Lock Picking as a Survival Skill

December 24, 2015 by | Be the first to comment »

To be a survivalist means by nature to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. To acquire skills that you may never once need to use in your life, but if the day ever comes that you do, you face that adversary with both confidence and grace. Lock picking is one of those offbeat skills that any capable survivor should acquire, especially those who live in an urban environment.

Lock picking has many negative connotations associated with it and it’s understandable why. The very essence of lock picking is to undermine and compromise security, which is commonly associated with criminal activity. But in reality, the high majority of lock pickers are either hobbyists or those who want to understand and better their own security. Regardless of why an individual chooses to learn the craft of lock picking, one thing is certain. To the lock picker, the world is an open door and to the survivalist this can mean everything. Here are a few examples of why this skill is valuable.

Lock picking is reliable

In an urban based survival situation you may find yourself needing to open things that don’t belong to you and that you do not have a key to. Of course you can always attempt to pry it open with crowbar or break it with a hammer but the reality is that brute force doesn’t always get the job done. Not all doors can be knocked in and not all locks breached by means of force. Sometimes it takes a little more finesse to get the job done. Additionally caring around a set of lock picks is much lighter than massive bolt cutters. With lock picking in your arsenal you can enjoy a certain peace of mind knowing that locks aren’t an enemy to be feared.

Lock picking is subtle

One of the great things about picking locks is that it’s stealthy. Because you are essentially mimicking the use of a key you will never leave any evidence that a lock was picked. This is fantastic if you ever need to get into places without people ever knowing you did so. Additionally, and more importantly, because pick locks is non-destructive, you can always make use of the locks that you pick. If you ever need somewhere secure to take shelter, you can be certain that whatever door you unlock can once again be locked behind you. You never know when stealth can be the difference between life and death.

Gain a better understanding of security

Know thy enemy. Understanding the basic concepts of locks and how to pick them will open your eyes to very concerning reality. The common lock is an illusion. It promises us protection but in truth they offer very little against anyone with a set of picks and a little patience. Through lock picking you will gain a truer perspective on your own security situations and how you may better that security. You never know what potential enemies you may have in a survival situation and being ignorant to the skill of your enemies could be detrimental. However if you know what they know, or even more, the tides can be turned and you can sleep well at night knowing that you are safe.

So exactly how hard is it to acquire the skill set of lock picking? There is a common misconception that lock picking takes years of practice to acquire, but in reality its core concepts can be learned and applied in a very short amount of time. After you understand exactly how a lock works, which is exceedingly simple in theory, you can realistically begin cracking locks within hours. This being said, lock picking is still a skill and like any skill must be practiced to gain and maintain proficiency. Additionally, lock picks are a relative cheap investment as you can pick up a basic set for around $20.

So as we can see, lock picking can be a very practical skill to learn. Whether it be for an everyday problem like locking yourself out of your home, to a survival situation of needing to break out of a set of handcuffs, lock picking is a skill set you can rely on. You will feel a certain level of confidence knowing that if push came to shove, you could tackle just about any lock with grace and gain access to things you otherwise would never have been able to. Open up your world and learn the craft that is lock picking.

I work as a flight instructor out in North Dakota and when I'm not teaching my students how to not to die, I manage several blogs regarding my great passions of aviation, philosophy, and lock picking.

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