ESCAPE, EVADE AND SURVIVE – American Survival Guide

Stay Safe and Get Home With Shomer-Tec’s Covert Travel Assistants

When a simple search for a small E&E (Escape and Evasion) kit came up online, it revealed a company offering all sorts of gear and gadgets meant for police, military, escape and evasion, lock-picking, security protection and survival. Over the last couple of years, I was able to get my hands on some of their gear, leaning heavily toward their travel and stash items, since I spend many months of the year out of the country.

Some places I visit are less than desirable and I have a better than average chance of being kidnapped. Shomer-Tec seemed to be right up my alley when it came to looking for useful items that can be hidden in plain view. Along with their many items for stashing and getting out of a bad situation, they offer a fair amount of survival items, meant for both urban and wilderness situations.

If you have concerns about your safety, regardless of where you travel, you might find some of these products, and others on their website, of interest.

Editor’s Note: Items discussed may not be legal in your area or for the purpose you may intend to use them. It is the responsibility of the buyer to check local laws and travel regulations before acquiring, carrying and/or using products mentioned in this article.

Escape & Survival Module

The Escape & Survival Module was developed for an elite U.S. military unit, but it also can be a lifesaving device for those who travel in harm’s way or in dangerous regions. This kit provides effective tools to enable escape from captivity and support subsequent survival. It’s all contained in a special O-ring sealed module that was designed to provide maximum concealment options when capture is imminent.

The Shomer-Tec Escape & Survival Module and Fire Button are ready to embark on an overseas adventure. The magnesium body is meant to be scraped off to help with emergency firestarting.

The contents of the Escape & Survival Module are all neatly packed in this body-stash tool. It has just about the right collection of things needed for the occasion, whatever it may be.

If the shape itself doesn’t give away where it is meant to be stashed, let me make it clear. I talked to an Air Force SERE instructor during a convention that featured all sorts of military, law enforcement, hunting and shooting gear. After a few minutes of banter, he mentioned a certain part of their training where they had about 30 seconds to “keister” a small chap-stick sized tube up their anus. This Shomer-Tec Escape & Survival Module (capsule) is meant for the same type of stashing or, “keistering.” However, it was pointed out to me that their version was much larger than what was expected of the trainees at the Air Force SERE School.

“The Escape & Survival Module was developed for an elite U.S. military unit, but it also can be a lifesaving device for those who travel in harm’s way or in dangerous regions.”

The module itself is a working component – it’s milled from magnesium and can be shaved down with the edge of the ceramic razor blade for fire starting. Despite its small size, it includes the following components: four lock picks, bend-to-fit tension wrench, handcuff key, two styles of lock shims, Kevlar escape saw, diamond rod saw, ferrocerium fire rod, three waxed jute firestarters and a ceramic razor blade. Also included is a small packet of petrolatum that does not fit inside the module, for uses that include first aid, fire accelerant, and to help with the act of getting it in the right place, fast.

When the jute from the Spool of Fuel is properly frayed, it will take a spark instantly. Once burning, additional pieces can be added without needing to fluff them. This will prolong the flame.

The Spool of Fuel is easily ignited with a ferrocerium rod once it has been frayed. The spool’s plastic housing keeps contents free of moisture and out of the elements until it is ready to use.

The Kevlar saw is an interesting, multi-function piece of gear. Besides the obvious use for extra-strong cordage, it actually can be used in the same fashion a wire saw is used. While this would be slow and tedious, it will work. Just make sure to tie the ends around some sturdy chunks of wood or it will be your fingers that get cut.

Their included ferrocerium rod is about as thin and short as you would want it to be and still be able to hold. The included ceramic striker is the perfect size and material for biting into the ferrocerium material.

A small ceramic razor blade is also included in the kit and is just that, a razor-sharp cutting tool for small utility or defense.

Shomer-Tec products are sure to meet wary travelers’ needs. The Coffee Stash, Escape Stick, Covert Coin and Ceramic knife are as useful as they are discreet.

