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15 Essential Urban Survival Gear Items

Urban Survival Gear

If you’ve read any survival books or watched any survival TV shows, you know that almost all of the attention has been focused on the issues of wilderness survival. And yet, more than 70% of the population in the United States lives in urban areas. In most cases, when disaster strikes, you will be at home, at work, or somewhere around town. And therefore, it’s in these places where you’ll need to be ready to survive. In the event of an emergency or disaster, such as an earthquake, wildfire, chemical leak, or flood, chances are you and your family will need gear that’s different than what you’ll need in rural areas. After all, the survival gear you’ll pack into a wilderness survival kit will not be the same as what you’ll pack into an urban bug out bag. For a family of four you may want to take the easy approach and simply purchase a complete 4-person urban survival gear 72 hour kit.

Survival favors those who are best prepared. And an urban environment brings hazards and challenges that are different than what you will find in a rural environment. The streets can be a dangerous place to live during an emergency, even on a good day. So if you live in an urban location, you’ll want to pay close attention to what gets packed into your urban survival kit or bug out bag. To improve your chances of survival in an urban setting, you may want to stock up on the following 14 survival items. Keep in mind that these are only suggestions. Your needs may vary.

1. Tactical Flashlight Is Must-Have Urban Survival Gear

If you experience a power outage during an emergency you may find yourself groping through dark hallways and rooms. But if you have a good source of light, your situation will seem much less stressful. Tactical flashlights are one of the most important survival supplies and should be in places where they can be retrieved easily.

Everyone should have an everyday carry kit, and a flashlight should be one of the first items put into it. What you don’t want is a small pen flashlight or cheap piece of junk. A good tactical flashlight can serve several purposes in addition to providing light. At the very least, a quality tac light can also be used as a tool for self-defense in certain situations.

2. Ka-BAR Becker Tac Tool

The Ka-BAR Becker Tac Tool is a highly rated tool that hammers, pries, cuts, bashes, and smashes. It is specifically made to tackle issues you’d come across in an urban survival environment. If you need to pry some hinge pins or hammer out a window, this is a great tool. It is a rather expensive tool, but well worth the cost.

3. Folding Survival Knife

If your budget doesn’t allow for a Ka-BAR Becker Tac Tool, you will want to add a good survival knife to your survival gear list. In an urban setting, packing a large Bowie-type knife can make you look like you’re nothing but trouble. A folding-blade survival knife is much more discreet, but can still be used as a self-defense weapon. This is an essential item for a survival backpack.

4. A First Aid Kit Belongs in Your Urban Survival Gear Kit

Even if you only pack a few band-aids, gauze strips, tape, and antiseptic spray, a first aid kit is something that belongs on every survival kit list. In a survival situation it’s very easy to get injured. So being prepared to treat that injury is important.

5. Drinking Water Can Help You Survive an Urban Disaster

You’ll want to have plenty of drinking water at your disposal at all times. And since you might be anywhere when an emergency situation arises, you’ll want to have water in your car, home, and workplace. Plus, having a bottle water filter or water filtration tablets is also a good idea. Water is must have survival gear and should be on every bug out bag list.

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Urban Survival Supplies

6. Survival Food

Survival food, as in dehydrated, vacuum-sealed, or freeze-dried, isn’t as important as clean drinking water, but it’s close. This is one of those bug out bag essentials that you don’t want to be without. Pack at least enough for a 72-hour emergency situation. You can either buy one of the survival food kits on the market, or create one yourself.

7. Four Way Water Key

If a short term disaster turns into a long term disaster, you could very well run out of clean drinking water. And this could possibly turn into a life or death situation. A four-way water key, also known as a water spigot key or cross key, can be a lifesaver. Commercial and residential buildings often have faucets that are not accessible without a water key. But a water key makes it possible to turn these water faucets on.

8. Lighter

Talk about the perfect item for a survival bag. A simple, cheap, lightweight item like a lighter can supply you with both fire and light. Keeping one in your pocket, as well as in each of your emergency survival kits, is a must. Remember, having individual urban survival gear kits in your home, workplace, and car is the best way to prepare. So having a lighter in each of these separate locations is something you should definitely think about doing.

9. Cord or Light Rope

A parachute cord (also called a paracord, cord, or 550 cord) or light rope can be used for hundreds of things in an urban survival situation. A paracord is a general purpose, lightweight, nylon utility cord. Common uses in emergency situations include rigging a shelter, tying items to a backpack, and making a clothesline, to name a few.

10. Portable Emergency Solar Charger for Recharging Specific Survival Gear

In an urban survival emergency, it’s very likely that the power will go down. A portable emergency solar charger can recharge your cell phone, GPS device, flashlight batteries, and emergency survival radio.

11. SOG PowerAccess Deluxe Multi Tool

If a good multi tool isn’t one of your urban survival gear must-haves, you’re missing an important item. The SOG PowerAccess Deluxe Multi Tool includes 21 tools, the most for any multi tools from SOG. It’s a heavy duty, stainless steel tool that includes two knife blades, two flathead screwdrivers, Phillips screwdriver, wood saw, can opener, and more. Plus, it allows for great gripping power.

12. An Emergency Radio Should Be Included in any Urban Survival Gear Bag

A small, solar powered, hand crank, AM FM radio that also offers NOAA weather reports, can keep you connected. It can provide you with emergency updates as well as weather information for your local area. In some disasters, it could even be a lifesaver.

13. Your Mobile Phone

Bringing along your cell phone is a no-brainer. In many emergencies the phone lines can be so swamped you won’t be able to get a call through. But in other emergency situations it will allow you to call for help, contact your family, and receive updates about the situation.

14. Cash

Cash is king. If the power goes out you probably won’t be able to use a credit card. If you need to buy survival supplies, either from another survivalist or store, some cash could come in handy. You may find yourself in a situation where you need food, water, or transportation. Without cash, it may be difficult to barter for these urban survival gear necessities.

15. Protection Against Other Survivalists

An urban disaster can create chaos, rioting, looting, crime, and general civil unrest. The area you live in can become extremely dangerous. When you come across another survivalist that won’t hesitate to take what you’ve got, even if they have to hurt you, you’ll want to be able to protect yourself. For this reason it’s a good idea to include some type of protection urban survival gear. This can be a self-defense baton or keychain, knife, ax, mace, stun gun, or other form of protection. It won’t do you any good to have the best bug out bag in your town if someone else can easily take it away from you. A few good survival skills can go a long way toward keeping you save.

Matt Walker

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