Pocket Dump: What's in your backpack?

A lot of students are packing up their backpacks to go back to in-person learning over the next few weeks – and that includes adult students and teachers.

What regular objects that you’ll find in a lot of backpacks would make good self-defense tools? Are there any specific items you’ll be adding to your children’s (or your own) backpack this fall?

This is something to think about for your briefcase if you’re heading back into the office soon.


Besides my pistol which I carry on body my work back pack contains OC spray and a folding knife.


When I travel by air I always have a backpack as a carry on. In it there are several Cross (not the skinny ones) metal body pens (think kubotan). I don’t do the tactical pens because everyone knows what they are, but I can fly all over the world and no one looks at a metal regular pen in my hand.

I used to do a lot of international travel to places where kidnapping was a very real threat. In one country I had 4 military guys with AKs following in a vehicle behind mine, they were my personal security detail. So I also carry two lengths of parachord and another length of thin 2mm chord. The thin chord is usually tied around my waist under my pants waistband. The uses are endless and the thin chord will saw right through nylon zip retrains or duct tape in seconds. With the right moves it will cause terminal damage to an assailant.

An old credit card or ID card with one sharpened edge doesn’t register on anyone’s radar and can be a really bad surprise for a bad guy. A quick swipe on the forehead and you can’t fight if you can’t see. Face cuts bleed PROFUSELY!

There are tons of everyday items that with a little imagination and the right training can make awesome weapons for self defense.


An easy win that I’m pretty sure is legal in most (all?) states and is completely passive is a body armor panel.

Several manufacturers make “backpack size” inserts that easily fit into a typical backpack and don’t add much bulk or weight. They are commonly IIIA, meaning pistol rated but not rifle. You can get rifle plates, but they add considerable weight and/or bulk. I have wondered though if the combination of a IIIA plate with a bunch of books in front of it can stop a rifle round…

Some manufacturers make backpacks with the inserts built-in. AR500 even makes one of those clear backpacks (for school districts that require that) with armor built-in.

For an inconspicuous weapon choice, one of those “tactical pens”. But not the really obvious ones, just a subtle, sturdy, all aluminum pen that actually writes well works.

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OC spray in holster mounted to the strap.

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That’s just so “James Bond” but awesome, I love the cord thing and the sharpened card. I’ve also been a great fan of Cross over 5 decades. My collection is extensive, yes I have made it a point, no pun intended, to implement it as a weapon. It is a necessary and normal part of my EDC.
I am disappointed in Cross ever since they started melting down AK47’s and “assault rifles” to create pens. I still maintain my collection, but won’t buy another!
In addition I would never let a school aged child leave home without a first aid kit including a tourniquet and training! 17% of all deaths from mass shootings can be avoided by stopping the bleed!
That may not be factual, but I firmly believe that stopping the bleed saves lives.


James Bond!!! :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

And yes I forgot to mention an IFAK in every vehicle and shooting bag and in my pack when I travel.

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This is a repost from another thread, I still carry it where ever I go. :us:

BRUCE26Helping Hand

Mar '20

I use a Fieldline Sling bag, I don’t usually carry the pistol in the bag but I can and have.
Pretty much every thing I might need to get out of a tight spot.

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