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Minimalist Game.

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by sm, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Allow me to explain and set this up if you will.

    We have folks from all over the world that find THR when conducting an Internet search for "non-firearm" weapons.

    Keep in mind restrictive countries, and even Workplaces and Campuses here in the USA.

    Not all threats are criminals, fire is one, so is tornado, flood, mud slides, earthquakes, flooding, motor vehicle accidents and power outages.

    Remember too, one often has to use what they have on person to deal with situations.
    Add, budgets.
    We have those that travel by air, so what is put into checked luggage, may not be the nice, more expensive items they would normally carry.

    College students, Singles, Single Parents, Retired Older Persons...

    Minimalist Game also includes the price tag!
    For instance I know from experience, how much I could get for $100 , $50, even $25.

    While a fun game, with items listed and general idea on price tags, we can have some ideas to assist us Members, and anyone finding THR for ideas.

    Next post, I will start us off.
  2. Mongrel

    Mongrel Member

    Jun 27, 2008
    You mean I have to wait?


  3. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    SAK Classic SD - $8
    Garrity LED Keychain light - $3
    Bic Mini-Lighter - $1

    Total: $12

    This is actually what I have on my person at this moment.

    I have 3 essential tools: Knife, Light, Firemaking.

    Ray-o-Vac one AAA LED Penlight - $3, is sitting right in front of me.
    I carry one 90% of the time.


    With these tools I actually have:

    Evaded a building with a fire alarm going off.
    Assisted someone in a car wreck, and cut a seat belt.
    First Aid duties.
    Lit candles.
    Trimmed a wick, filled up an oil lamp with lamp oil and lit it.


    Add a SAK Pocket Pal for $12 .
    $24 dollars total now.

    I have made suitable shelter, made snares using "vines" cleaned birds, and cooked them.
    Using eggs stolen from a hen-house, boiled these in a tin can I found in a ditch, I have also cooked eggs on a rock.

    BisQuick, water from a canteen or stream, and I have fixed scratch biscuits and baked them on the side of a rock.

    My "canteen" was a pint glass whiskey bottle I found. The little bit of whiskey helped with some bug bites.
    These fit in a hip pocket real nice, just do not sit down "wrong" or too hard, lest you break your 'canteen'.

    I think the only reason some Mentors liked me, was I wore them down.
    I kept surviving these lessons and showing back up where I was supposed to be.

    So yes, one can survive leaving a an expensive hotel when the fire alarm goes off,and one can survive being dumped in the woods with not expensive items that did not cost a lot.

  4. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Active Member

    Sep 4, 2006

    another great post.... as a relative neophyte, i'd say i've picked up the same "big 3" as you put it: blade, light, fire. my "mindset" has been shaped partly by my experience (eagle scout, life lessons) and through no small part in spending time at this site and others.

    I have question/remark about your first post in regards to "non-firearm" weapons. i note that the word 'weapon' was outside the quotes.... as i hope it should be. I would prefer to rephrase the word as "tool" as used in your second post. As far as people happening upon this site, more power to them but i spend the majority of my time on this site here at "Non-firearm" tools as i imagine it to be and at S&T. I peruse other subforums but much less frequently than these 2. Given your examples (tornado/fire/etc), i think "weapon" is the the wrong word unless your definition is broad enough to include "ways to tackle a problem". Not to nitpick on semantics, i think we all agree "tool" is a better word. I'd go so far as include a 4th to the Trinity- Mind/Knowledge which trumps all previous candidates but then again, that kinda goes without saying.

    That being said, i'll play along w/ this thread:

    Many of my daily EDC bags/school bags/5% chance i carry the bag have the following:

    2AA maglite +/- LED conversion/bic lighter/knife (mixed bag of swiss army classics/tinkers/whatever)- <$50

    For MY edc, i raise my level of play a bit:

    BM mini grip, bic lighter, SF E1E- ~$125-150

    Probably overkill in the quality dept but no sleep is lost over the extra $ and piece of mind. i've been debating buying the E1L or a fenix LED to improve battery life.

    throw a small FB knife in the mix and you'd get a CRKT Falcon... moving on up to the "heavy" FB and it'd be a Ontario RAT 3 or 5.

