Hiding in Plain Sight – Innovative Ways to Discreetly Wear Survival Gear

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from S.S. Gregory. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

Hiding in plain sight is a term everyone has heard at one point or another. What does it mean from a prepper’s perspective? How much can you really carry around while still looking like the average Joe/Johanna? In this article I list some of the most unusual ways that some basic survival gear, weapons, and defensive tools can be disguised in items you already wear every day.

This is not about concealing knives and firearms. It is a collection of ways hide small survival items hidden in plain sight. You will even be guided through how to create one of the most useful resources that most people never think to include in their gear!

Here are just some of the items that can easily be concealed or disguised:

Razor Blades:

Hiding in Plain Sight - Innovative Ways to Discreetly Wear Survival Gear - The Prepper Journal

Secret Compartment Money Belt

  • a simple sheath and these are easily stored in a wallet
  • Can be inserted into a slit in a leather belt
  • Under the insoles of your shoe
  • Sheathed and taped to the inside of a steel toe boot (helps with metal detectors and xray)
  • In a hollowed out sole or heel of a shoe
  • Encased in a faux gold plaque that are common for necklaces as engraved name plates
  • Behind a fancy belt buckle
  • Underside of a watch face
  • Part of a brooch or inside your name-tag

Razor Wire:

  • long “noodle beads” can be used to protect ones skin and turn this into a necklace
  • Hollowed out heel
  • Inside a hollow purse strap
  • In a special groove inside a man’s ring
  • In a belt
  • Fishing Hook
  • encased in tear drop earnings
  • In/Behind pennants
  • Backside of belt buckles
  • Made into a Broach
  • Embedded in the brim of a hat
  • Inside a hair scrunchy (caution, best if used loosely over a rubber band bun)
  • Hollowed out shoe heel
Hiding in Plain Sight - Innovative Ways to Discreetly Wear Survival Gear - The Prepper Journal

Small items like razor, wire or even maps can be hidden in special watches.

Fishing Line, Rope, Paracord:

  • Simply sew into various items of clothing as a contrast stitch.
  • Embroidery
  • Necklace
  • Bracelet
  • inside hollow watches
  • Woven into a beanie
  • Braided into a belt
Hiding in Plain Sight - Innovative Ways to Discreetly Wear Survival Gear - The Prepper Journal

Survival Hiking Boot Laces – Wilderness Survival Emergency Fire Starter – 550 Paracord Laces with Ferro Rod Tips and Serrated Steel Striker Tools – Black or Brown

Fire Starter Rods:

  • Hollow tips of shoelaces
  • Dangle earnings
  • Pendant
  • Bracelets
  • Inside a Hollowed belt
  • Belt buckle
  • Inside wallet
  • Hollowed out heels
  • Replacing sections of underwire in a bra.
  • Fastened to a barrette

Black Powder vials:

  • Worn as pendants
  • Inserted into hollow chap stick or lipstick tubes.
  • Inside the heel of a shoe
  • Attached to your key-chain
  • Inside empty travel sized hand lotion bottles
  • Inside empty travel sized toothpaste tubes
  • taped to the backside of a large belt buckle
  • Simply slipped into a pocket/purse
  • Disguised as ornaments on the outside of a purse
Hiding in Plain Sight - Innovative Ways to Discreetly Wear Survival Gear - The Prepper Journal

100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation

Blow Gun Darts:

  • Attached to barrettes and bobby pins
  • Dangle earrings
  • Pendants
  • Broaches
  • Inside belt-loops
  • Part of the belt buckle
  • Inside a hollow belt
  • Inside the straps of a purse
  • Replacing part of the underwire of a bra
  • In your wallet
  • On a key-chain
  • Under the insoles of your shoes
  • In a hollow shoe heel
  • Decorations on a purse
Hiding in Plain Sight - Innovative Ways to Discreetly Wear Survival Gear - The Prepper Journal

TIHK Handcuff Key

Handcuff Keys:

  • inside a slit on the back of your belt
  • On a Key-chain
  • Inside a hollow watch face
  • Inside a pendant
  • In a hollow belt buckle
  • Inside the hollow heel of your shoe

This list could go on and on. As you can see there are a variety of things that can have various survival uses that can be incorporated into items that you wear every day. By creating these clothing items now and stocking your supplies, you can guarantee that if SHTF you are wearing your basic supplies. If you cannot get to your Bug Out Bag and your EDC has been compromised in some way, you want to be sure you always have something, literally, On you.

So, where do you start?

Start with the items you wear the most. For most people this is their shoes. This is also the option that can possibly be the most difficult to alter, yet carry the most supplies. This is why I have chosen to help you through this process today.

Different style shoes have different alteration options and limitations. If you primarily wear tennis shoes with thin soles, you may want to start with replacing the shoelaces with paracord and fire starter laces. Depending on how thin the soles are, you may be able to still store some supplies in the sole (such as a razor blade) or under the insole, inside the tongue, and even secured to the inside.

