Friday, October 24, 2008

Water...weaponized, the 27 oz. Klean Kanteen

Maybe I'm paranoid, maybe I just walk around in Col. Jeff Cooper's "condition yellow" state of readiness. I'm a very non-violent guy, I have never been in a physical confrontation outside of martial arts training and a few scuffles in Jr. High school. I'm always aware and ready though, as I think of self defense holistically and simple awareness is the reason I've avoided fights. I'm a big fan of improvised weapons, you know, common items that have defensive potential, like tire irons, tightly rolled magazines and ball point pens. I'm also a big fan of water bottles, as I sweat like a summer-sow, and get thirsty easily. A person on an internet forum recommended bottles from Klean Kanteen as an alternative to the controversial Nalgene company. Nalgene finally released their BPA-free bottles. Evidently bisphenol is a very nasty chemical which has been linked to various cancers and illnesses. Nalgene is also a part of an international company which manufactures and distributes animal-restraint cages for animal testing. Politics and health aside, I've always liked the big 32 oz. widemouth Nalgene bottles for their size and durability. But the Klean Kanteens came highly recommended and the company sounded interesting to me. I bought mine early in the summer and I've waited to evaluate it until I'd used it extensively.
Here's the skinny from their website about the 27 oz. model I bought at Sportco for under $14.00 USD:

"Like every Klean Kanteen, it’s made of 100% recyclable, high-quality, food grade stainless steel so it doesn’t need a special lining like some other metal bottles. It’s completely BPA-free and won’t leach chemicals, toxins, or funky flavors into your water, juice, smoothie, or drink of choice. Plus it weighs only 8 oz. and is incredibly durable, so you can reuse it for years.

The large-mouth design allows you to pour in big stuff like ice cubes, and makes cleaning your Klean Kanteen as simple as washing it with mild soap and warm water or throwing it in the dishwasher."

Ok, I like their "go green" neo-hippy style, but I bet they never counted on someone thinking of their bottle as a weapon.

The loop cap can accomodate an index or middle finger and the bottle, with nearly 2 pounds behind it when filled, can be swung as a bludgeon. The slim size allows for larger hands like mine to wrap around it, it could even be used like a kubotan or pressure point/impact device to smash an attacker's fingers. With the loop-cap tightly screwed on, and the bottle filled, it could make an excellent swung weapon to "de-fang the snake" as they say in Filipino martial arts, the term for disarming your opponent. I'm confident in the construction of this bottle and for someone who might posess a bit of knowledge about human anatomy or self defense the Klean Kanteen could be a great addition to a "hidden in plain sight" arsenal.

I think they key to readiness and defending ones self lies in creativity and quick thinking. The best weapon is the one you have with you when you need it. Aside from sounding like a responsible company, Klean Kanteen makes a bottle that will likely last a lifetime. I'm extremely satisfied with my decision to avoid buying another Nalgene, or a crummy Chinese knockoff. Oh, it should be noted that the Klean Kanteen line is made in China, but they make a point to say that they're made "responsibly" by our secretive friends in China. Here's more website copy about them:

"Better Health: Klean Kanteens are made from #304 stainless steel, the material of choice in the food processing, dairy, and brewery industries. Stainless steel is easy to clean, durable, inert, sanitary, toxin-free, and non-leaching.
Hydration: It’s vital for life.

Environmental Responsibility: Klean Kanteens are the stainless steel alternative to plastics. Plastics in landfills and oceans are one of the most alarming of today’s environmental stories.
The Klean Kanteen has won over thousands of people concerned with making healthy choices for their bodies and natural environment. Join them in their efforts and try a Klean Kanteen.
Stainless steel Klean Kanteens outlast their plastic counterparts and drinking water from a stainless steel Klean Kanteen tastes clean and odor free, unlike drinking from plastic which often makes water smell and taste undesirable."

An overall great product IMO, and if you handle the bottle with improvised weaponization in mind, you'll see the possibilities immediately. I would not want a full 27 oz. steel water bottle colliding with my head, nor would I enjoy being the recipient of a well-placed blow to my neck, hands or face of a strike with the tapered loop cap. Check 'em out.

Klean Kanteen bottles

It should be noted that the barong and escrima stick skull sticker is one I got when I ordered a training knife from Nick Papadakis' 'Kombat Instruments Limited' a long time ago. It's a cool sticker and I figured it needed a good home.

EDIT 10/28:
Just ocurred to me, another plus of a stainless, unlined water bottle would be the ability to use it to boil water in outdoor emergency situations for drinking or cooking.

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