We've been playing with several SERE and last resort kits for some time. As advised by a reader, we changed the standard kit and we have now a layered kit, I.E. not in one single pouch. A post will come soon.

However, based on the experiences and lessons learned on some of the projects and ops we did in the past and in recent developments on urban areas, we also put together a small and easy to hide last resort urban distress kit. This is not a SERE or survival kit. This will not really help you if you get caught (remember Rule 5), but in you are hiding in an urban environment, trying to blend in and you need to break into a location to find a computer and send a distress signal, this can help. The contents are mostly geared toward breaking and entering your way into a site with a computer or other communications gear. It's not complete, but like I mentioned, it's a last resort kit - When you main entry kit is lost and this is all you have, it will help you.


The customized Linux can be booted from the drive and it will automatically send an SOS signal via email, SMS and other means to a preprogrammed location. Sort of fire and forget. However, it also has a web browser with TOR and other utilities that can help us navigate around the city we are currently located.
This little USB stick is good also if the bad guys happen to grab it and plug it to see what's inside. It will disclose their location to people looking for you.
I'm thinking about making them available. But, like a reader told me (a professional SERE instruction and former SOF operator): who would trust a USB disk coming from a red teamer... Good point. maybe I should post instructions about how to create your own. Alternatively you can use TAILS Linux and customize it yourself.

The illumination source, the minimal and ultra slim (read: packable) Brite Strike APALS-AIR, provides a great way to get some light when you are picking a lock, or trying to plug the USB drive. Or you are in a dark location. The little LED light (we bought red) has 3 modes of operation: Steady on, fast strobe and slow strobe. It runs for up to 70 hours nonstop and it can be bought is large batches. Or 2 for $10. It's a great way also to mark your location for a rescue or exfil. It can be seen from a long distance.

Finally, the Covert Patch Pocket, a suggestion by another reader, is perfect for hiding this. Either put it on your pocket, it is slim and low key, or just use it on the Velcro on your ruck, etc. Then put a patch on top and you are done.

We constantly test, try and perfect our gear, so this little urban kit will change. For example, removing the shim and adding bobby pins. Or adding other tools for breaking and entering.

Keep an eye on this page.