Before You Walk Out Your Front Door

Jun 29, 2018Latest, Stronghold

Dear Brendan,

Summer is fast approaching and I wanted to take a minute to add to your toolbox in the effort to help keep you and your family safe. Some of what I will lay down goes back to keeping good situational awareness (SA) and knowing your own backyard, also known as (aka) area of operations (AO). Keep the following sayings in the back of your mind as we continue to move forward on this front. (You should consider everyone a possible threat till you know otherwise; just as you should consider everyone is armed till you know they are not.)

Let’s kick this off by asking what do you wear and carry on your person when you step outside your home? Let’s say you have your Glock (Combat Tupperware), concealed in a kydex IWB holster and wearing one of my favorite belts by First Spear or Ares Gear. And maybe you have the attitude that no one is going to mess with you today… I caution you to never make that mental mistake.

There are many/many threats and criminals out there simply looking for a fight and who simply don’t care who the target is. In most cases we do not know our attacker’s state of mind. There are too many people walking around that are unstable and behave in unpredictable manners due to drugs and various other issues. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that everyone shares the same value system as you. Nor should you let your guard down by assuming since you are carrying that you and your loved ones won’t be targeted or attacked. Sure most criminals will select a soft target over someone carrying himself confidently who appears aware of their surroundings. Most criminals are cowards at heart and do not want someone that will resist or fight back. They generally want a person that they can intimidate and overpower. You will decrease your odds of being attacked by keeping good SA and knowing your AO. The goal is to ensure you and your loved ones stay off the X, or kill zone.

I’ve lived in and visited some areas that are not the types of places you would take a casual evening stroll or even walk to the local grocery store without taking precautions. For one if you do live in such an area with your family, I’d suggest getting groceries during daytime hours and driving. I want to dive deeper into some dos and don’ts that may very well save your life and those you love. I don’t care how big and bad someone thinks they are. Even if someone is built like an NFL lineman and think they can walk down any street or neighborhood alone and unafraid, I’d advise them to think twice. First you should take note that the environment at night is different from the daytime. The criminal element is more active at night. So with that said the odds of being in a dangerous encounter just increased. For the sake of this piece let’s say our stud athlete, Johnny Football decides he is going to step outside his place alone and unafraid to grab a gallon of milk and a box of cookies to help him fall asleep. Here are lessons learned for what not to do. He grabs his wallet, keys and heads out the door wearing nothing more than his gym shorts and flip-flops. Johnny Football manages to get to the store, buy his milk and cookies like a big boy and starts walking home. As we established, Johnny Football is not the sharpest tool in the shed and is walking down the street with a plastic grocery bag in each hand. Just as he walks past a couple guys just hanging out, he is suddenly hit in the back of the head. Now since he is wearing flip-flops and has both his hands occupied by carrying his milk and cookies
he is unable to brace himself as he falls to the ground. The attackers take his wallet, cookies and take off. It could have been worse if either attacker would have used any number of weapons from a knife, brass knuckles, box cutter, gun, etc. The harsh reality is people have been killed for less.

Alright so what can we take away from this? What are the lessons learned? First don’t walk through a bad area at night like it’s a safe space with rainbows and unicorns. Hey just because you think you’re Johnny badass doesn’t mean you won’t end up on the ground bleeding out by the hands of others.

Here’s a friendly reminder that you may not be able to carry your handgun. There are numerous cities with high crime rates that have basically outlawed guns. Some areas of Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C. are more dangerous than being in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is where the importance of keeping good SA and knowing your AO can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Be aware of how local criminals operate in your area. A common tactic is for one guy to come up to you and distract you or ask a question, while another guy will attack/assault you with a classic sucker punch or pull a weapon on you. Here’s a big no-no! His hands weren’t free. I’m sure we are all guilty of this from time to time however; we need to be aware of this tactical mistake. If his hands were free he may have stopped his fall, he could have protected his head and vital areas on the body and launched a counter attack with speed and violence of execution. If you do have to go on foot to pick up groceries or supplies, I recommend you bring a backpack or messenger bag. You can also keep other gear on hand like you would in your go-bag/kit. I like GORUCK, Oakley and Kelty.

Let’s talk footwear. Hey we all love flip-flops. I’m a fan of OluKai flip-flops and like the classic Adidas slip on sandals. Bottom-line here is flip flops aren’t meant for fighting. Although I must admit I use to walk around in my green silkies and flip-flops OCONUS however, I also
had an M4. I recommend you play it safe and save the flip-flops or sandals for hanging out around the house and family barbeques. Hey I know your shoes have to be cool these days. My go to shoes are Salomon and Converse Chuck Taylors. When it comes to boots I go with Asolo and Salomon. Trust me you can’t go wrong with these, they are battle tested. And since we are talking about flip-flops and enjoying the summer with family and friends. If you want to support a good cause and wear a cool pair of flip-flops check out Combat Flip Flops.

Let’s stay on the topic of clothing. He wore gym shorts. Again, I wear Under Armour shorts and Adidas sandals all the time around the house and in the summer. Just ask my wife and she’ll tell you I like to show a little leg in the summer by wearing my green silky short shorts. HA! But if you’re about to step out at night and walk through an area that’s not full of unicorns and rainbows I’d suggest throwing on some pants. The good news is there’s several companies that make great pants that are functional and also look great. Hey no one wants to look like GI JOE. I swear by Carhartt and Kuhl for my pants. Bottom-line is that they blend in to your environment, look good and perform in the city or in the field. These pants also have pockets for my EDC: wallet, cell phone, folder, fixed blade, keys/carabineer, Surefire light, pen, etc.

Lastly I want to leave you with this… What do you carry on your person and in your vehicle? What if that 30 min trip into town turns into an all day trip? Or if your short walk you planned with your spouse or child turns into an unplanned overnight adventure due to events outside of your control? Before you step outside of your house ask yourself if you are prepared for all that life can throw at you?

Prepare to Win the Fight.


Your Friend,

Travis Nelson

Travis Nelson



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