Urban Survival Barter and Improvised Weapons

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by SurviveInPlace.com and UrbanSurvivalGuide.com.

This week, I’m excited to announce the release of my new book on Urban Survival Barter & Negotiating Skills, I’m going to cover three simple principles you can use to quickly identify the best improvised weapons in your immediate area.  Finally, I’m going to tell you what you can do today to help stop Congress from censoring opposing views within 60 days of an election.  This jackboot-bully bill is written to intimidate non-profits, small companies, and bloggers from having a voice in the political process.  I really need your help on this.

Urban Survival Barter & Negotiating Skills

Great news for those of you who have been waiting for my ebook on Urban Survival Barter & Negotiating Skills!  If you purchased the full course and chose to get additional lessons instead of the printed version of the course, it is now available for immediate download in the members area.

If you aren’t in this select group, but are still interested in negotiating and bartering skills for disaster and survival situations, (who isn’t?) you can still get access to this valuable information.  Here’s what’s inside:

-10 powerful pre-planning steps. If you’re not using these, you’ll pay an average of 30% too much for all your private party purchases, as well as major purchases both now and in a survival situation.
-When you should use adversarial negotiating and when it will cost you dearly.

-On page 7, I’ll tell you the one time you should NEVER negotiate.

-How to instantly identify and use 12 physical negotiating tactics that are probably used on you all the time.

-11 verbal strategies you can start using immediately…They’re so powerful that many consider them “unfair.”

-12 manipulative strategies you MUST be able to identify and how to counter them.

-The history and possible future of bartering.

-23 skills that will be especially valuable for bartering in a survival situation and 2 that you should avoid unless you are already an expert.

-58 items you should consider stocking up on for bartering.  *This isn’t your typical list that you see reprinted all over the place of what people THINK will have value.  It comes from real life experiences by missionaries in 3rd world countries, former government employees who have “gone native” in various hell-holes, and city dwellers who had to survive in Mogadishu, Beruit, Berlin, Stalingrad, Buenos Aires, and even New Orleans.

Right now, I don’t even have a sales page up for it, but if you go to surviveinplace.com/survivalbarter you can get instant pre-release access to it for $17.  Over the next few days, I’ll be adding an interview that I did with the creator of the FBI Hostage/Crisis Negotiating manual.  It’s VERY powerful stuff & you’ll be able to download it as soon as it’s available.  Both the electronic and book forms of the Survival Bartering and Negotiating course are also available in the SurviveInPlace.com Platinum package, which is available at surviveinplace.com/platinum.php

Principlies of improvised weapons

One of the common questions that I get from students in the SurviveInPlace.com course is what they should look for in an improvised weapon.

That’s a great question, and I’m going to give you some guidelines that you can use to help identify everyday items that you can use as an improvised weapon if you need to. 

To start with, you need to accept the fact that your mind is your greatest weapon and every tool that you put in your hands will be limited or magnified by your mind.

That being said, you want to look for items that will give you an advantage over simply using your body.  It’s important to point out that oftentimes your best reaction to a surprise attack is going to be to immediately attack with your body’s natural weapons rather than taking several seconds to identify and wield an improvised weapon.

Think of it this way.  Many firearms instructors teach that the purpose of a handgun is to give you a way to react quickly and fight your way to your long gun.  This is much better than being defenseless until you have your long gun in your hands.  In the same way, you should view your hands as weapons to give you a way to quickly react and allow you to fight your way to a better weapon.

What kinds of everyday objects are going to be better weapons than your hands?  Well, they’re going to be objects that will give you an advantage over simply using your body.

These advantages are going to fall into one or more of the following catagories.

-Increased hardness/density.
-Increased focus.
-Increased distance.

Let me give you a few examples so you know what I mean. 

