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Potter: Surviving paranoia via a crowbar

Outdoors

Cave - entrance zoe keegan

I took my family on a trip to some caves, not actually planning to get a column out of it. I just thought, “Huge cave — sounds awesome.”

Instead, I got at least three thanks to my spelunking. (Can I call it that if all I did was walk into a cave? Yes, yes I can).

So today, it’s crowbars. Specifically, that I didn’t have mine and really wished I did.

Here’s what happened.

First off, I fit nicely into the category of “paranoids,” and there I was, driving down a crummy dirt road leading to the cave when I saw a truck driving towards us up ahead, which immediately pulls off to the side of the road. My wife says “That’s nice. They’re letting us pass.” I thought the same thing, waved thank you as we passed and stared into the glaring faces of two frightening men.

Cave road

I kept a keen eye on the rearview mirror until about 200 yards separated us, which is also when I saw two adorable lambs on the side of the road. We stopped, my kids tried to pet them. Life was great. I looked back and saw the truck making a 12-point turn on the narrow road and start driving towards us.

Cave - sheep

I freaked! I tossed kids into the car and tore out of there (at about 10 mph … it was a bumpy road). I looked back to see them stopped at the same place we had just been: with the sheep.

At this point I’ll stop telling you everything I was thinking, because my thoughts tend to run away with me; but I will say that I took stock of my defensive capabilities and was less-than pleased.

I had a pocketknife, a 12-inch extendable nightstick, and my paracord-grip fixed-blade survival knife (3.25-inch blade and nearly 8 inches overall). That’s it!

It’s funny. When I go about my day-to-day life, I feel very confident knowing I have these things with me at all times. The pocketknife I use every day, but the fixed-blade knife and baton are like my secret, scary weapons, the ones I would pull out if I was getting mugged or something that would intimidate the evil-doers into submission and retreat.

At least, that was my thought until Saturday.

Backstrap 3

I thought about those two guys giving me trouble – intending me harm – and me standing out in the open facing them, and I suddenly felt incredibly inadequate. And though I did have a brief discussion with my wife about putting a gun in a lockbox in the car (the answer is still no), the thing I wanted more than anything was my crowbar, my 30-inch beauty with custom paracord grip and custom paracord back sling.

Crowbar new)

I already had an untested theory that holding this crowbar (or the “grip of confidence,” as I call it) would bolster my courage more than anything in an up-close danger situation, and now I had my first field-test.

Crowbar3

So there you go. In a probably-completely-irrational, not-actually-dangerous situation, all I need is my crowbar (and my first-aid kit, if anyone actually decides to attack me).

Up next, also courtesy of the cave trip: flashlights and snakes. (not together, the snake was on the road, although snakes in caves are truly a terrifying thing, though).

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