    Oh... i love a good multitool given the chance... i'm kinda hooked on the Leatherman Juice S2 that has my initials and wedding date enscribed, gave them out as gifts to my groomsmen. So, toss on another $40 to the mix. (i know... should've gone w/ Waves but i'm a cheap bastard, right?)
  5. Pax Jordana

    Pax Jordana Active Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    Near Philadelphia.
    Wow, I'm calling a mulligan on my whole post. Let me try again.

    Round here the thrift store is called Goodwill. Gives people jobs, sells killer retro clothes and housewares on the cheap.

    Steak knives, carving knives, butterknives (if you've got a means to sharpen) go for 75 cents a pop there.

    Spend $4 at the hardware store and you can get a passable paring knife (no steve, it's not old hickory, and yes I was very disappointed to find out it wasn't, but it does come with that neat cardboard sheath.)

    Or spend $1 and get the breakaway bladed box cutter. Not big on durability, but they come stupid sharp.

    $12 or 16 gets you an LED maglite. Less for a store brand. For batteries' and bulbs' sake I'd say go with an LED. Doesn't have to be super bright either, just sit in the dark for a second and let your eyes adjust!

    All that said, at minimum I carry a subcom ($26) and an inova X1 ($22). I do not currently carry fire.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  6. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Minnesota - nine months of ice and snow...three mo
    1. Knife
    2. Lighter
    3. Credit card
    4. Cash
    5. Cell phone
    6. Flashlight
    7. .22

    The thing is...in the real world there's no reason not to carry multiple versions of each.

    I am not a minimalist and I cannot comprehend the concept. I can always carry that which I NEED for the situation*. Three is two, two is one and one is none. Look to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. "Things Fall Apart".

    *Except for government regulations!
  7. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Senior Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    Okay City
    My personal EDC:

    IMCO Triplex "Super" 6700 lighter ($5)
    Fenix P1D ($60)
    Leatherman Fuse ($40), soon to be upgraded to a Surge ($80)

    (exactly what I have at all times)

    My needs aren't everyone else's, though. I do aircraft mechanic work, and I smoke.

    The only differences are features, and most people don't need the same stuff I do. What I paid several times extra for: insanely bright light, pliers, locking blades, a detachable "match," and strength. I wouldn't feel too under-equipped with cheap disposable lighter (free if found or "borrowed"), cheap Swiss-army knockoff (I have three I bought for $0.27 each), and a keychain LED. In fact, before I got to where I am, it's what I had, and used quite well.

    (exactly what I used to have--pictures weren't easy to find :p)
  8. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Minnesota - nine months of ice and snow...three mo
    If this is about what I always carry:

    Credit Card
    (In that order - gets me through most stuff)
  9. FourNineFoxtrot

    FourNineFoxtrot Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    Foxtrot's guide to hobo-style urban survivalism:

    Pack of Black & Milds- $4... and I can probably talk 'em into giving me a matchbook or offbrand lighter gratis. Every liquor store in a 2 mile radius of me is owned by some flavor of middle eastern folk. Good people, all of them; friendly and professional, although introvert that I am, I couldn't tell you the name of a single soul. One of these guys was in the habit of throwing in an off-brand lighter with my smokes. I go to his store all the time. A good man... one never knows when a lighter might be handy.

    Rusty nail- free (found it on the ground, thought it was a nickel 'till I looked closer). What can you do with a rusty nail? I haven't the slightest. I guess it could be useful, though.