If you wear boots with some heels, chances are these heels are already partially hollow. You can buy boots that already have this secret compartment, or you can take on the challenge of creating it yourself. If you are creating the hollow yourself, you will need to secure the opening of the compartment so it isn’t easily damaged, removed, or otherwise tampered with. Detach the insole of the shoe near the heel to carve it out yourself. You may want to find a solid container that can provide the heel some of the support that may be lost in the hollowing process. If you want easier access to your compartment you can leave the insole dislodged. If you are hiding items you intend to keep more secure, you will want to glue down your insole. take heed to also secure or resew the insoles before gluing so that it can stand up to more scrutinizing inspection. Depending on the width of the heel, and the quality and composition of your insole, you may need to find a thin but sturdy material, or extra rubber so that it doesn’t dip down later. We do, after all, want these shoes to remain comfortable.

The other option is to put the opening of the compartment on the bottom of the shoe for easier access. This can be accomplished by carving out a perfect circle or square and preserving it, then hollowing the sole enough to fit in the supplies you desire to hide, or the container to fit them. These must fit very snugly and be lightweight enough as to not put pressure on the plug. Take the preserved piece of sole and attach it to something a little larger than it is if you need to make it more like a cork. Simply plug the hole. If it needs help staying put, and you don’t care about how it looks you can use glue or staples. Of course if you are quite handy and looking for an even more accessible and sturdy option… You can cut the end of the sole clean off, replace the inside with a box with a circle opening, and fasten threads to the removed heel and screw it back on. This would work best on heels that were already hollowed, made of wood, or women’s high heels.

Final Tip: Pack the heel in a manner that is least likely to damage the supplies and add padding as needed so they don’t make strange noises while you walk.


Some of the items in the list could possibly be illegal to conceal in the manners suggested in your locality. Please use discretion when choosing the items to include in your EDC wear.

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My lips are sealed, oops, my name is posted, thats ok, I’m wearing a mask.


Where can the watch be purchased or what is the brand name so we can Google it. Thanks


Survivalist or assassin?


I can’t relate to how any of these items would do me much good. The handcuffs indicate that a person has crossed a line and is in the early stages of incarceration. I wear a neck knife with fire starting and lighting accessories. Fits under a shirt and doesn’t show but if needed they become easily accessible and are more substantial than these hidden “micro” items described in this article not to mention my constant companion…a revolver. Different strokes for different folks I guess?


In a SHTF scenario, incarceration may not come at the hands of the law though. Looks as though this is geared to complete social breakdown and/or being totally stranded long term vs. natural disaster or basic civil unrest. My Harley Davidson boots have a hollow center in the heel. My insole started coming up after 10 years and I noticed it. I keep spare keys in them. Just house keys though. I want the belt.

Silent Earth

Good handy tips, cheers, I like to give soome sensible attention to clothing for preppers, I wrote this about it. Modified clothing for EDC prepping More and more preppers I meet are doing some interesting stuff with their EDC clothing, Poorer preppers like myself tend to modify or tailor proprietary brands of clothing to suit our own needs, I’m always adding extra pockets, re-enforcement patches, Fastex webbing and hangers, kit hanging loops, elasticised draw cords etc to my clothing. Equally many preppers choose to buy and wear clothing primarily designed for soldiers or police officers such as Combat Jackets, SAS… Read more »

The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

Couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said about actually USING your gear! Last count I’ve taken a boy scout troop worth of outdoor “stuff” to the Goodwill store. I wear my boots, GHB, and loaded tac vest during my daily 5 mile “constitutional” walk. It’s taken me many pairs of boots to be happy, and my favorites are actually branded field & stream. The best vest I found so far is a generic fly fishing vest. A bazillion pockets, does not look particularly tactical, and very comfortable to boot. The best thing about it is that the pocket location don’t… Read more »


Stab resistant hoodies? Interesting. My leather jacket has been modified to have more internal pockets and molle type loops for attaching things. So I don’t have to rummage. Good stuff all around.


it would be my luck with the survival hiking boot laces with the ferro rods & striker, is I would set my boots on fire running through the woods.. LMAO i would be like a roman candle shooting through the trees.. (had to make a funny this early in morning)
although knowing how to cobble shoes wouldnt be a bad skill to have!


LOL, it’d be worse if you also had black powder in your boots


The comments are as good as the article lol. Good stuff if all hell breaks loose and you are captured by an enemy.


After 2 years of wondering about ScotteVest.com coats (with many hidden pockets, up to 48). I finally broke down and bought their 8.0 winter jacket (I live in WI, where winter can last 8-9 months long (at least at night with cold Springs and Falls). It is actually 2 coats (and two vests, since the zippered sleeves are removable) in one outfit, with the inner 24-pocket coat being a zipper lining for the outer coat, for added warmth, but also fully wearable as a light coat). ScotteVest advertises that you can carry tablets in their pockets (and with wiring loops… Read more »

Diesel Jester

I actually keep a handcuff key hidden in the middle of my keys on my key ring. (MuHaHa!) Background story: When I worked armed security for an airport I was frequently chosen to do the security checks because of my devious little mind. So once they caught me, cuffed me, and threw me into the back of the cruiser (yeah, we were all having fun with it) I got my key ring out and unlocked the cuffs myself. Needless to say, they now thoroughly frisk subjects now and remove anything from pockets, but it was still fun to see their… Read more »

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