If you can identify an object that is harder or denser than you are, it will allow you to do more trauma to an attacker than by simply using your body.  If you swing your arm at someone’s head and they block it with their forearm, it might be painful to one or both of you, but it probably won’t take anyone out of the fight.  If, on the other hand, you can swing a piece of rebar, fire poker, tire iron, metal flashlight, or dense wood staff, you will hardly feel anything and you’ve got a good chance of breaking your attacker’s arm and taking them out of the fight for a few moments.

If you can identify an object that can focus your strikes, it will allow you to cut or penetrate more effectively than with your body.  As an example, which is easier, to punch through a plaster wall with your fist or with a screwdriver?  Some other improvised examples of this are the corner of hard bound books, chairs with legs, Bic pens, a broken bottle and pencils.

If you have watched very many fights, you know what an advantage reach is.  In some cases, like if you’re defending yourself with a firearm from a knife attack, it allows you to start damaging your attacker before they are in range to do damage to you.  In thinking of improvised weapons, you can do this with a fire poker, a stout curtain rod, a cane, a chair, pepper spray, fire extinguisher, a bar of soap in a pillowcase, or a padlock on the end of a chain, to name a few.

Many of these improvised weapons will also give you the advantage of speed, but that is a secondary consideration.

You’ll find that if you look for items that are hard/dense, help focus strikes, and or increase your ability to attack from a distance, you’ll start seeing them everywhere.  After a couple of days, you’ll actually get bored of it because there are SO MANY of them around you. 

The good thing is, once you train your mind to specifically look for objects that meet one or more of these three goals, you won’t have to think about it anymore…it will happen automatically and probably without you even realizing it.

HR 5175 — The bill to silence oposition to incombants

Congress is currently attempting to ram another bill down our throats that will silence groups (and bloggers) that speak on political matters within 60 days of an election.

One of the common interpretations is that the bill will require groups and bloggers to disclose their membership lists if they mention public officials in mailings, articles, or advertisements.

Of course, labor unions are exempt from this bill.

The NRA was fighting this bill to help protect the First Ammendment rights of Americans.  This week, in a disappointing turn of events, the NRA convinced House Democrats to agree to exempt them from the bill.  As a result, the NRA publicly announced on Thursday that they will no longer oppose this bill that limits free speech.

Since the NRA stopped fighting for us, I need to ask you to help fight this bill.  Specifically, I want to ask you to do 3 things:

1.  Go to www.rallycongress.com/stop-hr-5175–disclose-act–now/ and fill out the online form to send emails, faxes, and or letters to one or more of your representatives.
2.  Copy the email on this page www.rallycongress.com/stop-hr-5175–disclose-act–now/forward/ and send it to anyone you know who is concerned about First Ammendment issues.  (If you have any troubles, please let me know)
3.  If you’re on social media, please send people to www.rallycongress.com/stop-hr-5175–disclose-act–now/ to let their voices be heard.

If you do one, two, or all three of these, please let me know by sending me an email or commenting below.

Let me know your thoughts on this week’s newsletter by commenting below.  Have a favorite improvised weapon?  Let us know.  Any “secret” negotiating or bartering tips?  Help other preppers by sharing them below.

God Bless!

David Morris
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About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. As always, I’d be remiss not to thank you for looking after our welfare.
    Over my forty-five years in construction I’ve witnessed several fights but never one more devastating than two young men who attacked an older carpenter who defended himself with a handsaw. The end result was two men in the hospital with severe upper-body lacerations and one in jail for assualt with a deadly weapon, he was later exonerated. One thing for sure, a simple handsaw has advantages.

    Thanks again,

  2. Really nice site you have and interesting post by the way! 😉

  3. David
    I emailed my senators and “representative” (I use the term loosely) which includes Alan Mollohan, a lame duck loose cannon and Jay Rockefeller, a real conservative dynamo. I have contacted them before on issues and get the standard pat -on-the head email saying they appreciate hearing my opinion but have no intention to consider it seriously. I think I just spit into the wind again.