    Quarter. Change for the Black & Milds, which actually only cost $3.75 (or something like that). Might make a local phone call, if you can find a payphone in this benighted age of cell phones. Also, once, I locked my keys in my car, and had to break into my own apartment to get my spares. I went around the the back window, and using a quarter and a cheap knife, I managed to lever the window off its rail, and get inside without having anyone call 5-0. I don't know if I was more embarrassed at locking my keys in my car, or proud of being resourceful (and foolhardy) enough to break into my own apartment. I do know that, after that, I had fewer illusions about the security of my apartment...

    Sock- effectively free. Take the sock off your left foot, pack it with small rocks, or a single rock that fills the sock (kinda rhymes). Poor man's sap. Doesn't work so good if your socks have holes in the toes.

    Shoestring- Might make your shoes liable to slip off, but tie your left and right shoestrings together with a nice big knot... poor man's garrote. Knot goes over the Adam's apple. Not a great choker, and prone to breakage, but better than nothing... if you happen to be in a rare circumstance where you need a garrote. Alas, my shoes are velcro (chide me as you like, my insoles fit better in these).

    Elastic- Also free. Take it off your briefs (or boxers). What can you use elastic for? I don't know. Something. If you know anything about slings, it might be handy. Otherwise, you just ruined a pair of underwear. Why'd you go and do that? Weirdo...

    Pringles can- $1 at walmart. $2 anyplace else. Might hold water (I dunno- never tried it). Whatever... I like Pringles.

    Coke can- 35 cents if you can get the super cheap stuff from vending machines at someplace like walmart. "Dr. Thunder" or something. Holds water, and the soda usually ain't too bad. Hell, I like Dr. Thunder. Probably be better served springing $1 for a water bottle or something... anything that comes with a screw cap. Poor man's canteen.

    Newspaper- Anywhere from "free" to 25 cents. If you're gonna use up a quarter, take the whole stack. Unethical? Ethics mean little if you're looking for useful items on hobo's wages. Newspaper has a number of uses. Kindling. Insulation. Entertainment (assuming literacy, not quite a given with the homeless). Poor weapon (roll it up... tight... and it's not dissimilar to a rolled-up magazine).

    Gallo (or other cheap brand) wine jug- Couple bucks. Tastes like crap, but it is alcoholic. Might work as a field antiseptic (Never tried it, so don't take this as Gospel). Upside? You now have a glass canteen or, at the very worst, a half-assed one-shot club.

    If you're really, really up Rio Feces sans a paddling device, consider the efficacy of dumpster diving. Yes, yes, it's undignified, smelly, and probably draws peculiar looks from "normal" folk. So? People throw away the damnedest things. Old clothes, string, anything sharp, anything that can strike a light... could be of use.

    Finally, there's begging. Don't do this. I've heard of folks doing this even when they aren't all that poor. A good begger can score the same wages as a minimum wage worker, per day. Seriously, don't do that. Begging is tantamount to publicly admitting, "I've failed at life, but I can still make non-failures feel bad about their success... or intimidate them into handing over cash". I've given money to beggars before... usually to make them leave. A few times, I've been surprised in my car (should have been watching my mirrors). My bad. If you must beg, have a good story. "My car broke down", "My wife's in labor; I need cab fare", etc. The story sells it. Don't just say "Give me money". It's crass, and insinuates robbery. Have a story.

    There it is, the Foxtrot guide to being a loser. Use it in good health, and I devoutly pray (though to what God, I don't know) that you'll never need.

    Also, I'm so drunk I can't feel feelings. Personal holiday, et cetera. I'll be happy if I find (when I've sobered up) that I've typed actual words. Don't listen to me. I'm drunk and don't know what I'm talking about.
  10. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Participating Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Newspaper makes a fine insulation in a pinch. Put it between your jacket and your body.

    The piezo push-button disposable lighters work better in wet conditions that the wheel-and-flint style. A wet thumb will disable the second until it dries out, but the first can be shaken dry even after it's been dunked.

    A little bit of regular bleach is a lifesaver if clean water is not available. A crystal of iodine works too, is tiny and cheap and lasts forever.

