How to REALLY Escape From Zip Ties

One of the most critical escape and evasion tactics I try to get across to our readers is to master the ability to get out of a variety of restraints.

There are any number of reasons you could find yourself bound and gagged — helpless to protect yourself and your family:

  • It could be from home invasion where you’re tied up while criminals rob your home (or worse — subject your family to all sorts of brutal acts)
  • It could be an ambush kidnapping where you or your spouse is knocked unconscious and stuffed into the trunk of a car and transported to your “final” destination
  • It could even be a wide-scale roundup of “at risk” civilians during martial law.

This is why you should always hide at least one means of escaping from restraints in your everyday-carry (EDC) survival gear.”

One of the restraints commonly used are plastic zip ties, because they’re easy to tie people up with… yet almost impossible for 99% of the folks out there to escape from.

But you and I are the 1%, aren’t we?

Free Yourself

First, you’re going to find lots of tips on how to escape from zip ties all over the internet, like…

  • Swing your hands forcibly down from your head to your stomach to snap the clasp
  • Bite through the plastic
  • Hang from the top of a door with your hands over your head to leverage a break.

But here’s the problem with these escape methods…

All the ones I’ve seen only apply to when your hands are bound in FRONT of you.

Now let me ask you… If YOU were going to tie someone up to truly immobilize them, would you tie their hands in front of them so they could easily grab a frying pan and crush your melon?

I don’t think so.

The real question is how do you escape from zip ties when your hands are BEHIND you and you don’t have the mobility to do all those fancy-schmancy leverage breaks?

Well, if you’re carrying the 27 “covert” survival EDC items I tell you to, you can break out of zip ties even with your hands behind your back.

For example, you should switch out your current shoelaces for 550 paracord (which comes in every color imaginable).


  • When your hands are zip-tied behind you, reach down with your bound hands and untie one (or both) of your shoes
  • Loop one of the laces up through the zip ties and re-tie it in a square knot to the other shoelace. (Note: It’s best to tie the very end of one shoelace to a spot about halfway down the end of the other lace. This makes sure the knot isn’t at the very center of the now connected laces. You’ll see why next…)
  • Your paracord laces should now be looped through the inside of your zip ties near your wrists
  • Next, raise your body up so that your cuffs are pulling hard against the paracord as your laces tighten up
  • Now with a short back-and-forth motion of your hands, “rub” the cuffs against the taut paracord super-fast in a single spot on the zip tie, creating friction between the cord and the cuffs.

Within a short time, you’ll have burned through enough of the plastic to twist your wrists, using leverage to break through the rest of the cuffs and escape!

Jeff Anderson

Written By Jeff Anderson

As a lifelong student of what he calls "survival arts", it was Jeff Anderson’s military training that led him to seek out strategies that would protect not only himself on the battlefield... but also provide for his family's own self-reliance in any sort of disaster, crisis or collapse. After 10 years of military training in elite infantry units around the world, Jeff began working as a security consultant and executive protection specialist for private clients and the entertainment industry. Specializing in military style hand-to-hand and weapons combat, Jeff offered classes and seminars based on practicality and battlefield effectiveness. In Jeff’s survival training, it was his service overseas and in combat missions, that he was able to get a first-hand glimpse of what a city gripped in collapse and without rule of law is like for its citizens. He uses his unique experience to inject a more realistic view of what to expect in survival scenarios and provide practical solutions — even in extreme environments — for true survivalists. Ultimately his training and experience led him to create the digital media channel for Modern Combat and Survival magazine which is fueled by more than 100 of the world’s top instructors in law enforcement, military and civilian survival schools.