The diamond rod saw is another tool I’ve had the opportunity to use. I used their version on duct tape, with my hands bound behind my back. I used a series of stabbing motions for the first round of the test. The second time around I used it as a saw, which seemed to take longer to cut through, yet it worked well. These are listed as government contract overruns, so quantities are very limited, according to their website.

The Escape & Survival Module is 3.2 x 0.7 inches (at its widest point). Weighing in at 1.1 ounces without petrolatum packet. MSRP is $89.

Fire Buttons

These low-profile last-resort fire-lighting items can replace existing buttons on your clothing, they’re always with you and take up no additional space or weight. These were originally developed by Shomer-Tec for special ops military personnel to use during escape-and-evasion situations. They can also be valuable survival items for anyone who could face an unexpected survival situation in the wilderness.

Two versions are offered, ferrocerium and magnesium. Ferrocerium is a synthetic pyrophoric alloy that produces hot sparks that can reach temperatures of 5,400 degrees (F) when striking with a hard object. Magnesium shavings provide a highly efficient accelerant and serve as a super-hot tinder. Fire is produced by scraping shavings off the magnesium button, then striking the ferrocerium button to produce a shower of sparks that can ignite the magnesium shavings in order to set fire to kindling material.

The standard button size is 0.75 inch in diameter and 0.156 inch thick. Weight is 0.1 ounce for the magnesium and 0.2 ounce for the ferrocerium. Each button is sold separately and made in the USA. MSRP $16.

Spool of Fuel

Making a fire right the first time isn’t always as easy as it sounds. The process is especially hard in wet or windy situations. Fire made with a ferrocerium rod needs proper preparation. It requires fuel, kindling and tinder (where the spark is caught). This is where the Spool of Fuel comes in.

It’s made from a 3-foot length of 3-ply natural jute, coated with a wax blend formulated for the best results in a wide range of conditions. It’s housed on a spool, which provides protected storage and convenient handling.

When dealing with natural jute, the best way to get it to take a spark is to fray it. Pull the fibers apart at the end until it looks like a hairball from a cat – wispy and thin. That will help it catch a spark from a ferro rod and set you well on your way to making a fire. The wax acts as an accelerant to the jute material but won’t ignite on its own – the two work together. Just cut off a couple inches of the waxed jute from the Spool of Fuel, fluff it up and go for it. It can also be lit directly with a match or lighter as it is without needing to fray it out. The burn time depends on how big a piece is used. More jute can be added if the fire has not reached the point of sustainability.

The small spool weight is 0.32 ounce and measures 1.8 x 0.5 inch. This product is made in the USA and has an MSRP of $4.

Covert Coffee Stash

Especially useful for the avid traveler, this is a must-have for people who are cautious about having an extra parachute, so to speak. A disposable coffee cup filled with coffee in a car’s cup holder seldom draws much attention. It’s extremely unlikely that anyone would steal it, let alone remove the lid and then stick their fingers into the coffee and feel around inside.

“Covert Coffee is an innovative clandestine concealment device that can keep small valuables hidden and safe from thieving hands while in a vehicle or in other environments.”

Its buoyancy-defeating design prevents the Coffee Stash from moving inside the cup or floating up to the surface. The water-tight device is made with food grade plastic.

The Coffee Stash is shown with money and SD cards in the waterproof container. The Stash container will fit most store and café coffee cups.

These covert coins blend in perfectly with the real coins. Just make sure not to spend them.

Covert Coffee is an innovative clandestine concealment device that can keep small valuables hidden and safe from thieving hands while in a vehicle or in other environments. This device is concealed by being submerged in coffee at the bottom of a standard disposable coffee cup or thermos. It’s compatible with most major brands’ disposable 8- to 20-ounce cups. Interior dimensions: 1.75 x 1.75 inches. It weighs just 1.6 ounces, comes in black and is made in the USA. MSRP is $12.

Escape Stick

The new Escape Stick by Shomer-Tec is the most versatile and effective miniature escape tool ever offered. It enables escape from most any type of restraint: handcuffs (including double-locking), zip ties, duct tape, rope, packing tape, cords and more.