    (See here: http://stason.org/TULARC/sports/survival-water-treatment/17-Water-Purification-Chemical-Treatment-Iodine-Sources-o.html)

    Whistles are much more effective than shouts.

    If you can scavenge some empty cans you can make a little hobo stove, which is far more fuel-efficient and discrete than a fire for cooking. They can be surprisingly sophisticated:

  11. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Apr 15, 2005
    Greeley, CO
    Number of times I have been in a tornado, accident and outage? 2 tornadoes, 5 accidents, too many outages to count.

    Number of times I have had to deal with a criminal? 0.

    I am a minimalist in that I don't like carrying in my pocket, but while I appreciate a good bargain, I am also willing to spend for gear that will last for my useful lifetime.

    On my person, it's rarely more than wallet, knife, can of chew and phone. In my man-purse, I have flashlight, lighter, another knife, extra pens, a sewing kit (a most overlooked piece of gear), waterproof notebook, and some other crap.
  12. Carl Levitian

    Carl Levitian member

    Jun 3, 2008
    Ah, minimalisim, I love it so.

    I've long been a fan of minimalistic things, more so now that I'm a fixed income social security type of retiree.

    Steve has it right on, so many people can't afford a 100 dollar flashlight, or even 50 dollar knife. woring to support a couple kids on an hourly wage can be tough. But that doesn't mean one can't be preparded for life's little bumps.

    That little sak classic is a way more usefull little knife than one would thing at first glance. For more than a couple years now, I've used the heck out of mine, and my inspiration was the better half. After seeing what that womaan did with the little classic, I started to carry one as just an "extra" to "save" the blade on my "real" knife. Eye opener to say the least. Steve's choice of a classic is a tiny but very versitile tool. Small sissors are very handy, small screwdriver on the end of the nailfile also works on phillips screws. and as far as practical use, that pocket pal will open a package or cut up some game/food just as well as a sebanza.

    Flashlights don't have to have enough power to sear the retna's out of a criminal at 100 yards. it is nice if it illuminates the path in the dark woods right in front of you, or if the power goes out, lights up the way to the circut breaker box or you tools. In the absence of light, even a small AAA LED pocket light will let you see your way around a dark room or building just fine. For about a year or two I was using a Dorcy AAA from Walmart, and it was great. But a few months ago I got a Gerber Sonic from Smoky Montaian Knifeworks for 3.99. They still have them, by the way. It's a small single AAA LED, a bit smaller than the Dorcy, and seems to have a bit better beem. From across a dark living room, I can see details of a painting on the far wall. Great little personal task light.

    Bic lighters are one of mans greatest inventions. I'm a pipe smoker, and when I want to light my pipe, I want it now. I used to carry a Zippo for 30 years, but finally got tired of it running out of fuel at the wrong time, or giving me a good red burn splotch onmy leg it I filled it too much. Been using the Bic for a couple years now, and love them. Reliable, cheap, lasts months, and with the light color ones I can see how much fuel is left. If it goes belly up, I can get another at the next gas station/convienence store/box store.

    Another thing I would add to the list; twine. No, not the high dollar papacord the survival cowboys are goofy over, just plain cotton jute twine. Goes for all of about 1.99 for a 200 foot role at the box stores. Sometimes you just want to tie something up. A package, a blanket roll, cross members of a leanto or makeshift hut, anything. The jute twine is cheap, strong enough for most things, and one other thing; it makes great tinder when frayed apart.

    It's surprising how far you can go on a small pocket knife, a pocket flashlight, and cheap lighter. Add some twine, a few bandanas, and a walking/hiking stick and your good to go.

    Sure, a Caddy is a nice ride, but a Chevy will get you there just fine.
  13. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 22, 2002
    Kampong Cham, Cambodia
    Key ring, Case canoe, Inova AA X1 light, Granger screwdriver, ALL-ETT wallet, Buxton 3x5 card case, Koh-i-noor technical pencil, thats all folks.

    But you should see my Murse.

