belt further, the edges of the belt are burnished with 100% pure beeswax from Heaven. Ok, maybe not Heaven, but a small farm in Colorado. Almost the same thing, right?
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The quality continues on the inside as well. Using YKK zippers, a long service life is expected. But still, as and Escape and Evasion Belt, you won’t be opening and closing the zippers every day. YKK is known as the world’s largest zipper maker and arguably the best zipper on earth. Despite their implication a 2007 price fixing case with other zipper cartels, YKK has a stellar reputation for quality and durability.
In the three zippered slots in the belt, I have the following:
1. One full lenght (12”) hacksaw blade that has 18 teeth per inch. Any more teeth and it will struggle with wood, and any fewer teeth and it will be difficult to cut metal without the blade in a frame with handle. While I could snap or cut a hacksaw blade into halves or thirds to make it more compact or flexible, the reality of needing a functional hacksaw blade for a true E&E situation necessitates having a long draw and enough length for real cutting and a real handle.
2. Another pocket holds $500 in cash in five $100 bills. Some think smaller bills would be a better choice, but I figure that a $100 bill will work anywhere a $20 would. And the bribe factor goes up proportional to the denomination. Imagine an auction breaking out for the last few gallons of gas. Two zeros beats one zero every day of the week.
3. A metal handcuff key resides in another pocket. I’ve tried to come up with scenarios where I might need the key yet still be wearing my belt. I figure that there more possibilities that the key will be handy to help someone else in a jam rather than me needing it personally. But you never know. And yes, I know that a handcuff key is one of the easiest things to fabricate out of almost anything, having the right tool for the job is more than just a cute saying if one needs to shed some bracelets because I also cannot come up with a scenario where time is not a major factor.
But Wait, There’s More
Other E&E tools can include lock picks, wire, even Kevlar cord. I don’t plan on adding any first aid equipment in my E&E belt, and while thinking about that omission, I realized that it might be hard, make that impossible to use the E&E belt as a tourniquet. Since the E&E belt moonlights as an excellent gun belt, it follows that it won’t make the tight turns necessary to stop blood flow. On the other hand, it seems that this Escape and Evasion belt will provide a solid platform for towing cars so it will certainly provide enough strength to save your bacon when you need a lift…or to be lowered.
The main idea behind the Escape and Evasion Belt is to have some survival essentials around your waist at all times and without further thought. While the E&E belt is not the end-all-be-all, it does serve an important purpose in many survival scenarios. And should the need never arise, you still have an exceptionally nice gun belt that can be worn every day. And if that is not already enough to convince you to enjoy the comfort of an E&E belt, the idea of a 100% American made product should be.
Related: SHTF Wardrobe List
Each E&E gun belt is made by hand in Cedar City, Utah by a real American worker. Each stitch, each hole, each rivet. I understand the allure of inexpensive Chinese products when some mass-produced overseas copy costs half of what an American made one does. But like the old saying goes that “You are what you eat,” where you put your money is not only confirmation of your patriotism, but a testament of your conviction to America.
All Photos By Doc Montana