  4. I have been a european martial artist for the last 18 years. (think armor, swords and shields) My favorite weapon has always been a morning star. A morning star is a 2-3 pound metal ball on a chain attached to a handle.You can make a simple morning star out of a length of rope and a couple of padlocks. take a 3-4 foot length of rope (heavy clothes line will do in a pinch) and tie the ends together with a strong knot. Lock the padlocks onto the rope loop and there you go. This has the advantage of being able to keep your attackers at bay from a short distance. With some practice you could wrap up and pull a knife, or club out of your attackers hand, and you will be able to wrap around an attackers shield if he is using one(think metal trash can lid or piece of plywood) and still inflict injury or even death. The drawback to this weapon is recovery time (the time it takes you to throw a shot and recover to throw another one) and a self hitting shot ( If your shot misses, you can hit yourself with this weapon). I suggest getting a foam pool toy noodle (about 6″ or more in diameter and 6″-9″ long), cutting it in half lengthwise, prepare your rope as stated above. Insted of putting on your padlocks, wrap a good ammount of duct tape around the end for weight, then take the pool noodle halves and encase the rope and duct tape. Duct tape the pool noodle closed and you have yourself a practice morning star. Make two and practice with a friend. I have a homemade morning star made out of old military webbing and 6 padlocks. I am able to swing it with enough force to put a hole in 3/4 inch plywood. You can add a short handle on the other end by using an old broom handle and drilling a hole. Run your length of rope through the hole then tie the knot. The handle should only be 6-9 inches long. It sounds like alot but really isn’t and with a little practice can be a fast and deadly weapon.

  5. Seabeeprepared says:

    Here is a good one for your mom, your wife and your daughter. they can wear those “chopstick like” hair pins made of hard plastic. They already have a handle and a point. They are easy to reach in an emergency. They are permitted on airplanes, buses and trains and if they keep a small piece of sandpaper in there purse (or a coarse nail file) they can sharpen a point into one of there chopsticks quite quickly. GO GET EM GIRLS!
    nothing is as fine as a fine woman who can wield lethal force!

  6. using improvised weapons is a good thing and thats including the wasp spray and the bad guys dont care how they win why should we and in the end their should be one story your story because given the fact they will not hesitate to kill u so why should u hesitate to kill them a good example the terrorist will not hesitate to kill u and the narco terrorist in juarez mexico will do the same thing so if i get the drop on them the better for me

  7. I sent e-mails and forwarded the message.
    My favorite improvised weapon is the one I can reach.

  8. Great newsletter. I personally carry a cane with me where ever I go. The cane must have a “crook” or typical “U” shaped bend at the end you grasp. As long as it has a crook, it is legal to carry anywhere; an airport, hospital, church, nightclub, court room…anywhere. I prefer to use a combat certified cane and I have taken lessons on how to use it in combat. Visit www.canemasters.com to learn more.

    • Hey Charles,

      Yes, canes and umbrellas are wonderful tools to help improve reach, penetration, focus, and speed. Please let me know if you are officially connected with canemasters.com There are a good number of people in my audience who were, at one time, the tip of the sword. While they still have their warrior spirit and mindset, formal training with improvised weapons would be a big benefit.

      David Morris

  9. Hey David, Mike again. I read the first part of your negotiating book this morning. I kind of got excited and I tried out one of your negotiating tips buying a grill out of the classifieds and saved $10 on a $100 purchase. I’ve had it less than a day and it’s almost paid for itself. Thanks!

  10. One of my favorite IW’s takes a couple seconds to make if you have that amount of time to spare. Just take off a shoe, then your sock, and then find anything that would slip down to the bottom that’s hard and weighs a pound. Makes for a heckuva baton.

  11. I did number two and three, I hope this bill gets stopped!

  12. Todd Wagner says:

    Dave: Great News Ltr. Looking forward to reading the downloads this wknd. {:{)}

    Have been an NRA LM since 1976 & a regular member for some yrs before that. This is the 2nd time, in recent memory, the NRA has done something that boggles my mind. You can not lay down with dogs without catching fleas if the members don’t hold the leadership accountable the NRA will loose more than it gained. {:{(}

    Keep up the good fight. Thanks. Now to send my e-mails to Congress!

