Thursday, June 03, 2021

Safety Pin Goodness | Easiest. Gear. Mod. Ever.

Some time ago I was watching a bag load-out video on YouTube and the creator described a small hack he used for the front compartment. It was filled with medical supplies and he explained that he used a safety pin to hold an Israeli bandage in place. The idea was that the safety pin would keep the bandage secure, but with a sharp tug the bandage could be deployed.

I remember thinking to myself: a safety pin, really? That's your answer?

Fast forward a few weeks I found myself mulling over two different gear inconveniences. First, the cheap backpack I was using had no smart place to stash my car keys. Thanks to the power of keyless unlock and ignition, I don't typically need to take my keys out of my bag. But when I do, I'd like to avoid having to fish around for them. On a fancier bag there's often a tether you can clip your keys to, the bag I'm using has no such amenity.

The second challenge: I wanted to experiment with carrying pepper spray. I wanted to do so in a way that kept the spray out of sight, yet accessible. And perhaps most importantly, I wanted to avoid having misfires.

While on a run, a solution came to me for the first problem: if I sewed a key-ring into the bottom corner of my bag I could then clip my keys to it. Tucked away in a corner they'd be out of the way, but because they were attached to a fixed point there'd be no fumbling needed to find them.

As I thought about how I was going to sew the ring into place I realized a simpler solution: a safety pin. I attached a safety pin to an extra bit of the seam material on the bottom front of the bag and instantly had a clip point for my keys. Check it out:

Too easy, too convenient.

While installing the safety pin for my keys I realized I could solve my pepper spray problem just as easily. I attached a safety pin horizontally to the front pocket of the bag. Doing so created a bar that the pepper spray's clip perfectly snap onto.

This arrangement keeps the spray vertical, and like the keys arrangement, in the same spot at all times. To access the spray, I can swing the bag around, unzip the front pocket and pull it out. It's not as convenient as say wearing it on a belt, but for most scenarios it's far more practical. And because the spray is clipped in, I have no concerns about it going off by accident.

So there you go, two super simple gear mods using the humble safety pin. Thanks for the inspiration Andrew, I won't be so quick to dismiss your hacks in the future.

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