Sometimes, useful skills have a bad wrap. A perfect example of this is lock picking. From urban thugs to fantasy rogues, being able to pick a lock is seen as a dastardly skill of someone not to be trusted.
The reality is that knowing how to pick a lock can be an incredibly helpful skill. Lost your house key? Pick it. A friend lost the key to their safe? Pick. Should a SHTF fallout occur, then picking locks will be essential to accessing abandoned buildings for scavenging.
Picking a lock isn’t as hard as you’d think. It can even be done with hairpins if you’re determined. Locks are a tumbler system. a number of pins are inside of the lock, aligned at different heights. When all of the pins are placed at the correct height, the lock will turn.
Lockpicking works in two parts, applying torque and pushing pins. Using a torque application tool (usually looks like an L shape), you apply gentle turning pressure to the lock. This allows the pins to not fall back down once set in place. Too hard and they won’t fall into place, too soft and they won’t stay in place.
While applying torque, you use your lockpick to raise the pins up one at a time with a lockpick. Feel each one out, once one has nested itself in the unlocking position, move on to the next one, maintaining torque to keep the pins from falling. Be gentle, as to not break your equipment.
This GIF, thanks to art-of-lockpicking.com is a great visual example of the process.
A great way to practice is by using transparent locks. These are made for the purpose of practicing lock picking. It’s easier to do when you can see the pins, after all. Rekink has a fantastic training lock set you can find on Amazon.
One thing to keep in mind is quality. A cheap lockpicking set will break and bend easily. Lockpicks are something that you absolutely get what you pay for. If you’re new to lockpicking and don’t want to invest too heavily early on, I suggest this Hardware Multitool Lockpicking set by AONAN. The quality to price ratio is some of the better I’ve seen.
This should go without saying, but do not use lock picking for illegal activities. Preppers are smart and prepared, not criminals.