    • Hey Todd, I too am VERY disappointed with the NRA. They’re trying to backpedal and spin things to justify their actions, but the fact is that the exemption in the bill was written for them.


  13. David Halusky says:

    I sign the petition and sent info to others.

  14. Great newsletter! Improvised weapons and situational awareness are things I attempt to keep at the front of my mind. I always have a SureFire Backup flashlight on me, as well as a folding knife. At my desk I like my letter opener and a tungsten stylus (one for each hand…). My coffee mug is large, wide-bottomed, stainless steel, and has a very sturdy rubberized handle (swings well). I like a “short staff” as a weapon, and have suitable choices throughout my house and garage that either blend in or are hidden (canes, aluminum baseball bat, 3’ length of bamboo, axe handle, etc.). I have a “volunteer” tree that grows in my landscape. About every 2 or 3 years it reaches sufficient height and diameter for me to cut down and make either one long staff or two short staffs. (Hey, it’s something to do…) 🙂

    Thanks for the info on HR 5175. I sent an email to all three of my representatives; and forwarded the information on to friends. Looking forward to reading your book on bartering!

    I appreciate your work!

    • Thanks, Scott.

      My surefire backup is one of my favorite carry items…especially in non-permissive environments.


  15. Great letter, I have been told that wasp spray is good for protection. It can shoot from 20 away and your attacker will never know its coming till its too late. I have not tried it Thank the good Lord. But I do have a can ready.

    • The problems with wasp spray are many. First no human testing has been conducted. Second, it is illegal to use in self defense. The canister labels states “It is a violation of Federal Law to use in any manner inconsistent with this label. NEVER USE INDOORS!” You can also be sued for using wasp spray in self defense because of this warning on the label.

      Home defense pepper spray is a much better option. Pepper Spray has been designed to specifically to stop humans, dogs and even bears. Home Defense pepper spray will deploy up to 25 Feet. Pepper spray is legal to use in self defense. Pepper spray is trusted and relied on by police departments worldwide. The biggest advantage pepper spray provides is it doesn’t require pain to incapacitate because of its inflammatory effects. Unlike wasp spray, pepper spray slams the eyes shut and causes a loss of breath sensation which makes it effective even if the attacker is drunk, on drugs or is emotionally disturbed and cannot feel pain. When your life is at stake do you want something that can stop a wasp or a bear? Go with pepper spray. It’s legal and proven.

      • There’s one other major problem with wasp spray and that’s blowback. I’d guess that at least 1/2 of the time I’ve deployed OC (pepper spray) or had it deployed near me, I got some of it or other good guys got some of it.

        I’m used to small to medium amounts of OC now, but I’m not sure if you can ever get used to wasp spray.

        In addition, even if I DID get used to it, I don’t think I would want to breathe in those neuro toxins.

        -David Morris

  16. Ann Lamon says:

    Thanks for keepin’ on. I sent emails to my “representative” and then forwarded the site to a dozen relatives and friends who think like we do. Hope the Feds listen for once.

    Thanks again.

  17. I contacted my representatives via email. Will follow up by phone with one I know.

    Improvised weapons: an ash tray cupped in the palm adds significantly to a slap, a fountain pen (or most any writing tool) makes a painful hole in a human, a deer antler candleholder came in real handy once in disarming a knifewielding attacker

  18. David,

    Great newsletter. Thanks for the early access through facebook.

    I’m looking forward to going through the negotiating and bartering book this weekend.

    One of my favorite improvised weapons is a choke chain. It meets your hard and distance criteria.

    I wen through your link to ask my representatives to vote down the bill. I’ll send out the email later today. Thanks for letting me know about this. I still can’t believe it’s real.

    Thanks again. M

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