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That Handle on Your Back
Required Reading for Load-bearing Urban Human Prey


Are you a student, a pedestrian, a gaming geek, or any other type of prey species that hauls your immediately accessible goods in a backpack?

Backpacks may be used as weapons, when loaded with books; a heavy flail that is only good for smashing a downed person. This is typically how a backpack is used against its owner after the backpack itself has been used as a handle to toss the owner to the ground. Below are some tips on urban backpack usage that will help minimize your kinetic liability.

1. Make sure the shoulder straps on your backpack are as loose as possible so that you can easily slip one shoulder out.

2. Practice taking off your backpack with one hand by sliding it under the shoulder strap at your hip and turning out of it, letting the pack hang from the crook of the other arm, where it might be retained or used.

3. Never buckle the waist or chest strap unless you are walking a good distance and have a potential weapon [like an umbrella or rolled up magazine] in your hand. In such cases a small hand weapon like a pen should also be in easy reach.

4. When walking mid distances just sling one strap over your left shoulder. This will help protect you against stabs, almost all of which come at a low rising angle to the left side, and leave your right hand free to fight. The most important aspect of this carry posture is that you cannot be grabbed by the pack and thrown down.

5. In close quarters, as when boarding and offloading, carry your pack in your left hand by the top strap, so it will be instantly at hand to use as a flail, shield, or blinder. People are commonly attacked when offloading from mass transit, when accessing and leaving vehicles, and when using access ways to buildings.

6. When your ass exceeds the value of your pack, and you are in a freestanding situation, place it at your feet. An aggressor that attempts to grapple you risks tripping on it, and he will not be able to effectively punch you without stepping around it. With both of your hands free, use it as tactical obstruction. If he bends to pick it up, kick his teeth into the gutter with those steel-toed boots you should be wearing.

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