In an urban survival scenario, locked doors, gates, grilles and other similar obstacles may lie between you and safety. Which would be more useful — a prybar or a set of lockpicking tools?
A prybar is easy to use — although it’s good to practice your leverage skills for maximum effectiveness. Also, anyone who is with you can easily pick the prybar up and help you. The downside to prybars is that they tend to be bulk and heavy. Newer prybars made of titanium are lighter and stronger.
A set of lockpicks, in the right hands, would be worth its weight in gold. Picking locks mean less noise, less damage and you can open the strongest and heaviest doors. However, lockpicks are by no means easy to use. If you don’t have the knowledge and the practice, you’d spend precious time fiddling with locks.
Our recommendation: carry a prybar (and put one in your car), and learn to pick locks. It never hurts to pick up a new, useful skill – get a teacher, and / or get the visual guide to lock picking by Locksport International.
Be aware that in some states in the US, carrying a lockpicking set is an offense — so check your local laws.