The following article was contributed by Ryan B.
“Why?” I am often asked this by people once they learn that I practice the art of lock picking. Why would I spend the time learning a skill that I will maybe only practically need to use a handful of times in my life? But you see that is the point they fail to see. That the usefulness of this skill isn’t determined by what it can do for me now, but how it can help me down the road. It could one day be useful.
This is the difference between the average mindset and the mentality of the survivalist. We spend our time learning skills that we may never once need to use in our lives. But by God if the need ever arises that we need these skills we can lace up our boots and tackle whatever problem we face with an inspiring level of grace and confidence.
Lock Picking as a Survival Skillset
But what still begs the question is how exactly can lock picking be a survival skill? Where is the practically in it? The fact of the matter is there are two things people will need to survive if the SHTF — Supplies and shelter that is safe. lock picking is a sure way to both.
One of the sure facts of any SHTF situation is that the low hanging fruit will be picked first. The simple fact of the matter is supplies will dissipate fast in a post societal world and having the means to access places no one else can would be ripe with its benefits. While you may think a crowbar and bolt cutters are all you need to be a worthy scavenger, the fact of the matter is not all doors can be knock in nor all padlocks cut. Brute force can only get you so far.
There is a certain confidence that comes with knowing that no matter how strong the door, you can always rely on lock picking as a means of infiltration. Additionally who wants to lug around a heavy set of bolt cutters when you can comfortably fit a set of lock picks in your back pocket?
One of the great things about lock picking is that it has a non-destructive quality about it.
Everything that you pick can once again be locked. Unlike knocking down a door, lock picking can help you take shelter and allow you to lock the door behind you granting a certain level a security to your new establishment.
This non-destructive attribute can also be useful in many other ways. An excellent example of this would be trigger lock on a firearm. There are not a lot of methods of removing a trigger lock without possibly harming the weapon and the difference of acquiring addition weapons in a SHTF situation could easily be the difference between life and death.
Paradigm Shift: The “Security” Facade
There is one additional perk that comes with acquiring the skill of lock picking and that is a truer sense of what security really is.
The first time you pick the lock on your front door you will have horrid realization. This little piece of metal we call a lock is a lie. If you could bypass it with a little patience and a few lock picks then of course anyone else could too.
By learning how these devices work and how they can be compromised, we will gain an invaluable perspective of what exactly locks provide for us in terms of security and what we can do to further that security. Know thy enemy. You never know what kind of enemies you may face in a SHTF situation nor what skill they themselves may possess.
By becoming aware of the security flaws in whatever environment you are in, you can turn the tides and better protect yourself and your interests.
Lock Picking is not Difficult
So as we can see lock picking is a very underestimated skill in terms of survival. But just how hard is it to learn?
There is a very common misconception that lock picking is a very complex skill by nature, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. lock picking is extraordinary simple in theory and just as simple in practice. You yourself could expect to learn and apply the basic concepts and techniques of lock picking within an hour.
Everyone I have ever taught how to pick a lock has been able to pick their first lock within 10 minutes. With a little patience and practice you can gain proficiency in this skill rather quickly and can expect to blow through a common lock within minutes, sometimes even seconds.
With lock picking in your toolbox you can experience a unique peace of mind knowing that locks aren’t the enemy. Open up your world and learn the craft that is lock picking .
Lock Picking Resources
Here is a list of recommended resources to start with:
- Visual Guide to Lock Picking
- Practical Lock Picking, Second Edition: A Physical Penetration Tester’s Training Guide
- Sparrow’s Lock Picks: A great selection of high quality lock pick sets.