I often find myself in countries where I either cannot obtain a handgun or I am not permitted to carry one outside of a military capacity. The alternative to this is a concealed knife, preferably a fixed blade but on occasion a folding knife. A knife can be procured almost anywhere and while not a force multiplier in the way a firearm is,  it can sometimes be a preferable alternative in close quarters situations. A blade is often faster to draw, requires no reload other than routine maintenance, and is incredibly covert when employed correctly. Often knife attack victims don’t realize they’ve been cut or stabbed until it is too late. All laws should be adhered to when traveling abroad or stateside in regards to carrying a weapon.

My alternative knife concealment method

Now I will say right off the bat, that I am a huge proponent of IWB (inside the waistband carry) but sometimes this has not been an option. Maybe I’m wearing gym shorts or very light summer clothes; the knife may be too large to carry on the waist effectively. This has led to the development of a simple but effective method of carry I use regularly. With a length of shoelace or 550 paracord, I construct a simple shoulder harness that can be worn discreetly under a t-shirt or inside of a jacket or button-up shirt.

My alternative knife concealment method

Taking the strand of 550 cord, I attach the sheath in an inverted fashion, in this case the eyelets of the kydex work nicely. I tied two knots in the back to insure the sheath does not slide around unnecessarily. From there I tie the two ends of the 550 cord together creating a big loop, it’s important that the length is the correct size so I find it easier to tie it off when it’s on my shoulders. It should be worn in a “X” shape over the back like a shoulder holster for a pistol, tight enough to conceal the full length of the knife and keep it from moving around too much, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable or that the handle is unreachable.

My alternative knife concealment method

The knife can be employed from a forward or reverse grip depending on user preference and which side of the body the knife hangs on. I prefer the left side because I can either do a dominant hand forward grip (I’m right-handed) or an offhand reverse grip, if I am so inclined.

My alternative knife concealment method

My alternative knife concealment method

Keep in mind, this method of carry is not for everyone and was developed to meet a very specific criteria. It does have some limitations, it is definitely slower to employ the knife from this position versus carrying from the waist. It is also sure to be discovered by even the most half assed pat-down. Some added benefits are that I always have access to a good-sized strand of paracord and it keeps my waist free of any telltale signs that I’m carrying a weapon. I can move about freely without worrying about printing or broadcasting based on body language. Just remember do what works for you and that situation always dictates; so improvise, adapt and overcome.

*Originally published on SOFREP and written by Kurt T.