    2 usb hard drives,
    Nikon d40 camera w/ 18-200 lens
    Pocket PC and keyboard,
    numerous pens and pencils
    usb jump drives


    Attached Files:

    • EDC.jpg
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      70.3 KB
  14. Pax Jordana

    Pax Jordana Active Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    Near Philadelphia.
    Brian, that's a really nice card case. And here I thought that the palm pilot was doing something that'd never been done before..

    Just a quick note about 'high dollar paracord' - I've seen it for way cheap. I think I paid $8 for thirty 18-foot hanks from cheaper than dirt, IIRC they were lines cut from chinese parachutes. If you're not using it for rappelling (ahem) then it doesn't need to be new. I have one length in my bag that I won't cut that gets used for longer jobs (no clothesline at the firehouse, for instance.. need to dry that towel somewhere) and another length (or several) that I will cut. Remember too, it's reusable.. I'd rather a slightly more expensive durable item than something to be used once and tossed.
  15. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Thanks for the replies folks!

    Some great ideas have been shared, and I know we will see more to assist everyone.

    Dionysusigma, Those key ring lights, are great!

    David Markowitz knows where to get those, and are linked to on his site.
    When he posts on this thread he can share where to get those and some other neat stuff.

    No. I am not going to admit I don't have those links bookmarked on this computer; nor am I going to admit I cannot remember. *nope*

    David also has this neat cable key ring on his site.

    Oh Dave!...I ain't as good as I once was.
    I am as good once as I ever was.

    -Toby Keith.

    My forgetter works better than my memory sometimes, just only on days that end in "Y" though...- Mentor
  16. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Douk-Douk (small)
    AA Mag-Lite

    This is what a buddy of mine in his 70's carries.

    His wife says these items were free from his daughter.

    He says his wife forgot about putting that daughter through college, and he did pay for the tickets to see Willie Nelson in concert - that is where she bought the
    Willie Nelson bandanna for da-dee.

    "You gotta point there dear...."
  17. conw

    conw Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2007

    Razor box cutter
    Gallon distilled water
    Small flashlight (if we're talking Dollar Store, then rayovac...if we're talking price only, one of those 50 cent microlights mentioned here)
    Contractor or trash bag

    That's fire, water, stuff to cut/pry with (and screwdriver can be defensive), light, bandana can be a bandage or all different sorts of improvised stuff, including a sap type thing, and then the contractor bags make a great sleeping bag type thing. Ok, great is too strong a word. But they hold heat!
  18. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    My spidey sense was tingling. :D

    Countycomm.com is the site where I've bought some inexpensive but good LED lights, the cable keyrings, and assorted other stuff. The EOD bag is an exceptionally good buy.

    As for what I carry in my pockets/on my person everyday:

    Countycomm cable keyring with an LED light, key to my Mossberg Loc-Box, and an 8 GB flash drive. The flash drive holds a backup of my most important data encrypted using TrueCrypt. I also have portable versions of several apps, including TrueCrypt itself which can run right from the drive. For a better understanding of why carrying such a flash drive with you always is a good idea, check out Listening to Katrina.

    I frequently have a Victorinox Rambler SAK on the keyring as well. If I'm carrying another SAK then I'll usually leave the Rambler at home, but if I'm packing my Barlow then it'll be on the keychain. I used to have a Countycomm Peanut lighter on the keyring but it broke.

    Aside from the above, I'll have my cell phone on my belt or in another pocket, depending on what I'm wearing. Plus some tissues, since I have allergies.

    I carry a bunch of other stuff in my laptop bag but that's beyond the scope of this thread.
  19. conw

    conw Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    I think the main point of this thread was to list what you'd buy in a run-of-the-mill store with either $5, $10, $25, $100 or some common amount...making do with what you have.

  20. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Any Pakistani knife for one or two dollars.

    Just like using the Liberator pistol of WWII, if I can get a knife I can get food, clothing, better weapons, etc., just by killing the guy who has those commodities.

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