Components include a rod saw – which can cut metal, plastic, wood and fibrous materials – a handcuff key integrated onto the rod saw and utilizes the saw as its handle and a toothed saw, which also functions as a shim pick for releasing zip ties. All the components are contained inside a special rubber sheathing that conceals all the components from view yet allows easy access in just seconds. The innovative low-profile design of the Escape Stick enables it to be small and covert. Its tiny size (just 3 x 0.37 inches and 0.15 ounces in weight) allows for many concealment options, including inside the company’s Escape Travel Belt. It’s a lifesaving tool for undercover operatives, civilians traveling in hostile regions and anyone whose survival may depend on quickly escaping unlawful captivity. Made in the USA. MSRP is $25.

Covert Transport

The technology of the covert coin is not new, the way we store data inside it is new, however. The MicroSD memory card, which can store up to a massive 32 gigabytes (or more with higher-capacity cards) of information, can be hidden in a nickel! Your most confidential and personal information can now be secured in a place where no one would ever locate it. According to Shomer-Tec, even a professional warrant search will not succeed in finding your most private information.

During the Cold War, spies from the East and West utilized specially modified coins to covertly transport messages, microfilm, poisons and other items.

Covert Coins are expertly precision hand-machined from actual coins to create a secret interior compartment. Once closed, they are absolutely indistinguishable from regular coins to the naked eye. They can be handled normally without any chance of an accidental opening. An opening device is supplied with each Covert Coin, without which it’s next to impossible to open the coin.

The author tried many tasks he watched on the Shomer-Tec video for the Escape Stick, including escaping from zip ties and duct tape. The ceramic blade cut through duct tape, 550 cord and zip ties.

Available coins: U.S. quarter, half-dollar and nickel (fits a microSD card); Euro 50-cent; British 10-pence; Israeli 2-Shekel and Australian 20-cent. Made in the USA. MSRP starts at $21, depending on the coin.


All of the items I received from Shomer-Tec will put the avid and concerned traveler in a more confident travel mode. Peace of mind is an important tool to take with us on any trip, especially the ones that are a little bit on the edgy side. See what Shomer-Tec has to offer; they may have that added survival insurance you needed!

“If you have concerns about your safety, regardless of where you travel, you might find some of these products, and others on their website, of interest.”

Some places the author visits are less than desirable and have a better than average chance that he will be kidnapped.


The Shomer-Tec Food Procurement Survival Kit includes survival fish hooks and a two-piece trigger system, along with Kevlar cordage. This kit can provide the user with a good head start in securing much needed calories.

Food Procurement Survival Kit

The kit revolves around two unique, dual-action fish hooks that are designed to catch prey and lock them in, thus preventing them from escaping. Although they are obviously fish hooks, they are not limited to water. They can also be used on land for smaller game. Included in the kit is a two-piece trigger system for twitch-up traps. Made of titanium, these two small pieces are not only super-lightweight but can be used in water without the worry of corrosion. Additionally, the kit includes 25 feet of 200-pound breaking strength Kevlar survival cord (blue), which can be untwisted and tied into 75 feet of 67 pound-breaking strength (great for traps and utility). For fishing, Shomer-Tec includes 75 feet of 80-pound breaking strength Kevlar Trip Line (green). The kit comes packaged in a small clear polypropylene container that measures 2.75 x 3.75 x 0.75 inches and weighs just 1.5 ounces. Instructions are included. MSRP is $29.

Ceramic Blade

The amazing edge-holding capability of a ceramic blade is almost unmatched. The chisel edge holds up to repeated cuttings of super tough fibers such as Kevlar, which can ruin a steel edge. This ceramic blade will never rust, and the handle is of an injection-molded material. A brass rivet provides both a pivot and a lanyard hole. Handle and blade are black. At just 0.1 ounce, this knife is 1.7 inches closed and 2.8 inches overall and is only 0.18 inch thick. This 0.0275 inch thick blade could be a very useful utility slicer and, if need be, a lethal last-ditch defensive tool. MSRP is $10.


(360) 733-6214


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the June, 2020 print issue of American Survival Guide.

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Tactical Pete
Author: Tactical Pete

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