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Whether you're an ordinary survivalist, law enforcement officer, or military operative, being captured and imprisoned by your enemies is essentially the worst-case survival scenario. It's almost unimaginable to be a helpless captive at the hands of those who might wish to do you harm. This is why it's wise to study the concepts of SERE — Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape. With knowledge of these principles and a few essential tools, it's possible to escape your captors, or avoid being captured in the first place.
When it comes to SERE tools, many people think of items like a concealed handcuff key, small blade, and perhaps lock picks or shims. These items are certainly important for breaking free of illegal restraints, but other items will be required for long-term evasion and survival. You'll need to purify water, obtain food, start a fire, and possibly signal for help.
Superesse Straps has announced an updated version of its SERE Sidekick paracord bracelet, which provides many of the tools necessary for survival, evasion, resistance, and escape. It's all contained in one compact bracelet, which you can disassemble in case of emergency. Like the Superesse Straps Bug-Out Bracelet we reviewed in the past, the SERE Sidekick is handmade in the USA by the owner (a former U.S. Army SOF soldier) and his wife.
The updated version of the Sidekick bracelet offers added escape and signaling packages, which can be selected during the order process. First, the Tactical Escape Kit includes a 70mm diamond wire cutting tool, which is capable of sawing through solid iron bars and steel chains. Superesse Straps' founder tells us it will take patience to saw through solid bars with this tool, but in a captive or POW situation, you'll likely have days or weeks of confinement to orchestrate an escape. This upgrade package also includes a zirconia ceramic razor blade and fire striker with sheath. The non-metallic blade can be used to spark fires or slice through rope/zip ties.
Also available is the new Plan/Signal Ops Kit upgrade. This kit includes a 5HB pencil lead segment and half-sheet of Rite in the Rain waterproof paper. There are also reflective “limb lights” (red and white strips in the image above) which can be attached to trees, sign posts, and other landmarks for marking trails and land navigation. Finally, an IR glint tag can be used as covert combat identification, and glows only when viewed through night vision optics. (IR glint tag can only be sent to domestic shipping addresses for security reasons.)
The basic SERE Sidekick bracelet includes 15 standard items (click here for a list) and retails for $98. It's available in many colors, including black, coyote tan, OD green, safety orange, various camouflage patterns, and even custom colors. The Tactical Escape Kit is a $65 option, while the Plan/Signal Ops Kit is an extra $25. There are also a Sustainment Kit option ($25) and SERE V-Cutting Tool option ($30), or you can go for “the works” with All Options & Upgrades ($95).